Worldmaps Locator Updated

Cool little update to Worldmaps for setting up a new account.  The account page has been modified to make it easier to select a “home location” for the map.  A mini Virtual Earth powered map allows you to interactively find a latitude and longitude, and will populate the current map’s Lat/Long if a map is selected for editing.  Feedback was loud and clear that old implementation … well, left a bit to be desired.  Hopefully this will lower the bar of entry to getting up and going and make the experience a bit more friendly.  It’s also useful to offset a location just slightly, in the event your chosen location is too accurate. Also, the latest update rolls out ASP.NET MVC 1.0 (RTW) bits, as well as a few minor bug fixes!

Adding Charts...

I thought it would be interesting to play with some charting of the statistics in Worldmaps.  On each map's stat page, instead of the traditional browser stats as I showed in my last post, I figured it would be more meaningful in chart.  The result looks like:There isn't enough data yet to make them look that great, but by next month the charts will start filling out a bit.  The chart on the left shows typical browser stats in percentage, and the chart on the right shows overall traffic per month, compared to the nearest maps.

Worldmaps has Moved!

This took a lot longer than I hoped, but I've finally migrated Worldmaps to a new server!  No longer is it integrated on my blog, and it's on a new host that has a lot higher headroom -- all courtesy of ORCS Web!  The site is now hosted at myworldmaps.net ... head over there and check it out!One of the focuses of the new site will be this more "community feel" to it -- the first and most obvious change is the leaderboard.  Other stats/implementations will come as time permits.  The other major change is users can now have multiple maps per account!  (Reporting is still per-map, but per-user will be coming soon.)  I'm pretty excited to have it up and running for the past few weeks, and it seems to be doing well.The other change that will be coming, and I realize many aren't quite in favor of this, is an annual reset.  Some data will be archived and will be available as additional stats (much like how the leaderboard is presented currently.)  The reason for this is that without some type of reset, it's a little like running a never ending race:  newcomers can't compete as easily, and old timers suffer from the law of averages that make it difficult to move their averages.  A reset solves both of these problems, and perhaps most importantly, provides scalability on the back end.  However, data will be archived in some form, so don't worry!The first question you may have is, "What do I do if I already have a Worldmaps account on your structuretoobig.com site?"  You are free to keep that account, however, development on it will cease.  Accounts can't (easily) be migrated, so you'll need a new account on the new site.  Once the number of accounts dwindle on the old service to a low number, I'll post a 30-day notice of suspension.   The second question is, "How do I get an account?"  You can head over to myworldmaps.net and sign up.   Now, I still need to flush out the acceptable use policy, but let me say it here:  the goal of the site (and a major initial failing of my old version) is to be used by individual or team bloggers and "community" related sites, not for commercial (including commercial blogs).  Accounts outside of that, I'm afraid, are subject to deletion.  I believe in the long run this makes it more fun for everyone, and I hope you all agree.That does mean that accounts need to be approved when created.  Some e-mail domains are auto-approved, so you can begin using the service right away. Finally, I'm always looking for volunteers from the community who may be interested in contributing to the project.  For example, if you're a Silverlight guru and want a Silverlight map, let me know.  Or, if you have suggestions but don't know how to implement them, let me know.  My address is bhitney at microsoft.com.

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