After taking a few months off to concentrate on a new job, I got back into the swing of things a few weeks ago. In between Christmas parties, photography gigs, visiting friends and family, and dealing with the snow, I was able to make some noteworthy progress on GetOutsideNJ.com. Though i have not touched anything for over a week now (boo to other projects), I still wanted to point out some progress being made.
Besides just adding in the security and functionality to limit who can edit, I have also upgraded what can be edited. Adding contact information is now easier. Specifying what town(s) are associated with your business is much easier. Need to admin your comments? It is getting easier. I am going through the pain to convert a system that makes sense to a handful of people, to a system that is just easy to use.
A killer search will be what sets GetoutsideNJ apart from other sites. While working on the listing functionality, i was also able to make some good progress with how the system will search and return listings to your queries. The plan is really starting to come together on this front. In the next month or so (cross your fingers), you will be able to search for places to hike in northern NJ. Or better yet, within 5 miles of your current location.
In my last blog i mentioned that I am working on a solid mapping solution with a lot of bells and whistles. Though i cannot yet put the new scripts up on GetOut, I can promise you that they are really coming along. It is now easier to generate maps of any size and map style, as well as with bells and whistles like the Bike Route overlay added. But now I can also add markers onto the map pointing out where the entrance to a park is, as well as show all the other parks nearby as you move the map around. Once I test across a few more browsers I hope to get a fun demo up for everyone to see.
If you would like to see an older version of my mapping functionality, please check out a listing for Baldpate Mountain on one of my other projects: Baldpate Mountain on Carabs.com
Earlier i mentioned making it easier to update a listing. Well, while I worked on easier ways to edit your contact information and how maps are displayed, I started development to make it easy for a listing owner to update points on any of the listings they can edit. I am really excited about this feature. Once it is done you will be able to add points to a map, provide detailed info about the point and set specific icons to use in each. All with a few clicks.
A few weeks ago, the GetOutsideNJ Facebook page finally hit 26 "Likes". This was great, and we really appreciate the support. Since then, we are now up to 28. Also, since that post, we have had 6 more people follow us on Twitter. Again, we really appreciate the support.
With New Years coming up, I'll either have a lot of free time this weekend to finish up a few things, or nothing will get done. My aggressive plan is to get some real functionality out for people to start testing by mid-January. Realistically, it may be more like late January. The big goal here is to have a large, working site up and running by Spring. If we can hit March 20th, we'll be in a great place for you to search for a new place to camp and hike and bike and paddle all of the warmer months this year :)
Talk to you soon, Jeff C.