Tracking UNESCO World Heritage Site visits

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Wandering Aramean, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are 911 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered around the world. How many have you been to?

    I was unable to answer that question when it was posed to me the other day so I decided to do something that I hope is more useful than just counting my own; I built a website to track the answer. The general concept is similar to FlightMemory, OpenFlights, PassportStamp or any of several others. You log visits and it displays progress, stats and a pretty map. The map in this case is based on the Google Maps API so you get all the fun of zooming and panning and such, along with markers to note the places you've been and even a brief description from UNESCO as to what makes the site so important.

    The site is still very much in infancy and I expect a number of changes and improvements in the coming weeks, though I should also probably do a bit more of my real job and a bit less of this in the next few days so that I can continue to afford to visit all these cool sites.

    Give it a look and let me know if you find it useful or not, as well as what features you might like to see in it.

    Main site: http://www.wandr.me/World_Heritage_Sites.aspx/
    My personal visits: http://wandr.me/fhtIIW

    A couple screen shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's another screen shot to show what it looks like if you click on one of the icons:
    [​IMG]
    Any notes you've added in the entry show up under the UNESCO description and if you've included a link it is to the right of the UNESCO link.

    Also, the first image badge is working now.
    [​IMG]

    Get the code for it at the bottom of your stats page. There are currently 7 different images cycling randomly with more on the way as I filter through my collections. Just keep refreshing the page and you'll see the image change.

    Up next on the dev efforts is another badge shape and better FB/Twitter/whatever else integration. I'm open to suggestions.
     
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  2. It's a really neat tool, although I find the designation of UNESCO World Heritage Sites a bit random at times! I found 32 sites I've been to, although I may have missed a couple. It would be great if it were possible to add multiple sites in a country together, but that may be much harder to program.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm working on a "multi-add" feature that will list everything and let you just check boxes for each if you do not want to add details. Not sure of a timeline for that, but it is on the horizon.

    I did just add a new badge option this morning for something a bit smaller:
    [​IMG]

    Over 1000 visits tracked by members so far. Very cool!
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Added ranking within the site (based on number of sites) and number of sites in the past year (trailing 12 months, not calendar year) to the stats:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    Thanks for sharing this! I'm eager to see my stats!
     
  6. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    It would be great if, within a region, one could highlight several rather than repeating the step-by-step pulldown meny process each time.
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Aye...you're not the first to request this. A multi-add is in the works. No ETA yet, but it is in the works.
     
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  8. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    really cool, though I don't want to brag about how few i've been to.
     
  9. wingspan
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    wingspan Silver Member

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    Sweet. Have you posted anything at http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php yet?

    Most of us on the forum are chasers so we'd be keen to learn about anything that makes tracking easier. I can already see that the website is a much better system than the excel spreadsheet that I normally use!
     
  10. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Ask and ye shall receive!!

    Multi-Add is now available on the site. Note that it does NOT reflect previously entered visits so you can easily double up on yourself if you aren't careful. I'll try to address that eventually but it isn't high on the priority list. Also, the visits added are all shared by default. I figured that most of the entries are shared anyways and I couldn't get that checkbox working so I'm going with what is functional now so that folks can use it.

    Give it a try and let me know if you run in to any problems with it.

    http://www.wandr.me/World_Heritage_Sites.aspx/MultiAdd
    I didn't even know that site existed. I'll have to join and offer up the tool there as well. :cool:
     
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  12. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    Good tool.

    Brings back lots of memories.
    Thanks for the hard work.
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Glad you like it. Be sure to tell all your friends. ;)
     
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  14. chgoeditor
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    chgoeditor Silver Member

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    I couldn't get the multi-add/list function to load. Can you only see the list if you're logged in?
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you are not logged in you should see a map of all the sites and nothing else. When you are logged in you will have your stats/visits and the ability to add entries.
     
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  16. chgoeditor
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    chgoeditor Silver Member

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    Thanks. For those of us who are not necessarily interested in tracking, it would be great to have a list view that doesn't require logging in. (I'm looking for inspiration, for example, within a city/state/country, and find that a list is easier to skim.)
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Well, there's always http://whc.unesco.org/en/. :)

    Seriously, though, if you're not logged in you can zoom around on the map and see them. I'm not particularly inclined to just list them all for non-users when there are other authoritative sites out there that do so. I don't really see the value add. I guess I could do it but its pretty low down on the priority list.
     
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  18. chgoeditor
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    chgoeditor Silver Member

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    Understood. I am happy to look at the Unesco site, but if ad revenue/page views were a motivator for you, I'd prefer to support a fellow MPer/FTer.
     
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  19. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    Just a bump on this, any way to view only the sites which I have not yet been to?

    It's really hard to cross match and figure out which ones i have added already and which I have not.

    Also great work btw. If you ever find that you need some hosting for your site, just let me know i'd gladly help out.
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've been thinking about the "not" case scenario and haven't actually put it together yet, but it is on my list. Now that the award chart tool project is mostly running itself I'm keen to revisit this one. And given the heavy rain today in NYC seems like a good opportunity to take a stab at it.
     
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  21. Wandering Aramean
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    http://www.wandr.me/World_Heritage_Sites.aspx/SitesNear/
    Put in an airport code and you should get a list of all sites +/-200 miles in each direction. Hope that helps a bit.

    ETA: If you are logged in to the site you will see the sites you have visited as green markers and those you have not as magenta. If you are not logged in they are just magenta.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Check out http://www.wandr.me/World_Heritage_Sites.aspx/NotYetVisited/. Right now it is the global map. If you want something more geographically specific use the SitesNear tool above.
     
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  22. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    It'd be nice if in the drop down list to select sites, it checks to see if you've already added it.

    Keep up the great work btw, i've already referred your site to a few friends that i'm sure will become loyal users.
     
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  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'll have to think about this one. It would require a look-up on the server after you've made your choice which could trigger a refresh of the page in the current architecture and I think that would ultimately be a negative. But if I can figure out how to make it work I will.
    Thanks!
     
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  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've actually included this in today's update. :cool:


    A couple updates to the tool this week that I thought I'd share.

    The main front page now loads with an abbreviated view so that it is less cluttered. This should also help with performance. If you click on the numbers in that UI the map will zoom in and, when you get to the appropriate level, you will see the individual site icons to click on.

    [​IMG]

    On that main screen there is also a set of links that allows you to browse the sites by region so if you prefer text browsing (or are on a UI that doesn't support Gmaps) you can still get into the data. I need to do a somewhat better job with organizing that data on the browse page but it is there.

    Also, if you click on the icon on the main screen you're now taken to a site details page.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the details from UNESCO as well as any notes or links from members who have visited and noted that visit as public will be shared on the site page. A bit of member-based reviews of the sites in addition to the UNESCO data.

    Oh, and I fixed a bug in the member stats data where it was mis-reporting visits in the past 12 months.
     
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  25. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've made some additional updates, mostly in the personal data views on the data. You can now link directly to a specific visit of yours (not really sure it is useful, but who knows) and it will include your notes on the visit as well as the UNESCO data. You can also share that link quickly via Twitter/FaceBook/Google+1 through the buttons in the top right corner of the page. It is nearly identical to the Site Details view but more personalized.

    I've also updated the Sites Near Airport page so that it returns a text-based list in addition to the map so that users on mobile devices that don't support GMaps can have the same fun on the go. That would've been useful to me this past month. :oops:
     
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