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Contact Form improvements + World Database API

Posted January 12, 2012 @ 12:32pm | by Trevor

Contact Form improvements + World Database API

For the past couple of years we have been developing a "World Database API" into ignite, and slowling integrating it into custom web applications we build for our clients. Our Google Store Locator app uses it (more on that next week) as do many of our administration tools, but one thing that has been sitting idle through all of this is our stock contact form. It's the one thing that virtually all of our clients want included in their site, and therefore fits our core philosophy for ignite: creating apps that benefit all users at little or no cost. I've been working all week on this, and it was seamlessly deployed late this morning.

How does it work?

Rather than simple text fields to enter city and state values, the World Database API works on a heirarchy: Continent > Country > State/Province > City. The dropdown menus are populated automatically (using AJAX) and eliminate user error. Since the database of state/provinces and cities is not yet complete – it's a big world out there – we have added an option to convert the dropdowns to a text field if needed. Here's where the magic happens...

Organic World Database

If the user enters a new state or city into a text field, that entry is stored in the world database pending review, thus growing the database organically through user input. This is important, because even Google Maps often doesn't know the difference between a city, town, or neighborhood; something we see quite often in more remote regions of foreign countries. By allowing users to provide this information we are adding location data that is valueable to the user. And that is always a good thing.

Contact us.

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