It's the new year, so time to release some things we've been working on for the last month or so - the new look PlaceWhisper website, and our new features: collections and embeddable maps.
When we first released PlaceWhisper 2 website back in August we enabled you to log in to the PlaceWhisper website and explore the things you'd created and collected on the web. However, it didn't add much to the experience of PlaceWhisper other than a larger canvas on which to view things. We said it was still being worked on, and here's the first fruits of that effort.
The new look
The first cut of the PlaceWhisper website initially tried to pack too much in, then when we released we removed unfinished features, and it left a website that was functional, but didn't hang together quite right. So we've gone back and simplified and cleaned up the website, so now it's a lot more functional and practical.
When you log in you'll be presented with an event list of what's happening in your bit of PlaceWhisper: who's been collecting your Whispers, what your friends have been creating for you to find, and so on. From there you can find a map of everything you've created and collectioned, and view those things in detail, and from there share them with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can now more readily manage your contacts and your own account too.
If you're a PlaceWhisper subscriber then you'll be able to create Collections - this is a new way to organise your Whispers. If you create a series of Whispers around a single theme, but they don't fit the notion of a trail, then you can put them together in a Collection. Collections will show up in the PlaceWhisper app's "what's local" menu, so they're a great way to get your content noticed by people, and people can then filter the PlaceWhisper app's view to just show the contents of a given collection.
Collections currently can only be managed and modified by you, but in the new year we'll be expanding that feature so that you can share your Collection with friends, and so you can build up the contents of a Collection as a team rather than as an individual.
Embedding your collections
One important new feature of collections is you can optionally turn them into a map that you and others can embed in your own website or blog. When you enable embedding for a collection, you'll be provided with the HTML code to place the map in another website. This map will then show all the Whispers in that Collection on the map, and people can click on the Whispers and read their contents.
This makes PlaceWhisper an excellent way to build up location content not just for mobile access, but also for the web.
Looking forward to the new year
2011 saw lots of development on PlaceWhisper, and we're really pleased with where we've got to, but there's still more to come. We hope you'll join us as we grow in 2012, but until then, we hope you have a merry festive period and new year!