20160419 update

The last couple of days a series of updates has been applied.

  • the iframe for displaying the location or event details is refactored into an AJAX call, to make the content visible for search engines (SEO)
  • a loading bar is displayed on top of the details pane
  • the URL hash anchor is refactored to a plain URL path, so search engines can visit individual details pages (SEO)
  • navigation on the site is using the History.js plugin, featuring HTML5 navigation

Web 2.0 adoration time!

The major leap forward that the internet still has to take is to leverage basic existing technology to convert ‘card catalog’ websites into interactie information platforms. This evolution is known as Web 2.0 development.

Card catalog

Card catalog

What I call a ‘card catalog’ is a website that contains mostly tabular data, that requires scrolling alphabetic lists or tables to find information and that has no other means for uploading data than a contact form to suggest updates or additions to the webmaster. Without concrete metrics at hand, I dare to state that most of the online information is still in the ‘card catalog’ stage, collected by people lacking proper tooling to convey the information as a solution to answer a question.

As far as event information is concerned, MapTiming is taking part of the Web 2.0 leap. The card catalog is replaced by a map view with custom filter buttons. The contact form is replaced by a dynamic dialog to add or update information and publish it directly. The alphabetic lists are replaced by custom hashtags. The standalone website is replaced by a shareable and embeddable service.

MapTiming HASH fullfills most of these requirements right now.


Eucharistic adoration in Flanders

A while ago I bumped into this site (in Dutch) that collects information about catholic eucharistic adoration events in Flanders. Typically these events are repeated daily, monthly or weekly. This is an ideal use case for MapTiming! I’ve inserted the data into MapTiming HASH with custom hashtag “#aanbidding”, so it is now an interactive tool to answer questions like “where can I join eucharistic adoration in my neighborhood tomorrow?”. This question is easily answered using this URL: “http://hash.maptiming.com/#tomorrow/hash/aanbidding“, which will show you the results instantenously (provided that you’re in Flanders, that is).

For the time being I’ve made a agreement with the original website owner that we’ll keep each other informed about updates, but in principle the people in the local parishes should be able to add or update the data on MapTiming without middle-men.




“Crowd-sourcing events data means surmounting the Catch 22 problem of events mapping”

Maps Mania is a blog featuring websites that apply online maps technology. The article that covers the release of MapTiming HASH makes the analysis of how MapTiming approaches the biggest challenge of crowd-sourcing event maps: reaching a critical volume of event information to become a relevant tool for both publishers and users.

Read more

MapTiming releases “HASH” free event mapping app


MapTiming provides a blend of calendar and mapping features to share event information. HASH is the name of MapTiming’s first event mapping service.

If you open MapTiming HASH you will see a map where anyone can publish events. Scheduling an event is like adding an appointment to your calendar. To organize the information, MapTiming borrows from Twitter the concept of hashtags. It’s an informal way to add tags, using keywords in the description that begin with a #-character. Later on, you can create a view on the map that shows the events with that specific tag. Other people can start adding similar events using the same tag to crowdsource a useful database!


Two steps to get started:

  1. open hash.maptiming.com/new and add your event data. You can use repeating dates. Don’t forget to set the location and to include a hashtag in the description!
  2. open hash.maptiming.com and click the hashtag-button to enter your hashtag to filter on. Navigate the map for an optimal view and presto! Share the URL on facebook or google+ or on your website or embed the map on your website as an iframe.

Note: this service is meant for publishing relevant information! If you just want to check it out, use these links: test.maptiming.com/new and test.maptiming.com. Keep in mind that the test map may be cleaned up once in a while.

Expect in the next couple of weeks some more releases with extensions to the HASH map: the next milestone is syncing event information to your personal calendar. To receive release information via email, subscribe to the release information newsletter.

Maptiming HASH is the first in a series of releases. MapTiming OPEN will support custom maps. MapTiming B, K, M and G will be commercial plans where the owner of the map can control the process of adding new events.

For more information, visit the website www.maptiming.com or read blog.maptiming.com.