Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Golf map serves readers in print, online and on mobile devices

PDF of the print page
Just before golf season hit southeastern Michigan, Online Coordinator Paul Kampe had a cool idea to freshen up The Oakland Press' annual golf section with a new, interactive map.
The map that'd been used previously was built in a software our newsroom no longer uses by a staffer who left us years ago.
It was outdated and also, not nearly as useful as what Kampe devised using Google maps.
The old map was simply an image for print with golf course locations on it.
The new map? Golfers can get directions to and from courses, view traffic maps, check out weather conditions and sync it to their GPS, call the courses or go to a course website. And, they can do it all from their phone.
Seriously cool stuff.
"All together, it took about two hours or so to plot all the points," Kampe said. "I can't imagine how long it would've taken doing it the old-fashioned way."
Not only does it offer readers more, but it's also something that will continue to exist and be easily updated.
Kampe used a screengrab to run the map in print, giving Google appropriate credit and including notes on how to use the map's different features. He also published a QR code underneath the map, giving readers a way to go directly from the map on the print page to the map on their smartphones.
The QR code got 50 clicks on its first day (the map published in mid-April) and is up to 203 clicks now. Bit.ly statistics show it's gaining a minimum of about one click per day, though a few lulls in clicks were likely due to some chilly late April weather. Clicks also seem to spike on particularly nice weekend days.
Google shows that the map has had 3,827 views to date and got a five-star rating.
"I'd like one of these for the whole State," commented one person on the map.
View 2012 Oakland County Golf Courses in a larger map

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