After reading a number of threads asking about stores in local areas, I thought I would make a little contribution to our online community.
I've put together a small web application and database to provide information on stores in ANY local area. In fact there are already over 300 stores nationwide! Hopefully you will find it useful and possibly contribute to the database. The map is interactive in terms of content, new things will show up all the time.
Each of the points on the map is "clickable" and will reveal additional details like address, phone, store hours, website, email, appointment requirements, specialties, and more.
You can manipulate the map too. Controls in the upper left hand corner will allow you to zoom in or out or pan left, right, up, or down.
New Bells and Whistles in this version
* Store Ratings and Reviews
- Customers can now write store reviews and provide ratings. The pop-up profile from the map shows the number of reviews and the average rating. There are links to read these reviews or write one of your own.
* Driving Directions
- Just enter your starting address in the store profile window and you'll have a customized set of instructions on how to get there.
* Updateable Store Profiles
- You can now update existing store profiles with missing or changed data. Store owners can also restrict any maitenance to the owner of the store. If you own a store, please create an account and send me a note indicating which store belongs to you.
* Enhanced Store Information
- Many of you requested store hours. The profile now also shows whether appointments are required and any specialties of the house.
* User Profiles
- Many of the new features require registration, so you'll be able to update your profile. For now, it keeps track of your home zip code (to center the map) and your preferred zoom level. In the future it was also manage your group/club/society memberships. Just click on the toolbar icon to access your profile.
- A common toolbar is available to always provide access to your account, the "map", and other functions. Future features will be accessible via additional buttons.
Many of the new features will require you to "register". Don't worry, the tool will always be free for customers, so don't sweat it. You also have my word that your email address will not be shared.
Just go to http://www.zoyzoy.com/aquarium/login.asp
to sign on.
You'll find a button for new users. The basic map features are still available without registration. Click on the preview link to view the nation-wide map. You can provide a zip code to see what's already been added in your local area or zoom in on any region of the country. If nothing exists, please add the stores you know about!
Please let me know if you encounter problems. I'm counting on you to kick the tires before letting everyone else in on it.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and participation. We have almost 300 stores now nationwide! Please feel free to let others (beyond ReefCentral) know all about it.
More to come! Enjoy!