After I got a hold of Jacques’ Map Rails Kit, I decided to try it out by scratching my own itch: I’m looking for a new office close to my home.
My current lease will be ending soon, so I figured it was a good time to do some comparison shopping. So I turned to Craigslist to find out if there were any sweet sublease deals available. The problem was that it’s a bit of a pain to use the Craigslist interface when your primary concern is proximity, as you have to click through to each post and then look at the address or click on the map link. So, I wrote a script to do that for me, and used the Map Rails Kit to plot the locations. And thus, OfficeMapper was born.OfficeMapper shows you a map, with all the available office postings from Craigslist (that have an address listed) plotted on the map, making it easy for you to find what’s available near you. Some Craigslist posting don’t have addresses, so I can’t show you those, but I find the site quite handy for those that do. Once you click on a map location, you’ll get summary info about the listing, and a link back to Craigslist for more information. It’s fun, useful, and a good example of how easy it is to create a map visualization in Rails. All I had to do was find addresses, like ‘411 Market St Kirkland WA’, and create markers with those addresses. The Map Kit took care of the rest.
I like easy. :)