Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mapping Events

MapTiming HASH is a new application designed to help you find upcoming events on a map. Currently the map is populated with the dates and times of church services in Belgium. However anyone can add an event to the map and the application is not restricted to mapping events in Belgium or to religious services.

Over the years there have been many attempts to crack the events mapping market. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when creating a map of upcoming events is populating the application with enough events. Like MapTiming Hash you can help to populate an events map by crowd-sourcing your event database, by allowing users to add events to the map.

Crowd-sourcing events data means surmounting the Catch 22 problem of events mapping - you need users to add events to the map but you need events on your map to get users. The problem is how do you reach a critical mass where enough users add events to the map to make the map useful enough to attract users in the first place.

Traditionally events mapping websites have overcome this problem of having enough events on the map to attract users by using third-party events services such as EventBrite and Upcoming. MapTiming Hash has a different solution. The hook for adding events to MapTiming Hash is that you can then use the dynamic URL of the event to share the event with friends. You can even use an iframe to add the map of your added event to your own website. Therefore if you are an organization which has an upcoming event you can use MapTiming Hash to create and share a map of your event.

Another very useful feature of MapTiming Hash is the events search features. Like most event mapping websites you can search for events on MapTiming Hash by location and by date. However MapTiming Hash also uses hash tags to organize types of event. When adding events to the map users are encouraged to use keywords (beginning with a '#') in the description of the event. These hashtags can then be used by users of the map to find events with a specific tag. For example you can filter the events shown on the map by entering 'aanbidding' by clicking on the hashtag button. Do this and the map will filter the events to only show upcoming church services tagged with 'aanbidding'.

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