Finishing Things

Me,Technology Friday 19th January 2007

I was talking with my Mum last night and realised that we share one (among many) particular trait: not finishing things. In my free time I’m great at starting projects but not so good at actually finishing them. So, with that in mind I’m listing all of my half finished projects here in a hope of shaming myself into maybe finishing them off some day.

Lothian buses routes on Google Maps


Take the route (list of street names) from the Lothian Buses timetable and dump them into the Google Maps route finder. Inelegantly scape the results to extract the GPolygon munge. Then stick all the paths together to get the final route.

Shown left is the (rough) route of the number 22. The bus I used to have to take to work when I lived out in the “boonies”.

WordPress Amazon plugin


I’ve started a WordPress plugin to allow easy access to the Amazon e-commerce API. Mainly to facilitate extracting product information. So you can say stuff like “I’m currently reading –AMAZONASIN–” and my plugin will fetch all the necessary information like title, author, image etc. The API isn’t super-fast so I’m currently at the stage of working out a schema to cache all the necessary information. The different types of products all have a different subset of attribute fields, so I’m trying to work out a flexible solution. I’ve also worked on some image processing trickery to allow for the oh so trendy apple-style “book at angle with reflection” image (as seen left). It’s a bit jaggy at the minute, I need to find out how to do blurring with GD in PHP. I’ve even got a Google Code page for this project which handily has SVN access.

I know there are a few plugins out there that do this already but they either aren’t flexible enough or just look too amateurish for my liking.

Edinburgh Urban Art

I started doing an interface to the Flickr group I set up. The basics are there but it could do with some more pizazz.

Book Blog

Over at /books/ I like to keep track of what I’ve been reading. I’ve managed to keep this up for almost two years but should really get around to doing something more exciting with the design. Actual book data is what inspired my WordPress plugin above. So, when that is finished the page should be awash with tags, photos, reviews etc.



  1. Your bus timetable Google Maps mash-up idea reminded of one I’ve seen for train timetables. It’s at and is pretty neat.

  2. Yeah, that train one is pretty clever. The way it scrapes the live departure times and then updates it pretty neat. In an ideal world it would have the proper routes, instead of going in a straight line from point to point.