Monday, July 31, 2006

gone shoppin'

I grew up going to flea markets. I started hanging out at thrift stores in high school and 10 years later not much has changed. Luckily this is a hobby that miyoko shares.

This past weekend we drove down to Salem with a list of address in hand to see what our little state capital to the south had to offer in the treasure department. While I was looking for the addresses of Goodwills and Value Villages I lamented the fact that there isn't a central place on the web where I can enter in a town name and be greeted with a listing of thrift stores. (Okay, yes, I have heard of the yellow pages) So I thought it might be fun to keep a record of thrift stores nearby to Portland. It was also a great excuse for me to try out a Google Map mash-up.

The result is here. Like everything I do, the map is drive by a database that PHP queries and dynamically creates the javascript for the Google Map. This means that anyone can add a thrift store to the map. I don't really expect this to happen, which is why there is very little control (read: none) over what people insert as a thrift store.

The one tricky part about this whole ordeal was to add a little marker to a map you need to know the latitude and longitude of the address. You would think that Google would add an API call that would allow you to add a marker to the map with just the address. You would think incorrectly. However, Yahoo! maps does offer such an API call. In fact, they allow you to get the result back as serialized PHP! How cool is that? But I have to admit -- I like Google Maps. I didn't want to make a Yahoo map. So I got a Yahoo! map Application ID and used it to get the Latitude and Longitude of an address. Then I used Google Maps to actually display the map.

Like I said, we went to Salem. So the only thrift stores on the map are in Salem and Woodburn right now. When you go to the actual map, you need to scroll down before you'll see any entries.

Monday, July 24, 2006

i'm really good at this...

well a year later and here is my second post. it does look like i started a post back in august of 2005 and never finished it's not like i don't try.

anyhow, miyoko and i got back from a week in canada -- more specifically the canadian rockies. even more specifically banff and jasper national parks. i've put up some pictures, like the one on the right. you can view all of the pictures here.

i've also put up very long overdue pictures of our house (yes, the one we bought 2 years ago) here.

enjoy, these only come once a year!