A couple of sharp developers...Brian, Kun and James at Rising Concepts...have licensed the cool Google mapping technology to allow them to create a new, free, web community web site. For free...or rather, in exchange for their ads, of course...you can quickly create your own community map to enhance your web site or group. The fun part is that members can add their own pin to the map to allow everyone to see where they are located.
As the guys explain in their About Us page, they originally created the concept because they "wanted to see where all [our] high school and college friends went after they graduated."
They explain further that "Frappr (Friend Mapper) lets you see the zip code where your friends live or work, letting you find out who works in the office building next door and who lives in the apartment complex across the street."
MouseTrax.com has created our own community world map! You'll find it at http://www.frappr.com/mousetrax.
We hope you'll come by and stick your pin in our map so we can see where you're coming to us from and, hopefully, even see your picture (keep it clean folks).
We first announced our site last week to our MouseTrax Yahoo support groups, so we have several members who have added their pins, names and photos to the site already.
It's fun! So far we've discovered that Joan Katz, from the MouseTrax Word Doc Design group, lives fairly close to us. Hey, Joan...let's do lunch!
It may not look like many pins, but that is because this image is zoomed out to allow you to see the world. If you stop by and zoom in, you'll discover that the pins separate from their chunks and you can then see many of them in all areas of the world.
You'll find Greg and me shoved in the NW side of Chicago. The location is set to your zip code. So no worries about half the Internet showing up on your doorstep for dinner. Even zooming in to where the pin is placed, it's not actually on top of our house, but some distance away. Although I suppose you could just drive around several miles day after day until you eventually hear The Barker Gang.<smile>
It's fun and quite interesting to find out who all our friends are out there and where they live. Here's one of our friends, Bill. Quite a nice likeness, too! We're always passing Bill emails with our good wishes when we hear that a hurricane is heading toward the Florida peninsula. (Yes, we talked a lot this last year!)
And if you click the Hybrid button to get a satellite overlay of the area, you can see why we worry about the guy. Sheesh! A few high waves and...well, we hope Bill is a good swimmer!
If you have a group web site and want to show off all the photos from your group, you can click on the Widgets link to grab the code so you can drop a scrolling slideshow of all your friends on your site.
(Yes, I could do that here, but am only showing you the image below, since I may forget about this article and don't want to worry about some loser showing up to post a nasty picture that I need to delete. This software is new and I'm not completely familiar with it yet, so it might take awhile. Best to keep the tasteless shot to the site itself, versus plastering it in here, too!<grin>)
As you can see below, we have Susan Wheeler, Patty Perkins along with her lovely hubby and her incredibly beautiful tribe of Shelties (I'm so jealous, we only have one!). Then there's Mike Glen's grand kids. Love the hat, Linda Johnson! And Marty (Mac) Palicki slips in along the right.
They're all in there, already...why aren't you? Come on by. Toss your pin on our map and leave us a shout to say hello.
Again, you'll find our MouseTrax and TechTrax community map here: http://www.frappr.com/mousetrax.