Wow, where has this year gone.
I just wanted to take a quick moment to post some details about the different additions I’m currently working on for the Ka’anapali Dreamin’ site, all of which I hope to publish some time this month.
Sidebar Google Maps
I was looking up a local Chinese restaurant online a few weeks ago and came across a take out portal (the name escapes me at the moment) that should details about local places to order dinner. One of the little features they had was a small Google Map in the upper left hand corner, about 120×240 in size.
That got me thinking to add something similar to the different Activities posted on my site. It’s going to have two smaller size maps under the sidebar pictures on the individual pages, such as the Cheeseburger in Paradise page. The first of the two maps will show a zoomed in view within about a 2-3 block radius, just to show a little of what’s nearby and how close it is to the shoreline in most case. The second one will show a zoomed out view reflecting where on the island it is, whether it’s in West Maui, South Maui, etc.
Google Satellite Maps
Ever since our helicopter tour above Maui, I’ve been mesmerized how beautiful the Valley Isle can be from above. At first, I was disappointed in the quality of aerial satellite maps on Google Maps of my favorite parts of the islands, but that recently changed.
Anyway, that inspired me to use those gorgeous satellite images from Google as art, and while they wont help people get from point A to B, I still think it can be appreciated by others. Starting with the Beaches pages, I will be adding full view Google Maps in the satellite view showing the wonders of Maui from above to compliment the details on the pages and the various photos we’ve taken from right on the sand. I haven’t scoped out other areas like in Lahaina Town or around Hana yet, but as those get updated, I hope to post them, too.
Ka’anapali Beachwalk Photo Tour
This is perhaps the biggest of the three updates I’m working on this month, and so far, I’m pretty happy with it.
Take a quick step back to last year. We took a guided Road to Hana tour and took all these wonderful pictures. Now, when we got back to shore, we had hard time identifying most of them on a map, especially the waterfalls. There has to be a better way, right?
Now, when we were preparing for our trip this year, I did my homework. I picked up a Travel GPS Recorder to bring with us. Skipping all the geek speak, it uses GPS satellites to track your position at any given time, and when you sync up it’s clock with the clock on your digital camera, magic happens. You load all the data from the GPS recorder onto your computer, and then run software that can find your pictures on a map, like Google Maps. Here’s a quick sample of the results with my some of our photos at Flickr.
Okay, enough of that. What I decided to do when we would walk up and down the Ka’anapali Beachwalk was take pictures of everything; all the resorts and condos, Whalers Village, the beach, people taking surfing lessons, all of it. With all those photos, and the GPS data to place them on a map, I’m adding the finishing touches to a “photo tour”, where you can view different photos from the beachwalk and see the location directly on a Google Map.
This one is currently working fine on the test site, and it’s just a matter of updating the titles, captions and some of the lighting on all 100+ photos from the beachwalk. It sounds like a lot of work, but once its done, it will be pretty cool.