Two Idiots Abroad is the latest project I’ve added to my portfolio, it was created for me and a friend, so we could diarise our first travelling experiences. We spent 3 months earlier this year – starting in September, trekking across the United States by any means necessary. I’m not sure that branding myself as an idiot, has made me flourish from an SEO point of view, but what the hell!
Before I tell you how cool the blog is from a technological point of view, I’d just like to say, if you haven’t seen the blog before and you are interested in travelling or adventures, please do give it a read. We genuinely tried to make it as interesting as we could. There is the odd rant in there and even the occasional use of foul language, but if you can overcome that (which shouldn’t be hard), I’m sure you’ll find the read quite pleasant and engaging.
Now onto the tech-no-bizzle-wizzle (Well if my SEO is truly going to be crucified, I may as well make my own words up). I developed the blog using Symfony 2, it’s a framework I keep playing with, in the hope that one day I’ll like it, sadly it’s just not happened yet. Maybe this project was just to small to use a bulky framework, I don’t know, nevertheless I can at least say from a security point of view, this website is pretty much bulletproof. I also made use of a web application and their API, that I’ve not used much of in the past – Foursquare. Pretty much every social media app allows you to check in nowadays, but Foursquare is the grandaddy of them all. I used Foursquare’s API to pull all of my check ins (between a time period) and plot these locations on to a Google map on the homepage. The end result was a big jagged red line, going from one side of the USA to the other, plotting the exact route we took and showing all of our stops along the way. Now you can’t tell me that isn’t cool.
I’ve already mentioned that I used Google maps, but from my point of view, Google have actually made a pretty lame API. Fortunately many people have made jQuery wrappers, facades as you will, for the GMaps 3 API, most of these aren’t great either. However I did find one called gmap3, which is incredibly simple to use. I would like to mention, using this appears to have a pretty serious negative effect on execution time – once the map had a lot of pointers to plot. In the future I probably wouldn’t use this wrapper. The only other cool piece of kit I used when developing this site, which I’m sure you have all heard of is, Bootstrap. The ultimate front end framework, for developing responsive HTML 5 websites IMO. If you don’t use this already, than you probably should.0 Love This