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December 4, 2006

Choosing Maps

Filed under: General MTBGuru stuff — mtbguru @ 11:41 pm

You may be wondering why we chose to use Google Maps instead of, say Yahoo! Maps. Not because of fanboyism, though we really do like a lot of Google’s stuff, Earth in particular. But Yahoo! Maps has been getting good press (as has AskCity, but they don’t seem to offer an API).
Technically, both map tools are practically clones, Ajax and all, and there are good developer API’s available for both. So what made the difference? In our FAQ we mention that Google Maps’ Terms of Use are less restrictive. Let’s clarify this a bit: when you’re thinking of creating a GPS mapping site and you’re reading Yahoo! Maps API Terms of Use what are you supposed to think when you stumble upon Article 1.f.(vi):

(vi) YOU SHALL NOT: use the Yahoo! Maps APIs with location information that is less than 6 hours old and derived from a GPS device or any other location sensing device;

Indeed, this alone was reason enough to not even consider Yahoo! Maps. What are they thinking – afraid that people will build stalker websites to track other people? A Homeland Security type measure? And there are more examples.

Save the planet, get a GPS!

Filed under: GPS — mtbguru @ 6:47 pm

If, besides to enjoy MTBGuru.com ;) , you needed another reason to buy a GPS unit, check out this post on GPS Tracklog:
You’ll be saving fuel and reducing your emissions by 7%!

This is mainly a result of a reduction in driving (if you actually use the GPS for driving, of course), but in addition I guess you’ll print out fewer online maps (less dead trees), and if you’re using it for outdoor endeavours: think of all the fuel and emissions you’ll be saving the rescue crews by not getting lost out in the wilderness anymore!

December 1, 2006

Features, features everywhere

Filed under: General MTBGuru stuff — mtbguru @ 1:57 am

While we were brainstorming and developing MTBGuru we came up with a seemingly endless list of possible features – most of which we subsequently either dumped or put on a waiting list; because we have only a finite amount of time and because we wanted to avoid at all cost having the site look bloated and suffer from ‘featuritis’. Hence the epicenter design approach: focus on the core purpose of the site and move up from there.

Now that we got the core working, it is time to add more functionality. We’re currently working on a better interface for searching and browsing the global trip collection, as well as a ‘friends’ feature, through which you can share your trips and photos with friends, without having the data necessarily fully public. Also on our wish list are integration of Picasa Online and Flickr photo collections, an uploader utility and a number of other ideas.

But we’d like to hear what our users think – which features do you need? What do you think is lacking? Please send your suggestions to mtbguru@mtbguru.com or leave them in the comments below.

Trips ‘n rides

Filed under: General MTBGuru stuff — mtbguru @ 1:44 am

Okay, we really love riding our bikes, but we can’t keep calling everything a ‘ride’ – we like to do a run once and a while and go on hikes too, and those aren’t exactly ‘rides’.
We had a bit of a mixed nomenclature going on at the site (rides, no, trips, err rides, hm, trips), so we decided to try harder and be consistent – everything is a trip now, you’ll see this reflected in some changes in the menus and links.

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