Monday, December 3, 2007

Moving ...

After struggling with the usability of Blogger, I also found myself wanting some user stats, which don't seem to be here on Blogger.

So, nothing against you, Blogger, but I've decided to move my blog over to WordPress. Why I decided to do this now, in the midst of all that's happening in my life, I don't know, but here I go ...

Look me up at

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Watch your packages traverse the country

It's that time of year when people are buying gifts and wondering where they are--will they get here in time? There are some interesting mashups that can help. Up on ProgrammableWeb, they list some map mashups that allow you to track your packages on a map and/or get an RSS feed alerting you when your package has moved.

PackageMapping: Tracks UPS, US Postal Service, Fedex, and DHL packages, and plots progress on a Google map. They also offer a KML version and an RSS feed. Screenshot of courtesy of ProgrammableWeb. Click to visit PackageMappingThere's a Google gadget, too, so you can track your package on your iGoogle page, but the gadget is just a listing of locations, not a map. The whole point is to see it visually on a map--why would you make your gadget without a map? Still, it's a useful service, and they offer a service (for a fee) for merchants to put on their web pages to help their customers track their packages.

PackageMapper: this one has a cleaner look, but I had a hard time getting it to work. It takes forever to load.

MoreMap: does package tracking, too, but only does Fedex and US Postal Service. I didn't have a Fedex or USPS number to try, so I can't report on how well this one works. I was a little frustrated that it didn't take my UPS tracking number, then discovered it doesn't take them when I clicked the dropdown box. It would be nice if they told you that up front. But MoreMap also allows you to map movies, earthquakes, weather, traffic, banks, radio stations, and interesting places. The movies feature is pretty useful--maps all the surrounding movie theaters. Clicking on one of the stars on the map gives you a list of movies at that theater, complete with movie times.

Isnoop: I found this one on my own. It offers package tracking on a map, too, in a very simplistic way. No fancy stuff, just put your tracking code in and it maps it. Oh, there's an RSS feed too, so you can track your package in your feed reader, and the RSS is formatted in a nice, readable format.