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Please Use the Links On The Board for your PRICELINE and HOTWIRE purchases


We got Priceline MAPS!!!


100 replies to this topic

#1 thereuare

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 09:25 AM

NOTE that our maps have been redesigned and expanded to include our entire universe of 'known' hotels.

Here is the link to our UPDATED Priceline Maps

ENJOY!

----------------------------------

This post was added to the top of the thread in order to keep users informed of the maps currently available:

PRICELINE MAPS AVAILABLE:
Boston
Chicago
Denver
Fort Lauderdale
Hawaii - Big Island
Hawaii - Honolulu
Hawaii - Kauai
Hawaii - Maui
Las Vegas
London
Los Angeles
Miami
Minneapolis-St.Paul
Montreal
New Orleans
New York
Niagara Falls (includes both United States and Canada)
Orlando
Philadelphia
Portland
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle
Toronto
Washington DC

COMING SOON:
all data we have has been added above and we welcome additional data for more cities

We can still use help in gathering data for other cities, if you'd like to help please send me a PM.
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

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#2 thereuare

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:26 PM

First, thanks to mbstone who first presented this idea.

Second, this was a major undertaking, so thanks to those who helped along the way, especially my family who have been especially patient and understanding as i often become consumed with projects such as this.

Here is the idea and how it works:

Hotels are marked on the map by a orange 'marker'... click the marker and a pop-up window will name the hotel and give you links for the following options:
  • Hotel Website
  • Recent Priceline Wins for that Property
  • Hotel Revies for that Property
  • Hotel Photos
We have started with a dozen hotels in the NYC metro area as we want to get feedback first as to what works, doesn't work, and what other features you may want to see included. A fair amount of effort goes into each plot on the map, so we want to get 'get it right' before adding more so that we don't reach a point where it's too difficult to make changes.

We have a vision of some more features that will be added down the road, but the 'big picture' is to expand this to different metropolitan areas. To do so on my own would be too big of a task, but if we can get some users to volunteer with some simple data gathering (no technical computer skills required) i think we can ramp this up in a very short period of time. If you're interested please send me a PM or email, put "Map Help" in the subject line (it will be at least a week or so before anything needs to be done, as we await user feedback and i work on a few additional items on the technical side).

Back to the "How To's"....
Clicking on a balloon marker should be self-explanatory, but what's really cool about this is the zoom and drag features. By example:
Although Jersey City (South West of Manhattan for those who don't know) isn't shown on the map at first, if you zoom out (by clicking the "-" minus sign on the top left corner of the map) you will see the markers for the Jersey City hotels. You can then drag (left mouse click and move the map) so that Jersey City is in the center of the map. You can then zoom in (or not) and get the information for the Jersey City hotels.

One additional note (sticking with the Jersey City example)... although at first it appears that only two hotels are shown in the Jersey City area, there are actually three. The Doubletree and Courtyard are so close together the the markers almost sit on top of one another... use the technique above to zoom in on the this area and you will see both of the properties listed independently.

I think that covers it... any questions feel free to ask.

Let the fun begin!
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#3 blindman

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 02:03 PM

What a FANTASTIC addition to the site.

I really like the map detail, you can easily see the streets etc.

The balloon links are brill too!

I really like the Recent wins link

You seem to have captured in one or two easy clicks what I need when preparing a bid !

Small points:

Hotel web-site goes to the corporate page, any chance of the actual hotel page?

Hotel photos goes to the front page, not the the hotel, can this be done.

FANTASTIC

#4 Shingwedzi

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 04:22 PM

Extremely useful.
Thank you, Thereuare!
:)

#5 Blueskies

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 04:57 PM

A great help to those in particular who respond to pictures rather than words. It gives you location as well as a shortcut to the other important information. FAB! Well done and thank you for getting this going. Let's see how we can all pull together to make this happen.

#6 mucsea2003

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:51 PM

A W E S O M E

#7 zbenye

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 01:12 AM

thereuare, incredibleuare.

Please remind how to paypal you a contribution to support this site. It's been a while since last time.

#8 cntrfieldsmom

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 01:25 AM

Oh man! Did you copywrite that idea???? Blows TOBB all to pieces! Way too cool. :) :) :o

I made a paypal donation (it's not much)

If everyone donates a small amount it will add up....let's help defray the cost of the huge map undertaking!

Is there a link to the maps from the homepage?

Edit by Thereuare: correct paypal links are as follows...
CLICK to Contribute via funds already in your PayPal account
CLICK to Contribute via credit card (will say XOCharts)

#9 vbarks

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 02:18 AM

This is all I get when I try to open the maps link:

This Page Is Not Endorsed nor Authorized by Google in any way, but acts an extension of their own Google Maps service. Any information not copyrighted or licensed by Google is copyrighted by BetterBidding.com. All information contained herein is believed accurate, but not guaranteed, and no warrantees are granted, either explicit or implied. Users should double check all information and are responsible for their own actions and use.
We Can Be Contacted thru the 'Email Administrator' link at BetterBidding.


It works this way both with my Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox (which is my preferred browser).

#10 thereuare

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 03:58 AM

Glad everyone is enjoying it so far! :)

We'll try to answer some of the above questions:

vbarks, do you have your browser settings set very high (try lowering to medium) or do you block any type of scripts from running? Given you run Firefox i'll assum your IE is not out of date. I have run the PRICELINE HOTEL MAPS on both MSIE and Firefox and they work on my own computers. If you continue to have problems use the Yahoo or AOL Messenger links at the botoom of my post and we'll try a few things in 'real time'.

cntrfieldsmom, no link to this on the homepage just yet, but it will come... just wanted to make sure it was working for everyone (the majority) before putting a link at the top of the page. Also wanted to see who 'found' the maps and what the reaction would be.. will add a link to the top of the page in a few days.

TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE BOARD (note different links for PayPal funds and Credit Card donations):
CLICK to Contribute via funds already in yoru PayPal account
CLICK to Contribute via credit card (will say XOCharts)
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#11 swag

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 12:23 PM

Very very nice.

If I may suggest one more, hopefully easy to do but killer feature, how about color-coding the markers by PL star level, e.g. 4* blue, 3* green, 2* orange, etc. Or maybe just use a number in place of the black diamond in the center of the markers. But some way to tell star levels at a glance.

Or maybe use numbers for star levels, and then color-code by proceline zone?

TOBB doesn't stand a chance.

#12 mbstone

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 04:18 AM

Awesome indeed, and I'd like to see the PL star level and zone indicated in the balloon or otherwise readily at hand (e.g. by coloring the pointer / having a chalk outline of the zone).

#13 IBDP

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 05:23 PM

Please help, as I would hate to be out of this "link" that is so awesome. I can go to the map, I can click on the green icon, but what I get then is an empty balloon. I am going in through Safari (Netscape). Does anyone know how I can correct this problem. I am anxious to get working on it.
Thanks for all the work!

IBDP

#14 Latitudes

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 10:30 PM

Very very nice.

If I may suggest one more, hopefully easy to do but killer feature, how about color-coding the markers by PL star level, e.g. 4* blue, 3* green, 2* orange, etc. Or maybe just use a number in place of the black diamond in the center of the markers. But some way to tell star levels at a glance.

Or maybe use numbers for star levels, and then color-code by proceline zone?

TOBB doesn't stand a chance.

I endorse this most excellent suggestion made by swag, and I'd like to take it one step further.

A great feature to reduce the possible clutter on a map when many hotels are offer in a zone is to filter out the pins based on their Priceline star level. Just as you do on Priceline when selecting the star levels, a series of check boxes would turn on and off the hotels.
  • [ ] 2*
  • [ ] 2 *
  • [x] 3*
  • [x] 4*
In this example, only three and four star hotels would display on the map, discarding those hotels you are not interested in researching.

Another idea is to overlay Priceline's bidding zones onto the map. On the Priceline site, when selecting the zones to bid, you can click the Area Details link for more information. A pop-up window displays indicating the zone boundaries.

I know it would certainly help me to choose where to bid and I could quickly see which hotels are in which zone. Combine that with the star filtering suggestion above and you have a very handy, and powerful, research tool.

Cheers,
Latitudes.

#15 LglBlonde

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 02:09 AM

Fantastic!!

I can't wait til this idea is expanded to other metros!! I love the ideas of the star level overlays. Or maybe at least when you roll over the green points, it could give you the star level on PL? I think actually that could prove very useful, and may? be easier to impliment? Then, one could decide which star levels to bid?

I'll echo earlier sentiments - TOBB does not stand a chance!

#16 thereuare

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:22 PM

All great ideas above, here are our own thoughts:

Somehow showing the star rating of the hotel before clicking will be implemented, not sure if it will be thru a number in the balloon, a key (ie- red=5, blue=4, etc), or some designation when the cursor is on top of the balloon. I know at least one of the three can be easily implented, but i'm going to try to figure out the best one to use.

At this time (doesn't mean it won't be done later) there are no plans to draw the zones on the map as the zone boundaries change so frequently (and sometimes very slightly, as was recently the case in Washington DC) that it would be very difficult to keep up with and we'd prefer accurate data rather than just more features... i'm already concerned about how many changes (on the board and now the maps) will need to be made each time a hotel is reported at a new star rating. For ownership reasons using an overlay of somebody else's map isn't possible.

The idea of having users select which star rated hotels on the map are shown is great and certainly do-able, but it may take a toll on the servers depending upon usage. There are a few ways to go about it not taking such a toll (or maybe we can afford our own servers some day), so we'll revisit that in 'round 2' or subsequent versions. I'd like to get more cities involved first so that it becomes useful to more users as quick as possible, but we'll work on the above after additional cities are plotted on the map and we see the server usage (once more cities are 'rolled-out' please remind me if i seem to have forgotten :) ).

A few have already offered to help gather data, and those that have contacted me should have received an email/PM about what to do (if you haven't please let me know). This weekend i have coded a 'back end' program that will help automate the process to bring the raw data received into the code for the maps... should go fairly smoothly (famous last words :) ) and pointers on the map should increase fairly quickly once we begin to receive the data back from users.

We could use some more help with gathering data, as the more people that help the quicker the maps will become filled with plots. No technical experience is necessary, all that is needed is a spreadsheet program (like Excel) and knowledge of how to copy/paste... knowledge of the zone you're gathering data on isn't even necessary.

If you're able to help, please send us an email or PM with the words 'map help' somewhere in the subject line.

Thanks for everyone's assistance thus far and do keep the suggestions coming!
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#17 TeaEarleGreyHot

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:46 PM

I see the map, and I see hotel location pointers, but when I click on one, nothing but an empty balloon opens. :)

#18 thereuare

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 12:33 AM

What browser and version are you running?
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#19 TeaEarleGreyHot

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 04:01 PM

Safari 1.3 (v312)

#20 thereuare

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 04:16 PM

I'll try to see if there are any known safari compatibility issues later on. In the meantime...

San Francisco Maps are up and running!!!
('grab and drag' the map down to see the Airport area hotels)

I think it's very cool. Still some minor tweaks that need to be done (like when looking at recent wins for the Marriott in USQ you get some results for the airport Marriott as well... but these are all fixable when i have a bit more time on my hands).

We're still working on the zone/star rating aspect and will fix that as well, just waiting on one more aspect in that regard before implementing.

Now that we have a full city rolled-out, please continue to report any issues/comments/suggestions so that we can continue to improve at this early stage of implementation.

A special thanks go to board member vicki who compiled the data for the San Francisco area (i hope i speak for the entire board when we say 'thank you'). We have received data on Seattle and Los Angeles as well and will hopefully have time to nite to prepare those and launch those cities as well.

Thanks again for everyone who has assisted thus far :)
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#21 Blueskies

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 09:50 PM

Thanks Vicki - Looks good and very helpful.

#22 thereuare

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:22 AM

Did somebody say Seattle?

Seattle Priceline Maps now availble!

Thanks! to Mucsea2003 for gathering the data on this area!

More to come....
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#23 mucsea2003

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 09:31 AM

I love the fact that the balloons actually create a shadow on the map :) . Completely unnecessary, but totally cool! :)
Even cooler is Google's satellite function, which I only found out about through this!

I also agree that the priceline star rating should be incorporated.

Thanks thereuare!

#24 thereuare

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 08:45 PM

I like the big shadow on the pop-up box (which has the links to the hotel website and such).

Speaking of which, "I Love L.A."....

LOS ANGELES Priceline Maps now available!!
(a few 'recent wins' don't return any results but we'll get to them soon)

This data set courtesy of a relatively new board member artvandelay..... our thanks to him(her?) and everyone else that has so far offered to help.

Next up... Chicago.
Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases
Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!

#25 Jaguars-fan

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 10:02 PM

I am a brand new user...awesome site!!! I am trying to figure out how to use this map feature. When I select the link on the first post, it takes me to a map of NY, but I dont know how to move to other cities. In particular, I am looking for Washington, DC and up around Niagara falls.

Can someone help????



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