Ed from ChattyMaps says Hello ;)

(Etewiah) #1

Hello Happy Brummies,

I’m Ed and I’m pretty excited to see a discourse forum for Birmingham. I’m not a Brummie born and bred but came to Birmingham in 1995 for uni and its been my ‘home city’ ever since.

Right now I’m working on a site to allow people to create simple polls for event planning:


I only launched it a few weeks ago so it isn’t getting much traffic and there are a load of things I need to improve. Would love to hear any feedback. What do people think? Is it useful? Anyone want to work with me on it? I’ve had to do everything on my own and its getting a bit tiring ;(

Anyway, looking forward to meeting more geeks here.



Free Birmingham WIFI Hotspot - Maps

Hi Ed,

interesting project. What is it written in? Can you tell us more about how you built it.

I am interested in volunteering for some projects, to gain experience.

(Daveyon Mayne) #3

Built with Ruby on Rails :wink:

(Etewiah) #4

Oh wow, thanks for your quick responses people - sorry I’m a bit slow myself.

Yes, it is Ruby on Rails as a backend and emberjs frontend. Actually, its a good old Discourse forum as the backend. The first iteration, I hacked the Discourse ember frontend to do what I wanted but it wasn’t very effective.

Right now I have re-written the frontend as my own custom ember app. I still use many Discourse api calls though. I can explain more if people are interested.

@catherine would love to speak with you. I have to rush right now but I will send you a message later. I am happy to teach and explain anything in return for feedback etc…

(Daniel Hollands) #5

Welcome @etewiah

I’m also an adopted son of Birmingham, although I’ve been here less than 2 years. How have you seen Brum change in that time?

This is a nice looking app, and I think one which is of particular interest to the anniversary party I’m currently planning. Right now I’m using Doodle to get an idea of numbers and the best date, but it looks like ChappyMaps helps with finding the best venue.

It might be worth mentioning that @riaface’s company also has a similar offering in the form of Emble - all of these apps are solving the same problem, but taking different approaches to doing so.

I think it’s very useful. It has a low barrier to entry, it solves a problem in a intelligent way (I love the map) and while it does suffer from some minor things (I found the calendar difficult to use in Firefox as the clickable area to select a date wasn’t in the right place) these can all be fixed.

Actually - I might be. I’ve got quite a lot on my plate right now, but this seems like a fun project and idea. What is it written in?

(Etewiah) #6

Hey @LimeBlast, thanks for the awesome reply. I’m really sorry that my reply is going to be short - I have to rush out now. I will write a better reply later today.

Thanks for the positive feedback though and the link to emble - super cool. Lets chat later.

(Andy Wootton) #7

No time to try it now but you’ve definitely identified a common requirement. I was thinking about a need to get a group of people together this very morning. Will it be paid for by advertising? Doesn’t sound like something many people would be willing to subscribe to but I’m sure they’d use it. Would it work for video conferences too? I like Mozilla’s Firefox Hello being schedulable but WHEN?

(Daniel Hollands) #8

No worries, I’m looking forward to it.

(Ria Blagburn) #9

Hey Ed! Would love to have a chat with you about Chatty Maps :slight_smile: Where are you based?

(Stuart Langridge) #10

Looks interesting! As has been noted, it seems somewhere between emble and doodle. I like that you can use it without signing up! When an event comes up that I need to organise, maybe I’ll give it a try…

(June L Beddows) #11

Hi Ed,
I had a tryout, whilst doing this it struck me that the venues part would be useful to businesses wanting to mark their locations onto the map. The venue definitions part almost worked for my needs. Suggestions:

In my case I work with 7 others and tried to produce a single map so that our customers could see which one of us was based closest to them.

A map is so much better than a mere list of names and addresses. Ideally we would want to display contact details when someone clicked on each venue, other potential users might want websites or perhaps pub or shopfronts to be shown.

This could be a useful feature to sell on to people.


June (No longer a geek, but one who has years of experience in application requirements & definitions.)

(Etewiah) #12

Hello @LimeBlast, sorry its taken me so long to reply.

I’d never heard of Emble before so thanks for telling me about it. Yes, it does seem quite similar to what I’m doing. My take though is to make it super simple to use. The anniversary party is just the kind of scenario chattymaps should be good for. Thanks for pointing out the firefox bug - I’ll look into that.

Right now, the main help I need is feedback and I’m getting plenty of that here so that’s great. In the longer term I will need a cofounder but that has to be someone able to put a significant amount of time into it in return for a mix of equity and payment.

(Etewiah) #13

Hello @Woo, I’m not planning on having advertising on the site. In the longer term I plan to add some premium features which I will charge for. I don’t see it being super useful for video conferences as the main function is to help people decide on a physical location - unless its a video conference about finding somewhere to meet in real life :wink:

(Etewiah) #14

Hi @catherine, I’ve just sent you a private message.

(Etewiah) #15

Cool, let me know if you come across any problems when you get the chance to try it out.

(Etewiah) #16

Hello June,

Thanks for the feedback. I considered having more information about the venues but opted for keeping things simple. Over the next few days, I’ll look into a way of adding more venue info without complicating the interface too much.

I’m just wondering - was the voting functionality necessary for your use case?

All the best,


(Etewiah) #17

Hello Ria, I’ve sent you a private message.



(June L Beddows) #18


No I didn’t use or need the voting, but it just struck me that I could show
where my team were based, we are independent Business Advisors based across
Midlands. We usually just list our names, contact details and photos, but
it struck me whilst using your routine that a map would be so much better,
then potential customers click who’s nearest to them for an initial visit.

This is our old way: http://mgba.co.uk/business-advisors/

Didn’t know if this type of situation had struck you and thought it may be
more universally needed than venue management.

I was a programmer/Tech Support person back in days of mainframes, IBM and
Honeywell DPS7. In 1990’s by the time of micros and intenet I was a
Projects Manager for multi million inter disciplinary major projects where
the IT aspect was just a part of the whole thing I had to manage, so today
I am much more into strategy, where we can make good use of IT and how,
rather than the building part of the work.

Currently I am part of a grey haired, wrinkly, team of 3 who are producing
a commercial toolkit for database applications where anyone can define and
maintain datasets and dataviews. This is not an sql or hierarchial
database, and maintenance and flexibility is easy to do. It will be cloud
based and I am looking forward to configuring applications again, something
I’ve not done since the 80’s. My contribution to the team is the end user
training aspects and marketing as the others are more tecchie than I am.
Marketing is not my skill but I know more about it than they do so got it
by default.

Hope this helps, and you know where I can/may help you in your work now.


June (pensioner but still active and in the thick of it)

(Etewiah) #19

Hey June,

Great to hear that being a pensioner hasn’t dented your passion to be on top of what’s going on in the tech world. I plan on being a geek to my last day :wink:

I also like it that people are using my site in ways I didn’t anticipate. I will do my best to accommodate any scenarios I can. Over the next few days I’ll look at ways of allowing more ad-hoc information to be added to each of the places on the map. I’ll let you know as soon as I have that ready.

All the best,


(Andy Wootton) #20

@etewiah, Looking at that from my point of view, I’d then need your app to arrange physical meet-ups and a different one for a video conference, despite the logic being the same. That seems a weakness.

I’d still need to agree a video-conference location from a list of alternatives. I may not know who has Skype, Google Hangouts, Mozilla Talk etc. Isn’t that a bit like ‘a place’?