Google Maps Source [www.google.com]
The two most interesting aspects of my implementation are the UI for creating a location, and the way the map is displayed.
When I designed the application, I first had to find a way for getting the geographic coordinates for all those locations. Manually copying the coordinates from a desktop mapping application would have been too tedious, and Wikipedia does not have an entry for all the points I want to display.
Fortunately, the Google Maps API provides the means for a clever solution. Just embed a map in the form page, and use the click event to store the geographical coordinates of a mouse click in run-of-the-mill form text fields.
Now that it is easy to enter a long list of locations, the next exercise is to include them in the map. You cannot display them all at once, because you do not want to clutter the map when it is zoomed out.
Solving this has become easy when Google added GMarkerManager to the Maps API.
At the same time I switched to GMarkerManager, I started to use the Google Earth icons.
Google Maps [www.google.com]
I still go mountain climbing and photo shooting without GPS, but the Google Maps API looked too interesting to be ignored. The API allows a site to control, interact with, and extend Google Maps. After a little programming, you can now track my hikes via satellite.
As an example, take the Schinder. The map link on the trail page will take you to a satellite map centered on the mountain. All interesting locations in the area are marked, and clicking the markers will give you information about each location. You can also view a list of all locations.
This cannot replace a hiking map. But it gives a nice spatial view of the trails database, which previously could only be navigated by browsing discrete, and sometimes arbitrary regions.
Update 11 Jul 2005: After upgrading from Adobe Reader 5 to 7, you also need to change your Mozilla or Firefox configuration. Instructions for Fedora Core can be found in the Fedora Core 4 Linux Installation Notes.
Greasemonkey Script for IT Conversation Shows [greasemonkey.mozdev.org]
Here's my first Greasemonkey script which improves a Web site's usability.itconversations-download.user.js modifies the details page for shows on IT Conversations so that you can download the MP3 with one click.