Usenet.com.au is a web interface to Usenet newsgroups. One of the more popular newsgroups is aus.aviation with several-thousand page views a day. Rarely a day goes by where I don't quickly log on just to check on what's happening and monitor for any abuse of the service. It was at Usenet.com.au where I got the idea for
A lot of what I write about is orientated around flying, and a lot of the web applications I write are also geared towards aviation. A few days ago, a user posted a request for a web site that had aeronautical waypoint information… something that’s actually requested quite regularly by pilots and enthusiasts for a whole range of reasons. I’d previously built a very basic waypoint search on a web site at fight.org , but there was no good reason why I couldn't throw up the search script and database as a standalone product in response to this request.
What was initially meant to be a quick hack turned into a complete rewrite of the search script which includes slightly optimised code and a little bit of added functionality.
In the spirit of other sites I've done in the last few weeks, the very simple and single search box is used in lieu of complicated dropdown boxes, and the search data either returns a single result detailing all the applicable information relating to a single aeronautical waypoint or – if the search fails to find an exact match – the script will output partial matches from the database. As an example, the search term YSSY will output information on Sydney International Airport, but a search term of Sydney will return all results that include the text Sydney. If any exact waypoint match is found, numerous links are provided to other web sites with various types of imagery on that location.
The script will also return designated waypoint routes (by way of a dropdown div area) and, using the Google map API, an image of the location will be rendered on the page.
The search will soon be integrated with
the yet-to-be-released flight.org , but at the moment it’s posted on a spare aviation domain – flying.net.au Waypoints.ws. Like everything I do, it’s motivated in part by the Google AdSense revenue which I’ll write about in lots of other posts!
Visit the site here
Edit: 30th December 2009
The most notable changes since I originally wrote the above post are as follows: I no longer use or even have flying.net.au registered. I’m cutting down on my 1000+ domain names and I fail to see sense in having any Australian specific domains with a .net extension. Some dodgy spammer has now picked up the name (that’s another story… I hate it when that happens) and I’m now utilising the domain name of waypoints.ws. It’s doing very well given that it has such a narrow market. There’s a lot that we’ll do with this website when time permits.
I look forward to some of your ideas and suggestions.