The first view I consider is

enter image description here

I ask the user for the location as seen on the map. The browser can let me know longitude and latitude or the user can click the map and this gets exact and can save the coordinate to a datastore.

The second view I consider is something like here

enter image description here

User must select a region and then from another panel specify city and postal code. I'm interested to know anything you think can be an advantage or disadvantage using either view. I implemented the first one and now I want to harmonize the way I store geographic information and display it to users. I save longitude, latitude and name of city and can do lookups since having the coordinate is very clear instead of as in the second view completely build my own structure and then approximating a coordinate for the location if using a coordinate at all. Am I making a mistake not doing the select boxes and a graphic map instead? Thank you for any comments and answers

  • 3
    What is this for? Why are your users choosing a location?
    – Rahul
    Aug 14 '11 at 22:20
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The differences between those two, as I see it, is that the graphical map is for those who don't know the name of the map point (city or similar), while the other is for those who knows the name.

Say you want to know the way on the GPS to your friend, and you know the address. It's a lot faster to just type the address (and allso get suggestions so you don't even has to type the entire address). When you start to drive, it's easier to see the graphical view.

The graphical view has the advantage of getting a grasp of distances, for example if you want to see all the shops that are near by where you are, it gives you an overview of where they are, and the relative distances.

So it all comes down to your users, their knowledge of the maps and what they are going to do. Kind of hard to give you a more detailed help since your question lacks that kind of information.

  • Indeed. I started with the view that has just the panels and no map, then I found that it's disadvantages to make an entire own geography database when names change, translations change, and making own id:s for places violates principle when the place already has an id which is longitude+latitude. So I switched to the graphical view using longitude and latitude which directly covers the whole world without forcing me to keep a local geography database. It can get the name of the place via reverse geocoding. You may have a look at the sites where one is www.montao.com.br and 2nd mentioned above Aug 16 '11 at 18:46

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