Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mom & Pop's Shopping Tips on Google Maps

Just in time for Christmas The Guardian has released the Local Shopping Map, a Google Map of readers' tips on local shopping.

The map shows tips about the best places to shop that have been submitted by The Guardian's readers using the #LocalShopping on Twitter or Instagram. To submit a tip to the map shoppers just need to turn location on and take a picture & post their tip to Twitter, Instagram or N0tice.

The map uses an interesting marker clustering system with some very smart information windows. When you click on one of the clustered markers the map doesn't zoom into display the individual markers, as is the now usual practice with most marker clustering solutions. Instead it opens an information window listing all the clustered tips.

This doesn't work particularly well when the clustered marker has 90 tips to display but does work well when there are only a few tips clustered together. This is because the listed view in the information window is interactive. If you select an individual tip in an information window the list slides out of view and the individual tip slides into the window. The user can then read the individual tip and scroll through to read other nearby submitted tips.

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