Saturday, August 14, 2010

Map Search Improvements

I noticed some problems and thought through some enhancements to Googility's map search page and I found some time this weekend to work on them. Here are the couple of new features:
  • Moving the mouse over the search results now pans the map to that location and displays the details for that location on the map. I was inspired by this demo.
  • Switching between the Results and Directions tabs now hides the other tab's markers (red or green flags) on the map. This makes it clearer what you are looking at.
  • If you search for a location that only has a couple of "Places" near it the map is now centered around Places within 300 mi of that location. Previously if you searched for agility near London, England the map would be centered over the Atlantic and you wouldn't see any flags on the map.
  • If you go to the map search page directly the search box contains the text 'Type your start or search location here' and the text is removed when you click in the box to enter your location of interest.
  • Once you create directions to a Place you can change your start location without having to reselect your destination Place. Just click on the Directions tab again and the directions will be updated.
Here is a bullet list of bug fixes:
  • LinkOnce you clicked on the directions link for any location on the map the map would appear below the directions - now it stays next to the directions on the web and when printed.
  • On Internet Explorer 6.0 the search results would take the full width of the screen - now the layout is the same as for other browsers.
  • The width of the Results tab and the Directions tab is the now the same so the tabs don't resize when switching between them.
  • Places with two line addresses would give errors for driving directions.
I'm hoping to add two other features soon:
  1. Add a blue flag for the search location to make it easier to see the desired location.
  2. Add start location, end location, and reverse directions text entry fields and button respectively to make it easier to change directions.
Don't forget once you find a location on the map you can click in the Google "search the map" box at the bottom of map to locate other services near that location. Say you wanted to bring some MACH, NATCH, CATCH, ADCH or other celebratory cookies to class, you could use the Googility map search to find a bakery near your training facility!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Better & Faster Clean Run Article Searches

I just installed a couple of nice improvements to Googility's Periodical Search feature.

Previously the search results were ordered solely on the search engine's rating of each article's relevance to your search terms. That meant you might get results from 2000 or even longer ago on the first page of results.

I've just modified the search engine configuration to prefer the most recent results. So if you search for "Mecklenburg jump" to find Linda Mecklenburg's jumping articles you'll get her most recent articles on the first page and her older articles on later pages.

I've also changed the way I "index" the article's data to the search engine so that it can present the results 10x faster. It is a noticeable speed improvement.

Happy Searching!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Website Image Features

The images of websites on are created using a free service provided by Shrink The Web. I had created a simple piece of software to simplify using STW in the Django software that runs the website.

The kind folks at STW asked me to update my software to make their PRO features available. Those features include custom sized images and, most importantly for some Googility web sites, creating images for web sites that are part of another web site.

For example, agility trainer Theresa Rector's site is hosted on and her website used to look like this on Googility:

Now you can see her actual home page:

I've also increased the size of the images so users of the site can better see the website. STW is now updating the images monthly so changes to web sites will be visible sooner.

If you are a Django developer the django-stw application is available for download. If you are a Googility visitor I hope you like the improved web site snapshots.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Videos and Blog Posts for Clean Run Articles

I've recently expanded Googility to include browsing and searching Clean Run articles and issues. Another cool new feature is allowing anyone to add links to blog posts, videos, and web pages about specific Clean Run articles or issues.

If you've ever written about a Clean Run article or whole issue or videotaped an exercise you can now add a link to your web page to that article or issue within Googility. That means people who browse search results will now see those links and can visit your web page(s) to see your thoughts on the subject. Google's search engine will also index those links.

It only takes a couple clicks:
  1. Search the periodicals for the article or issue.
  2. Click on the article(issue) link.
  3. Click on the link near the bottom of the page named: "Add a related blog/web page/video to this article(issue)".
  4. Fill out the fields in the popup window and click the button.
To stop spammers I review every link and, once approved, your link will appear on the article(issue) page and on a new page of all articles/issues with related content:

I hope you'll take a few minutes to help other agility enthusiasts find your Clean Run related materials.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments

Monday, November 30, 2009

Clean Run Search Now On Googility!

I was behind in updating my Clean Run magazine search because it was a tedious manual process.
So I spent a couple weeks extending the software running Googility to store and search all Clean Run magazine articles. One of the key improvements was cross referencing issues, articles, authors, and series. So now there is a page for every issue, article, author and series with links to everything I can figure out. I've also added descriptions and tags to all the recent articles to make it easier to find articles on topics of interest.

So now when you visit the main Googility page you'll see a radio button underneath the search box to let you choose to search Googility "places" or search magazine articles. There are currently over 3,200 magazine articles in the search database. Once Google indexes Googility again Clean Run articles will also show up in the general search results!

New Features

Here are the major new features and quick links:

Every link that used to point to my old Clean Run Search should now send you to the new magazine search page. Please let me know if you find one that doesn't. Please let me know if you have other ideas for improving this new search feature.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dog Agility Search dot com

I've had a couple people mention to me that they either couldn't remember the name or the correct spelling of my dog agility search site Googility. So I've purchased and setup a new website name that might be more memorable: You can use either web site name and you'll be directed to

I hope that makes it easier to find and use what I think is a pretty useful service. Please let me know in comments or via email if you have other suggestions to make Googility/DogAgilitySearch easier to use or more helpful!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

1000+ Places and New Features

This past week the 1000th Place was entered into the Googility database! So far Google doesn't give me any information on the number web pages that totals in the Googility Custom Search Engine, but it has to be around 10,000 dog agility related pages. A big step forward from the few hundred I started out with.

I've also added two new features to the website over the past month

Descriptions for Each Place
For each Place in the Googility database you can now provide up to a 500 word description. This is displayed at the top of the page for each entry. So you can add additional information that lets visitors know more about your Place.

Browse/Search By Label
Each Place can have up to a dozen labels associated with it to help visitors fine tune their search. I've created a new page that lets you browse all the Places with each Label by clicking on the tab with a Label name. The page allows you to sort by the Place Name, City and State. You can also search within a Label selection by clicking on the search icon shown in the diagram below:

I found this new page interesting because it let me easily see how many of each Label is in the database.

Thanks to those of you who added Places to Googility and I hope you enjoy the new features.