Author Archives: David McCarthy

About David McCarthy

David is a web developer, and a map designer. He has been working in the web development and cartographic fields in a variety of positions, including design, development and management. He has excellent interpersonal and team leadership skills proven through systems analysis, project management and customer relations. David focuses on the front-end aspects of web development. Responsive design and mapping applications are at the top of the list. He enjoys exploring new technologies, and building upon his mapping, web design and programming skills.

Google API keys

Google Maps recently changed their policy regarding API keys. Until June 2016 sites with a relatively low amount of traffic did not require an API key for the Google Maps Javascript API to work. That is no longer the case.

Google Maps does have usage restrictions which you can read about elsewhere, but for public facing websites with less than 25,000 map loads a day the Google Maps API continues to be free.

If you find that a Google Map on your website no longer works there is a good chance that this is why. The fix is pretty easy. I have written this article to walk you through.

So how can I fix it?

First of all you will need to create a Google API key here. The API key will be associated with your Google account, so it is a good idea to use the Google/Gmail account associated with the business or business owner of the website you are working on.

Create a project for your website. It is a good idea to restrict your key to HTTP referrers that you will be using the key on. In my case I use *.domic.ca/* . This will protect you on the off-chance that someone else tries to use your key on their site.

If you are using a WordPress plugin to display your map the error you see may include instructions, generally requiring you to paste your new key into the plugin or template settings somewhere. Otherwise you will need to paste your api key into the code when you call the API.

All this is documented in far more detail by Google. I hope this helped you through your hick-up.

Responsive WordPress Template

Our client manages a WordPress website for a beautiful inn. The WordPress theme was designed specifically for the in, and was working well for them – but it was not responsive.

David reworked the existing WordPress theme to use the Bootstrap responsive framework. Now the site looks great on any device.

Arvixe Affiliate

In May 2015, after several years of using Arvixe as our hosting provider and recommending them to our clients, DOMIC decided to become an Arvixe affiliate. By some sad coincidence, Arvixe’s quality of services and support have both diminished considerably since then.

In late 2014 Arvand Sabetian, founder and CEO of Arvixe Hosting decided to sell his business to a larger conglomerate Endurance International Group. Sabetian started Arvixe in his junior year at high school. The staff, which grew to 130 people, all worked remotely with no head-office. His business practices, and his focus on quality won him the Inc.com “30 under 30” for two consecutive years (2002 and 2003) and 5000 for three consecutive years (2011, 2012, and 2013)

However, in an effort to standardize business practices the new ownership has begun a series of ‘upgrades’ which have caused a disturbing number of interruptions to their service and ability to provide customer support. Sadly, instead of using Arvixe as a model for their other hosting branches, they chose to go the other way.

Since the purchase customer reviews have dropped considerably. At this point we are not recommending Arvixe to our clients, but waiting patiently in hopes that they will soon return to the standard of quality we had learned to expect of them.

Sources
http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/blog/interviews/web-host-interview-arvixe/
https://www.besthostnews.com/arvixe-reviews/#comments
http://www.inc.com/30under30/kimberly-weisul/arvixe-arvand-sabetian-2013.html

Asset Management System

Our client produces and installs digital and other stationary devices across North America. We built a system that allows the client to monitor their devices and ensure that everything is going smoothly both leading up to, and after installation.

The software we developed checks the status of digital devices using various APIs supplied by device manufacturers, and alerts the client if there is an issue. It includes a task list that lets managers add to-do items to any device. Devices and issues are grouped by location, with maps to help visualize where problems are occurring. The system can be used both internally by our client as well as by their clients so that they can see and manage the status of their own devices.

For this project we used our favourite frameworks: CodeIgniter to structure and simplify back-end, Knockout.js for robust lightning-fast front-end, and jQueryUI for attractive and intuitive widgets. Thanks folks!

 

Renewabled

Renewabled.com offers its users a way of finding renewable energy suppliers near them. The site has a search tool that returns a list of distributors within a radius of the user’s selected location.

The owner of Renewabled approached DOMIC needing help to improve the accuracy of these results. David added an additional buffer to the results to include the city bounds, as well as suggesting and implementing various other changes to improve code efficiency.

http://www.thegreensupermarket.com/ (previously http://www.renewabled.com/)

Google Maps Marker Array Starter

When building a new mapping application, I frequently find myself in need of a way to collect a few locations that I can use as a starting point. I need a quick way of generating latitude and longitude, ideally for points in the area that my application will be focused on.

This week I decided to make a quick little application purely for this purpose. I hope you, too, will find this simple tool useful. … Continue reading

Finding your Google Places_ID

In my last post, “Google Map API Gets Personal“, I spoke about Google’s new “Signed In Map” feature which lets users login to Google Maps to save places, even when the map is embedded in someone else’s website. But what if the place that you want to highlight doesn’t show up with the option to “Save to Google Maps”?

… Continue reading