Saturday, April 22, 2006

YahooMaps1: An RB Off-line Yahoo Maps Utility

First, let me mention that I am planning to coninue TraverToys, but I will be making one change: TraverToys will be given more descriptive names. To call something "TraverToy2" or "TraverToy5" is not, I've found, very helpful. Many of the programs will continue to be fairly simple examples of REALbasic code, but in the future the names will hopefully give at least some hint as to what the program is all about.

Second, an example of that is YahooMaps1, a new RB program which can be run without your being connected to the Internet. The purpose of YahooMaps1 is not to show you the map for a particular address (you'd have to be on-line in order for that to happen), but to create the HTML code for the current format (and Yahoo did apparently change their format) for the URL links to Yahoo maps for the U.S.

Incidentally, Yahoo Maps apparently do not currently like nine-digit zip codes. Check it out: Go to http://maps.yahoo.com/ and enter a valid address, including nine-digit zip code. It will probably show you the map but will probably say something like this: "Your search for ----- could not be found. Here is the closest match in a nearby city." It seems, however, to handle five-digit zip codes fine.

I've uploaded the first version of a program to create the URL for the Yahoo map for a particular address. It worked for addresses that I tried within the U.S. My program works mainly on street address and zip code (you can use the tab key to skip over the entry fields for city and state). If you don't have the zip code, you should be able to enter "city, state" in that field. Whenever you're finished entering the address, the Yahoo HTML code will be in the Windows clipboard. You can then paste it into a browser address field or a Web page or do whatever you want with it.

Note: the program is version 1, which means that desired modifications can be made. (For example, you could remove the fields for city and state, since they are really unnecessary, or make other changes in the interface. Or you could perhaps adapt the program to work with a database. If you make modifications to the program, I would appreciate it if you could send me a copy of the modified version. Thanks!)

Here's where you can find a helpful Yahoo page:

"How do I create links to Yahoo! Maps?"
     http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/maps/maps-26.html

As usual, the source code for my program (YahooMaps1.zip) can be downloaded from this location:

     http://traver.org/traverrb/

Enjoy!

Barry Traver

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