Archive for December, 2006

FuzzyMapper

December 29, 2006

The most frequent type of email I get from Fuzzy Travel users is: ‘Can you add these locations for me?’ The answer from now on is: yes I can, but so can you!! Via this blog post I’m introducing FuzzyMapper Beta, a Google Maps application that gives you visual access to the entire location database. It basically serves two functions:

The latter function is of course the most useful, and adding your own locations can be done quite easily. It works like this: fire up FuzzyMapper from within the Member Area, and zoom in to the country and region where you’d like to add a location that’s not yet in the database. Then, click on the spot where your missing location is at. Enter the location’s name and — voila! — the location has been added to the location database.

To clarify, here are some screenshots that detail the process of adding a location that was not yet in the location database, namely ‘Drochia’ in Moldova.

Step 1. Open FuzzyMapper by clicking on the colored markers (you’ll find these near every location input field in the Member Area):
fuzzymapper1.gif

Step 2. FuzzyMapper opens in a new screen. On the initial world map select the country you want to zoom to, which in this case is Moldova:
fuzzymapper2.gif

Step 3. Move and zoom on the country map until you’ve spotted the ‘missing location’. Then, click on the map on that spot, and a marker with an input field will pop up. Type in the location name (in this example Drochia):
fuzzymapper3.jpg

Step 4. Finally, hit the ‘Add location!’ button and the location will be added immediately to the location database.

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Introducing: Development Blog

December 18, 2006

Welcome to the Fuzzy Travel development blog! From now on, http://blog.fuzzytravel.com/ will be the place where new features and the latest announcements will be placed with regard to your free online travelogue at FuzzyTravel.com. One of the reasons for moving things over to this blog is that it is easier to manage. The old ‘News’ page was already getting quite large, and because I hope to announce many more new features in the future… well, this blog just handles things better. Another important reason is that this blog also offers the possibility of feedback and interaction. And of course I encourage you to do so! 🙂

All previous Fuzzy Travel news announcements have been imported to this blog, and visiting the old News page will redirect you here, just to make sure that nobody gets lost. And like before, the most recent entries of this blog will be shown on the Fuzzy Travel homepage as well as in the Member Area, so that you won’t miss any important announcements. 😉

View your trip in Google Earth

December 15, 2006

news_googleearth.jpg

If you’re a Google Earth user, here’s some good news. You can now export your travel map as a KML file so that you can view it in Google Earth (Google’s wicked program that allows you to explore the world on your PC). Your travel route and your journal entries are exported in the file, so it basically provides the same data as your online map. Of course Google Earth provides a lot more flexibility and many more features, such as the cool experience of flying over a 3D landscape (of which a snapshot is shown in the accompanying picture).

KMLSo where can you find that KML file? Well, you’ll notice a new small icon directly under your map, which looks exactly like the image to the left of this text. Clicking on that icon will open your travel map’s KML file in Google Earth. (Tip: give the ‘Play Tour’ option a try!)

We hope you and your visitors will enjoy this new Fuzzy Travel feature. And if you’re not a Google Earth user yet: I can highly recommend you to download and start using it! It’s a wonderful way of exploring the world from behind your computer. It shows even the most remote locations in great detail, and literally puts “the world’s geographic information at your fingertips”. Check out http://earth.google.com/ for more details.

Blog entry preview

December 12, 2006

While writing or editing a blog entry, the ‘Preview’ button is a very useful tool to check out what your message will look like when you publish it, without actually publishing it (yet). For example, it can be used for re-reading and spell-checking your entry, or making sure that all markup and pictures show up correctly. We’re glad to announce that previewing your journal messages has just gotten better: it will now display the blog entry in your travelogue template, so that you can see exactly what it will look like once it’s online.

Immediate picture uploading

December 3, 2006

When uploading new pictures in the Member Area, you’ll see that things look a bit differently. Instead of being limited to uploading five images at a time, you can now upload an unlimited amount of pictures by using just one ‘Browse…’ input field. After having selected your picture, the upload will begin start right away in the background, and you can immediately use the ‘Browse…’ input field again for uploading the next picture. Handling picture uploads this way will save you quite a bit of waiting time, and on top of that provides you with a clear overview of the status of your pictures being uploaded.

(With thanks to Martin Conicek).