Thursday, July 24, 2008

The long-long silence...

After a couple of months of break, a new post is being posted!
So, what's up, what took so long?? Actually, the reason is WEB2.0, nothing else. I also happened to be touched by the new winds, and started creating my very first web applications, instead of publishing another articles around the scope of my interest. Before introducing these rather simple apps, I must confess that WEB2.0 is marvelous... No platform is more universal than the Internet itself. Any browser (running on any OS) that supports the latest WEB standard will handle the web applications seamlessly. OK, some plug-ins might be necessary to download, but the apps will take care of it as well. So, let's see the new stuff!
1. You are here
This is a mapplet, a private layer for Google maps, available under the My maps tab. Mapplets can be created and published by anyone. Typically, personal collection of geo-info is stored in a mapplet, like a hiking route, favorite places, etc. But mapplets are able to handle dynamic data, too. The "You are here" mapplet is one of these dynamic ones, showing your current location based on the available wifi signals. The calculation itself is performed by the Loki plug-in, get it at (pls note that Firefox3 is not yet supported, but is soon to come).
Should you have a break at a café in a foreign city - check out your location, and go on by discovering the nearby sights and other standard features of Google maps!
Get the mapplet here
2. People-finder
Now that we are able to handle the actual location of the user, why not go social with it? People-finder not only detects the location, but registers it on a server, and shows it to those You authorize to. All this is performed using the Google accounts and its settings, so You needn't register at another site or service. Log into People-finder with your gmail credentials, and check out the latest registered position of your friends, along with the info when they reported their location at last. You can share your position log by sharing your primary Google calendar.
Once logged in, you can start an instant conversation right from People-finder, or even a VoIP call! The map, the list and the calendar tabs are linked together - click an item in any of the frames, and the corresponding items in the other two frames are highlighted as well.
Yes, your position is stored in your calendar, currently. I am working on changing it for Yahoo's Fire eagle service. Find the application here

3. Alpine webcams and weather in 3D
It is an even smaller update here, I just added a couple of further peaks (Triglav and Everest) to the list, and applied the brand-new Google Earth plug-in. Hit the Earth button in the top right corner to switch to 3D immediately. Finally, there is a chat panel here to share your comments instantly with me, whenever I am logged in. The link is unchanged