Places Page
I thought I'd talk a little about a webpage I've been working on for the last week or so. It's over at if you want to check it out. Basically it's a standard list of links/resources but it has a few tricks. Firstly you can filter via tags but thats kinda well... done. However it also lets you click a "Map" link to see where the place is on google maps. Thats cool. Most lists of links don't do that. But if you liked that then click the "Map Display" link at the top and see ALL the links on the map. Nice. Want more? Well bung in a Sydney suburb or postcode into that field at the top and it'll sort the results according to distance! That took a great deal of software "magic" I assure you.

I put together a database of suburbs, postcodes and latatude/longitudes using various methods and mostly public resources. Using some lets say, screen scraping here and there, a judious amount of custom code hacked together and XML... lovely clean XML. Then I read up on the great circle distance formula and wrote the code initially in SQL. But that kinda tanked when I realised that SQL doesn't have the math function "MIN". Because the "MIN" keyword is used for something else, i.e. the minimum row in a GROUP BY clause. Nice. So I gave up on SQL and rewrote it in PHP and used PHP arrays to store and sort the results. Seems to work just as well.

I wish upon a star that Google Maps would let users search for suburbs and streets in Sydney. *sigh*


16/09/2006 7:04am
Hi Matt, good work!

Google and Virtual Earth now both support full address search in Australia (and by default, also suburbs, postcodes and street searches). I've implemented this capability on my site: . For example, try it in action just paste this into your your browser: Road, South Bankstown, 2200,Australia&ttl=Serach result for:&tx=Chapel Road, South Bankstown

Check respective google and virtual earth APIs for details.

Best regards

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