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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Kicking the Tires on Bellhop.com

    Here is a new road trip planning tool that makes good use of a mapping API and and has a very cute user interface. So, go check it out and report back with your findings.

    One special note -- take a look at the job description they are offering here. Maybe I ought to apply?

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Au

    Had a little play with it, and since I am thinking of tripping around Tasmania next summer, entered Launceston and changed the country to Australia.

    It promptly came up with the information for Launceston MN. Did it three times with the same result.

    Maybe I am missing something!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Not very well supported!

    Since Australia is supposed to be one of the supported countries, I plugged in Hobart (which the capital city of Tasmania) and, like you selected Australia -- but it wasn't able to find Hobart..... so then I did the same with Launceston, Tasmania -- It couldn't find it either.

    So, that's not very impressive a beginning....

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Canada

    Mark,

    Even in North America I am not having any luck. I put in Dawson City - Yukon - Canada, but it keeps telling me it cannot be found. Just gives me all the other 'Dawsons'.

    Seems like they have a bit of work to do yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A word from BellHop.com

    Thanks for the prompt reply, and the posting. I'm very open to new ideas you might have, or suggestions. I see that some of your visitors were trying to plan road trips outside the US. We are currently working on this, but since Google Maps doesn't have road maps for the rest of the world it's a little difficult to run the same version for the US... It's in the works though!

    Thanks again for the link, and like I said.. Any improvements, suggestions, ideas... We're open to them all plus constructive criticism. The overall goal is to provide an easy to use tool, without all the ads and clutter you see on other road trip tools pages...


    Keith Johnson (owner of the company)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I ran a trial in the USA

    I did a trip from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara to Aptos to Placerville to Furnace Creek and back to Las Vegas. It worked pretty well --- the notes appear in a notebook (spiral-bound) and it loaded pretty fast.

    Choose a route in the USA and give it another whirl.

    Mark

    [edit]: Another nice feature of the service is that the system sends an e-mail reminder about the trip, which is handy since I had forgotten what the link was.... Here is that California Circular trip so you can see what the various elements of a completed trip look like.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-13-2009 at 08:21 AM. Reason: added link to trip planning route

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    [I] We are currently working on this, but since Google Maps doesn't have road maps for the rest of the world it's a little difficult to run the same version for the US... It's in the works though!
    Maybe Mr Johnson could do with a little help. Google maps has been available here for years. Many people, including myself, use them from time to time to get directions or establish a route. I just put Launceston Tas to Hobart Tas in Google, and it worked perfectly. And it is exactly the same version as for the US.

    And I am sure that it goes for Canada and much of the world outside the US.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-13-2009 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Let's remember to keep it friendly herein!

  8. Default

    Hi Everyone
    Thanks for checking out our road trip tool and I appreciate all the feedback! We currently understand that google maps does mapping throughout the world, but we found during our development stages, that simply just showing google directions wasn't good enough for our standards. We wanted to make sure that gas/fuel prices, lodging, weather, and attractions all were up to par. Unfortunately, most of these services are not global, and would create problems on our web site.

    But that doesn't mean that the US doesn't have great road trips! Try driving up to Maine, down the west coast of California, or through the wild west to Yellowstone! All great vacations in my mind.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Thanks for joining in

    Keith et al,

    Thanks for joining the discussion. I am sure you'll get some more ideas, tips and opinions herein. This is a highly motivated and dedicated group of gear and idea testers.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Fun on the other side

    Ahh - it's fun to be on the testing side of the fence. So, I get to bring up some points that I found odd instead of being the one that has to explain them! These notes were made testing without signing in to the site. Perhaps that enables extra features that correct for some of these issues?

    Entered "Boston" and "Massachusetts" in the selection criteria - the following page prompted to choose between "Boston Massachusetts US" and Boston United Kingdom. I already chose the state.

    How do you alter/remove a particular stop on a road trip? Is this possible? It isn't obvious.

    Printer dialog immediately appears when clicking on the "Directions" link in the "Travel Notepad". I was expecting just a page with directions to appear. It seems the links was copied from the "Print Directions" option on another page.

    "Watch an Overview" feature does not work on Safari 4 beta on Mac OS X. The fun of beta software. Works fine on Firefox on the same platform.

    "Copyright" states 2001. Is that correct?

    Ok. I'm going to take off my "nitpicking tester" hat now.

    That said, it definitely has potential. I'm glad they chose to display the entire link in the address bar so I could easily copy my roadtrip without having to log in to the site.

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