Archive for April, 2008

Embed ZoomIn maps on your website

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Yesterday, we released the improved feature of sharing ZoomIn maps, which allows users to embed maps on their websites, also enable users to customize the width and height of the iframe.

Here is an example, I’m using ZoomIn map to show the location of ProjectX

<br />

Changes in Alexa ranking system causes big changes in Rankr top 100

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Earlier this week, changes to the Alexa ranking system (owned by Amazon) have caused a big changes in the Rankr top 100 sites of NZ.

The big news is that TradeMe has dropped from 2 most popular site (behind) google to 4th. Others in the top 100 have traded positions.

In comparison to real traffic figures, it seems to be re-adjusting itself to be inline to the relative positions of companies and their real traffic.

It will be interesting to see if this is the first of many changes from Alexa.

Google maps is the MP3 of GIS

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Google maps, ZoomIn maps and et are like the MP3 of the GIS world. It has made mapping and spatial visualisation available to everyone with a browser. Just as MP3 maybe not be good enough for audiophiles, google maps is not going to be powerful enough for a lot of serious GIS work. The simplicity of Google maps is going drive the consumption of GIS information into a new era.

buy levitra on line

Congratulations to the Code Blacks

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Congrats to Code Blacks, in winning the half-baked challenge. Yet again, we see that as in rugby having a home field advantage has merit.

Lots of rumours floating around about the silence of the judging panel in response to the Code Blacks pitch (except for Rowan as noted in the comments). And we heard that Rod left in disgust after being he and the other judge were snubbed in choosing the winner.
Anyways, it was a fun time, had by all and big thanks to all the Silicon Team, it was most entertaining.

Halfbaked Challenge – Code Blacks vs Silicon Welly All-Stars

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I’m part of the Silicon All-Stars team in the webstock halfbaked challenge

ciprofloxacin hci

Its seems like a bit of a no contest… a bunch of industry professionals (Code Blacks) vs a group of battle hardened entrepreneurs (Silicon Welly All-Stars). The excuses are already starting to flow..

The CodeBlacks have been hit with injuries and players signing to overseas leagues for exorbitant sums. In fact the team is down to only three original CodeBlacks…

OK, full credit to the code blacks, they did build a website in 24 hours, but you’re talking to seasoned entrepreneurs and our businesses crank out new products, websites and business ideas every other week!.

The Silicon Welly All-Stars have strong history, we’ve raised more money, won more awards, launched more products, released more code, marketed more ideas, hired more people!

And we have our secret weapon team captain Tim Norton – the fast mouth in the south. 5 minutes to pitch a new business, he’s already demo’d PlanHQ to world in 6 minutes.

Xlinks – 21/04/08

Monday, April 21st, 2008
    Mod js
    Added on 04/20/2008 at 09:32PM
    Getting creative with PNG transparency
    Added on 04/20/2008 at 09:30PM

    lasix and furosemide

    10 reasons entrepreneurs need to have more vacations
    Added on 04/20/2008 at 03:04PM

    NSFW Blocker Using MooTools and CSS: How to dynamically mask images that are not safe for work
    Added on 04/18/2008 at 11:29AM

    IBM launches internal pilot program to test migration to Macs
    Added on 04/18/2008 at 10:08AM

    Fostering Innovation at Pixar
    Added on 04/18/2008 at 09:45AM

    Busy.js – javascript loading library
    Added on 04/17/2008 at 09:34AM

    Usingjs library – Managing Javascript dependencies
    Added on 04/15/2008 at 01:01PM

    KML is now a OGS standard
    Added on 04/15/2008 at 10:21AM

    More from 37 signals on Ricardo Semeler’s Maverick
    Added on 04/15/2008 at 09:55AM

    XMPP: Hat tip to Rowan for spotting the new technology
    Added on 04/15/2008 at 09:12AM

    Salesforce with Google Apps
    Added on 04/14/2008 at 05:15PM

    37 signals on Gary Vaynerchuk branding and marketing
    Added on 04/10/2008 at 10:38AM

    37 Signals on “Maverick ” – Ricardo Semler’s book : This is one of the best business books out therehellip
    Added on 04/10/2008 at 10:31AM

    Super Mario written in Javascript : All the Super Mario goodness in only 14k
    Added on 04/09/2008 at 07:26PM

    Heroku – RoR platform on the cloud
    Added on 04/09/2008 at 05:23PM

Rails 2.0.2 – test setup not being called

Monday, April 21st, 2008

The setup method for ActionController::TestCase is useful in some circumstances, e.g. having a user login in your tests.

def setup
login_as :quentin

However, when you run the tests, all your tests with login_required fails.

Basically, this is a bug in Rails 2.0.2 where setup is not called. This was fixed in revision 8442 (one revision after rails 2.0.2 was released). See

So, we would want that revision by using:

rake rails:freeze:edge REVISION=8442

NOTE: is down/domain expired so rake might fail. In the meantime, try svn export or some other way to get revision 8442 from another repository.

UPDATE: is back up (domain renewed)!

Mapping and Spatial RSS feed aggregator in NZ

Monday, April 21st, 2008

I’ve decided to create a RSS (Blog) feed to aggregate all of the RSS from all of the NZ mapping and spatial companies. I thought it would a great idea to promote a single RSS feed to the industry to promote ideas, products etc.

cipro xr brand

After a quick look at some of the top players in the space, very few have RSS feeds. (Which is very disappointing!)
If you know of a blog that should be on this list either email me john at or add it on the wiki page I have created at barcamp wiki.

Spatial bar camp

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Spatial bar camp is being held in Wellington on the 1st of May. They are running a spatial mash-up competition in which they are asking companies or people mashing spatial data. More information at

ProjectX will be submitting 2-3 entries, showcasing our new visualisation engine.

Tuning Google sitemaps

Monday, April 14th, 2008

We’ve just taken another looking at Google sitemaps for the first time in a long while. We’ve had mixed resulting using the sitemaps. Changes that we’ve made were taking weeks to come through. So with all the frustration at the way Google indexes our site, we decided to write a little program that parses our weblogs and looks at our crawler traffic. Its been incredibly useful to see what the google crawler is upto.

Here’s how it helped us, as we refine our SEO for our recent photos page, we got to see the effects to the crawler and on the site.

Our Google sitemap had this :


And this was our traffic before the changes

2008-04-10 /?recent/photos MSN []
2008-04-10 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-10 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-09 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-08 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-08 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-07 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-06 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-06 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-06 /?recent/photos Google []
2008-04-06 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-05 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-05 /?recent/photos Yahoo []

We changed the changefreq to always and it seems to have had an affect.


Using the always change frequency tag denotes that a page is dynamic and changes all the time. Our photo page doesn’t change all the time, but it wasn’t getting indexed by google as often as the content has been changing.

The change had an effect within 24 hours of changing our sitemap.

Displaying 1-25 of 70
Date Place Crawler
2008-04-13 /?recent/photos Google []
2008-04-13 /?recent/photos Google []
2008-04-13 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-13 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-13 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-12 /?recent/photos Google []
2008-04-12 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-12 /?recent/photos Yahoo []
2008-04-12 /?recent/photos Google []
2008-04-11 /?recent/photos Yahoo []

We’re currently thinking about making our seo tool opensource, as its really useful for medium sized sites to figure out what Google is upto.