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Suggestions for the benchmark location page...


rusty0101

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Ok, first of all, I spent several minutes collecting one piece of statistics that does affect how I use the pages.

 

My zip code is 55426. When I punch that in to the search window I get to take a bit of a break while I download the 746 benchmarks within 10 miles of me. I additionally get to take a break every time I back up to this page from one of the pid pages.

 

First suggestion. PID links as popups. Click on a pid and it opens a new window by default. (this may be result count affected, if there are less than 200 results, perhaps users would not be immediately impacted, but I would expect that if I am seeing delays on my broadband connections at 700+ results, dialup users will see delays on anything over 50 results.)

 

Second suggestion, break up results into multiple pages (like the forums, where there are 20 threads per page, or so) perhaps 50 benchmarks per page.

 

Third suggestion, allow user configurable distances. My sister once lived in a place where the zipcode comes up with 26 benchmarks within ten miles. That sounds like about a two week project to find and log them, if it wern't for the fact that it is really out of my way.

 

Added Features, I would like to be able to sort or filter the results by the different fields. Things like sorting by a compass direction(N,NE,NW,E,W,SE,SW,S...), or Type (Spires, Water Tank, Nail Head, Disk, etc.)

 

I think it would be nice to be able to put together a table or spreadsheet of the results in a useful format. Perhaps a table showing what is already in the results, with the addition of the lat/lon for the pid, as not all of us use a GPS, and some of us that do, use operating systems that we are not aware of a easyGPS or expertGPS package existing for (linux for example)

 

Lastly (for now) a request that will require a bit more coding work than any of the above. I infrequently travel quite some distance to visit family. I would like to be able to take along my GPS, capture a set of "tracks" for my trip, then either upload those tracks, or a subset of those tracks and collect a set of waypoints that are within a user specified distance from the tracks. That distance may be 100 meters, 1000 meters, or 1 mile, (or even more.) That way the next few times I make that trip I have suggested points to take a break from driving, do a bit of benchmark hunting, or even geocaching. I already have to make stops for my dogs, this would give me additional incentives.

 

A variation on this, that would be handy for non-gps enabled benchmark hunters, would be to be able to get the URL from a mapqwest directions page, or for thos GPS' that have mapping software, feed that into a benchmark search window and get a list of benchmarks along the way.

 

Ok, those are just some ideas for enhancements. I would love to see all of them, but I understand that some of these would take a significant amount of time.

 

It's just a suggestion, not a requirement. icon_wink.gif

 

-Rusty

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rusty0101 -

 

A suggestion (you may do this already) is to force each PID to be in a new page by doing a right-click on it to get a new page. I always do this for PIDs as well as forum threads.

 

On the idea of getting a sort by direction, I've thought of suggesting that too, but I've developed an alternative that I like better. (This is not to say that such a sort wouldn't be nice.) Since I'm having to go a bit further afield these days for 'virgin' benchmarks, I like to search an area by finding a first candidate PID and then click on "nearest benchmarks" and thereafter use that list. Some benchmarks don't have the same direction on the first list, but are in the area that I will be searching.

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It's been mentioned several times, so if you have already seen this, I apologize. If you do a search and then add "&dist=30" to the URL, you can get a listing up to 30 miles away. You can use other numbers too and although I haven't tried anything less than 10, I don't see why it wouldn't work. That would help you cut down on your 746 entry listing. And the 30 would have helped your sister when she lived somewhere that had very few within 10 miles.

 

Admittedly not the cleanest, but very useful if you know about it.

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