Welcome to the new ‘news’ section of the MapOfStrange website.
This section is going to be used to keep our visitors up to date with what’s happening on the site, what’s happening with Google Maps and Google Earth, and to highlight some of the weird, wonderful and totally bizarre things that people have found in Google Maps and Google Earth.
So first off, what’s going on with the site?
Well, as you might now be aware, there is a news section… You should be aware, you’re reading it. The site has also moved to a new server, a new domain name and I’ve added a lot more functionality to the site.
So what about the domain name?
MapOfStrange.com used to be scitor.co.uk. This was a domain name that I have owned for years. It was originally purchased to conduct research on for my dissertation into search engine optimization, but after graduating that site became redundant and I used the domain for, erm, well not a lot really. I started looking at the Google Maps API, and set up a site where you could store strange things. I stuck it on scitor.co.uk because I’m a bit tight (being from Yorkshire) and didn’t want to fork out ten whole pounds on a relevant domain name.
Scitor.co.uk grew and grew until it became too big for my poor little free webhosting account. Since March scitor.co.uk was taken down by the hosts on several occasions for exceeding the maximum server load allowed (at one point it was three times the limit). At the beginning of June I realised that this wasn’t good enough and moved to a paid host. As part of the hosting deal I was offered a new domain name and selected ‘googlearound.com’. “That’s strange,” I hear you say, “this is mapofstrange.com, not googlearound.com”. Well my hosts refused to register googlearound.com - apparantly it breached copyright. So I had to choose a domain name very quickly and the first I found that was relevant (and didn’t contain the word google) was mapofstrange.com. Not my first choice, but I’m starting to warm to it.
So what about the additional functionality?
Well, you have been able to browse by tags for a while now, but some of the visitors who haven’t seen the site for a few months might not have seen that part of it. Basically, new entries are tagged, and you can browse through those tags - clicking on a tag lists all the entries tagged with that keyword, and all the other tags associated with it. I think it’s quite neat, but you might disagree.
I’ve also added a way of ranking entries - click on the tick to vote for an entry, and the cross to vote against it. You can sort by rating as well, which is the number of positive votes minus the number of negative. This puts the most popular entries at the top of the page, and might be a good starting point for new visitors, as it guarantees that the really cool stuff comes at the top of the list.
Oh, And you can add comments. Just fill in the comments form, and it will add a comment. Simple really, but you’d be amazed how many people add a new map record instead.
And I’ve fixed some of the bugs from Firefox. So it should work in IE or Firefox. I’ve not tried it in Safari because I haven’t got a Mac. If anyone is willing to buy me one to test the site, send me an email - email@example.com, and I’ll be happy to make sure it works.