3 Replies - 235 Views - Last Post: 25 June 2019 - 04:57 PM

#1 pr0jektile   User is offline

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Interactive Map - Web Based - Multiple Users

Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:26 PM

Good day to you all!

I am brand new to this site and to the world of coding. As in, I can barely get an HTML page put together with a single image and change the background color. So, please, be patient with me. I'll be spending the next several weeks and months getting a very basic grasp of languages best-suited for a web-based database application.

Open to suggestions as to where I should start learning.

Ultimately, I want to build out a web-based platform that can support multiple users, who work in a collaborative environment. So There would be a hierarchy of Team > User groups, and then shared information and contacts for the users within that group. I would want authentication, so that will be something I have on my to-learn list.

Most of the information in the application will be contact information, think a giant contacts list that's shareable between users.

What I am imagining will be the most difficult portion, is an interactive map that will display pins, dots, or some other visual indicator in various cities around the U.S. where important contacts are for each user in the group.

Example: Bob (team member and user) knows Sallie (contact). Sallie lives in Dallas, TX. I would like a pin to appear in Dallas, TX on the map, that is visible to Jeff and Suzy (also team members and users) that shows where Sallie is. I would LOVE that pin to also show anyone else in the area that has been mapped. i.e, if Bob inputs Sallie's information and Suzi inputs Frank's information, both of whom live in Dallas, TX, I would like to be able to click the pin for Dallas and it shows a list of the contacts that were pinned in Dallas.

1.) I have very little code experience, and will be learning this as I go to create this project.
2.) This is not a school project. This is something I am trying to build for a small firm I work for.
3.) No, I am not being paid to create this. This is just something that could help make my life easier, and if the results are what I imagine, I would want to roll it out to my team.
4.) No, I don't plan to "sell" this to my company
5.) Yes, I'm aware I could pay someone to write all these features for me, but I'm really also very interested in learning to do this myself.
6.) I'm also on a budget of not wanting to spend a bunch of my own money on this.

I'm not asking anyone to write any code for me, but if anyone has experience in building map apps, I would love any direction and resources to things that would help me to create something like I described above.

Thank you!
Jeremy

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Replies To: Interactive Map - Web Based - Multiple Users

#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Interactive Map - Web Based - Multiple Users

Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:49 PM

Web stuff is split into a few areas.

What you see in a browser is 'client side', and data processed from a server is 'server side'.

Client side is html, javascript, css, etc.

Server side could be a lot of things.. ASP.NET, PHP, ruby, python, etc.

Sounds like you'll need to have some basic database knowledge too.

I would also spend time sitting down to list out all the features, user interactions, log ins, data to be stored, security concerns, screen mock ups, graphics, etc.. and then determine which is needed for a 'minimal, viable project' and what is gold plating to do later. This should help focus on what you need to get done, and keep you task orientated.

Maps and what not most likely will fall under the 'javascript' section.
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#3 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Interactive Map - Web Based - Multiple Users

Posted 25 June 2019 - 03:14 PM

The google maps api would be on the top of my list to investigate. Start with static pins hard coded in the Javascript and get that set. Then move on to the database design. Lastly you have the backend language to put it all together... and I mention database prior to backend because, Well, if you do backend first you will want it to do something and then you’ll hop on the database before you know what a good design is and know just enough to get it wrong, just so the backend will actually do something; and that will cause headaches later that will never actually get fixed.
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#4 pr0jektile   User is offline

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Re: Interactive Map - Web Based - Multiple Users

Posted 25 June 2019 - 04:57 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 25 June 2019 - 02:49 PM, said:

Web stuff is split into a few areas.

What you see in a browser is 'client side', and data processed from a server is 'server side'.

Client side is html, javascript, css, etc.

Server side could be a lot of things.. ASP.NET, PHP, ruby, python, etc.

Sounds like you'll need to have some basic database knowledge too.

I would also spend time sitting down to list out all the features, user interactions, log ins, data to be stored, security concerns, screen mock ups, graphics, etc.. and then determine which is needed for a 'minimal, viable project' and what is gold plating to do later. This should help focus on what you need to get done, and keep you task orientated.

Maps and what not most likely will fall under the 'javascript' section.


Thanks for the feedback!

It seems like I have quite a bit to look into.

For the client-side, It would be pretty simplistic, as in not visually intensive. It would mostly be text-driven. It's essentially a contact database for all of the clients our company has, but that is currently over 100,000, so I would assume the simpler the better when that is querying cross-sections out of that set of data and displaying lists of the contacts on screen, allowing the user to click through and update/manipulate individual contact profiles.

I would definitely want authentication and authorization as I don't want peoples' contact information readily accessible to the general public.

1. Any suggestions as to what language is a good combination of fast/efficient with querying and displaying data from the back-end database (I assume I used that correctly, that the actual contact profiles will be stored in some form of what in my mind resembles a spreadsheet of a bunch of data points in what is referred to as the back-end) and being at least semi-aesthetically pleasing? i.e. rounded edges, a mild and visually appealing color scheme.

2. Any suggestions as to what "back-end" is most efficient in storing large volumes of information, such as the contact and some additional information for over 100,000 contacts with anywhere from 20-30 data points per contact?

3. How do those interact with one another? Does it matter? Do they essentially "plug in" to one another?

4. Security - We are a small firm, and we really don't store any personal data such as things that would be used to open credit or make financial transactions. As far as privacy, we do want to make sure that people's names, numbers, and emails don't get spammed because we were sloppy, but I don't anticipate needing to fend off The Kremlin or Chinese Intelligence. Is security something that is 'built-in' in a sense to one of the back-end systems and I need to effectively 'activate' it through a certain combination of settings and/or lines of code?

5. Database - SQL seems to be the most common phrase I see when poking around on this subject. Is there any real disadvantage to using this? Would using SQL be inherently limiting for any of the front or back end options?


Again, I really appreciate the help and direction as I kick this off. I've always wanted to get into coding and programming, but haven't ever really had a practical need to motivate me to do so.

I'll be spending some time on Code Academy, so hopefully that will give me a little more foundation and have me asking some better questions. Are there any other free/cheap resources or course-like material that anyone has had some success with tackling some of the learning curve?

Thanks again!

View Postastonecipher, on 25 June 2019 - 03:14 PM, said:

The google maps api would be on the top of my list to investigate. Start with static pins hard coded in the Javascript and get that set. Then move on to the database design. Lastly you have the backend language to put it all together... and I mention database prior to backend because, Well, if you do backend first you will want it to do something and then you’ll hop on the database before you know what a good design is and know just enough to get it wrong, just so the backend will actually do something; and that will cause headaches later that will never actually get fixed.


Thanks!

Based on your and modi's reply it looks like I should probably start with learning about databases.

As for the Google Maps API, is that something that is publicly available? From what I understand about what an API is, it would allow an application, such as the one I am theoretically looking to create, to interface with the existing foundation that is Google Maps. In other words, Google has already done the heavy-lifting of creating the maps and geolocation data, and my web-app would be essentially an overlay and I need to come up with how the data from my web app gets applied to the overlay on the existing Google Map?


Am I on the right track?
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