GVisit JSON feed

Marshall Kirkpatrick compares four geomapping services, quoting ClustrMaps (featured here before), Frappr (whom I have found a bit too US centric to be interesting to me -- if you don't have a US zip code, it has at least been a great hassle tagging their maps in the past), GVisit and Geo-Loc.

I have been in touch with first ClustrMaps and then GVisit myself, the latter actually on a tip from the ClustrMaps people, after suggesting some future improvements I would like to see in their services, for applications I would like to build atop their service. My wants were about exposing a geofeed, if you will, as JSON encoded data that would be available to a javascript web page application, getting access to data about the geographic location of recent visitors, for, for instance, generating interesting live or semi-live visuals of my own with Google Maps (or other web mapping services). They liked the idea, but were a bit busy at the moment with other things needing their attention, which is understandable. They seem to care deeply about their service, which is of course a good and healthy sign.

I mailed GVisit a (rather detailed) suggestion on how to make a JSON feed of their data, and quite promptly received an answer asking if I would want to write the code myself. The code was almost already there anyway, and I got a peek of the RSS feed generator to base it on, and it was live within the day. Which was nice. :-)

So, as of about yesterday, GVisit sports not only RSS feeds for recent visitor locations, but also JSON feeds, with which you can do any number of interesting things. They do not hand you a complete kit with astounding visuals ready to paste to your site, but, for the javascript savvy, something even better, in allowing you to do your own limitlessly cool hacks based on the same kind of data that renders our beautiful ClustrMaps images, or Geo-Loc flash widgets, or Frappr whatever-theirs-are.

Stay tuned for more info on what you can do in a web page with a JSON geofeed.
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