More on GeoURL

I recently wrote about a new site, GeoURL. In the course of corresponding with that site’s instigator, I also wound up making up the little green badge you see in the obligatory badge zone on this page (and which is appearing in many other blogs, now that GeoURL has been slashdotted).

Some random observations:

There are a lot of interesting things that could be done with GeoURL. First thing that occurred to me is this: create a website where anyone can create a page (sort of like blog meets guestbook?). All they have to do is write up a description of a place in physical reality, give its coordinates, and ping GeoURL. Those places would then show up as links in a GeoURL “neighborhood report.” You could have categories like “park,” “restaurant,” “WiFi hotspot,” etc. Obviously there are problems with this. It would be easy to spam it, so either you’d need an administrator, or you’d need some kind of karma-point voting system (which could also be abused). And some kind of robot-thwarting scheme preventing more than one new entry from a given IP every, say, 10 seconds, and perhaps one of those “distorted graphic” reading tests to sign up. But apart from these implementation problems, this could make interesting things possible. If these categories were part of the tagging for each page, and GeoURL indexed those categories, then one could do a GeoURL search just for restaurants around my neighborhood (for example). This would allow you to bypass Citysearch-type sites with distributed/aggregated tools created directly by regular folks. Hmm. I think many of the tools needed for the front-end of this are probably available already — it’s just a matter of putting them together.

It’s an ego-stroke seeing my little badge being used.

I originally patterned the badge after the XML badge you see here, but I created it using straight CSS markup rather than as a graphic. Joshua (the man behind GeoURL) decided to make a graphic file version of the badge available, and it’s interesting to note that although this is less convenient to put on one’s web page, the majority of the sites using either one seem to be using the graphic. I suspect this correlates to how well their browsers render the CSS: “Oh, that’s ugly. I like the graphic better. I’ll use that.” Or possibly they look at the CSS code and think “Okay, I know a little HTML, but I don’t know what all that gobbledygook is. I’m scared and confused. I’ll use the graphic.” The graphic is actually a screenshot of the CSS, and the two are pixel-for-pixel identical on my screen.

8 thoughts on “More on GeoURL”

  1. There are lots of people coming to town for sxsw. Is there anything useful we could do by then?

    1) geo-urls for venues on program
    2) geo-urls for popular restaurants (bottom-up — blog reviews when you go)

  2. Yeah, with a little work, one person (or a few people) could set up an MT blog for this purpose. Archive by entry and auto-ping GeoURL. There would need to be a little hacking to get the coordinates in there correctly — I think that perhaps the underused “keywords” field could be pressed into service for that.

    I’ll try to cook something up and report back. Joshua mentions he’s had some similar ideas (ssh!).

  3. So I see GeoURL on the Daypop Top 40, add myself to it, check for neighbors and bingo! I’m 1 mile away from an early adopter, the designer of the GeoURL GIF bug himself. Cool. Small world!

  4. Right, Adina. You’d need to customize your blog template so that you created the proper meta tag info, but that’s not hard. I’m trying to figure out how to auto-ping GeoURL correctly.

  5. I always marvel at the little badges. I think ‘wow, there must be some designer out there cranking out little tiny badges’. its always a humanizing experience to find the badgemaker. You have a place on my site now down at the bottom. Good work leaving your mark on the world, one line of CSS at a time. (BTW, I am using the CSS version).

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