The Community Sales tools have been upgraded to be completely redone and streamlined to let users distribute their own maps, webpages, directions, guides, etc
The website mapping engine has been upgraded to the new version of Google maps and other bugs have been fixed
The entire site has been sped up considerably
craigslist legal stuff is in a happy place
I am also nearly finished with a substantial Android app update that I have been working on and off since January. I will add a new post describing the cool new features once I have this updated in the Play store in a week or two.
As always, continue to let me know when you find problems and don’t forget to show your friends on sale day how much more efficient they could be if they used Yard Sale Treasure Map.
I have finally finished the first phase of Add Sales Spreadsheet tool. This tool integrates directly with the main site to let users quickly add and manage lots of sales in a spreadsheet format, where previously users could only add one sale at a time (with zero management capabilities). This should be a serious step forward for folks who live places where craigslist isn’t used extensively.
The second phase is to finish reworking this spreadsheet tool for folks who are looking to bring their community/neighborhood garage sales into the digital age. The spreadsheet page will look the same, but users will have access to a Google or Silverlight map specific to their sale. Additionally there is another tool that will automatically create the sale guide for distribution during the event. This is basically a rework of my previous community sale effort, with improved tools and a free price tag. I should have this available within two weeks so stayed tuned.
For now, you can access the spreadsheet tool in the “Add Sales” tab on the main site. Post comments to let me know what worked and what didn’t! I will be making tweaks as appropriate.
It’s been almost three years since we posted the first version of “Yard Sale Mapper” iPhone app on the app store. Since then there have been a few features added, but this spring we have given the app a complete overhaul and added lots of handy features!
Users can now flag sales of interest, perform text searches, change the search radius, and browse sales in list format (as well as by map location as before). In addition, this app now also runs on iPad, giving you an enhanced experience. This app is available now free on the app store. Check it out and let me know what you think!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog, which someone just pointed out to me. In January 2011 I finally finished my original goal of linking the website to the mobile apps. Now yard salers can use the feature-rich web site for their planning, then send their planned route to their phone and use the on-the-go app features for Android and iPhone.
Also, yard salers are understanding the power of the “Add Sales” tab and how they can plot sales from other sources into YSTM to make it easier to plan.
Based on your feedback, the next few updates will be:
Fixing the delete sale feature in the itinerary
Fixing the update sale feature so that any sale can be updated by anyone
Revamping the add sales feature to let users put in neighborhood addresses and make corrections as necessary
Taking a fresh look at making the craigslist addresses more accurate
After many requests, I have finally started working on a way for communities and neighborhoods to map their large-scale yard sales. Community sales have their own private site (using a more interesting and powerful Silverlight map) while all sales are also displayed on the main site, the iPhone app (Yard Sale Mapper), and the Android app (Yard Sale Treasure Map).
If you don’t see the above map, please hit the download silverlight button… you’ll be glad you did!
While I have only agreed to put together these private maps for a few communities this Fall, I intend to polish up this technology over the Winter so everything is good and ready for the Spring yard sale season!
Additionally I plan on updating both mobile apps with search capability as well as a route sharing feature.
I have just uploaded the Yard Sale Treasure Map Android App (v1.2) to the Android market. This has been a rocky start since I do not yet own an Android, which makes it extremely difficult to properly test the thing. My apologies if you downloaded the app earlier this week (v1.0 or v1.1), because I’m pretty sure that it didn’t work for you. I am sort of kind of maybe a little bit confident that my latest fixes will let folks see the sales.
If you do experience problems, please drop me a note below or by email. Otherwise I may not know that a problem exists!
A few months ago I released a mobile web page version of YSTM that you would be re-directed to if you use a mobile device to access this site. To my surprise, very few people are taking advantage of this feature! This mobile web page is everything that the YSTM iPhone app is, but you do not need to download anything and it can be accessed from other non-Apple devices (like Android, Palm, Windows Mobile, etc). If you have a modern smart phone, YSTM will even take advantage of your phone’s GPS capabilities. See the comparison below of the iPhone app versus the YSTM mobile web page:
Mobile Web Site
Maybe there are not as many iPhone and Androids out there as I thought. But if you or someone you know has a fancy mobile phone (iPhone, Android, or otherwise), take it with you on Saturday morning! Take a peak every so often at the map. When you find a nearby sale that meets your fancy, you can get instant directions to that sale. Call this ad-hoc yardsaling!
Additionally, most people jump on to YSTM and create their map on Friday. This is a great time to do your planning, but I can tell you that my yard sale database jumps another 25% in size during the wee hours of Friday evening and Saturday morning. For this reason I worry that many of you are missing out on some great yard sales from those procrastinating yard sale hosts! If you have your mobile phone with you on Saturday you may still catch these late breaking yard sales without missing out!
Despite most of the country being in yard sale hibernation, I have been hard at work on the site.
I have finally posted a feature that will let you advertise your sale directly on YSTM. Of course if you are posting your sales to craigslist, your sales will show up on YSTM anyway, but I have added sticky notes to the right of the map to highlight specific sales (and give those sales a different marker on the map to stand out better). This idea stems directly from user comments to advertise their neighborhood sales and flea markets so thank you for your input!
I have also put together a basic mobile version of the YSTM. When you open YSTM from your mobile device you should be automatically re-directed to this mobile version. This page is much more friendly to small screens and lower bandwidth, however, presently no fancy features have been added. It is simply a map with markers, but it will hopefully suffice as a tool to get you from sale to sale in real time. I will be tweaking the mobile site from time to time to make it as friendly as possible across all mobile devices.
The mobile site has been tested successfully on iPhone and Android. This may or may not work on Windows Mobile devices depending on what browser you are using. Unfortunately, mobile Google maps do not work correctly on the Blackberry browser (I’m sure the Blackberry map app works great, but I’m talking about using the Blackberry internet browser to view Google Maps v3 API webpages which is optimized for mobile devices)… we will have to wait for Blackberry to update their browser or for Google to find a work around.
Up until this point users could add non-craigslist yard sales to their map using the “Add Location” search feature (which can also be used to map other useful stops like coffee or bathroom breaks). This information would be exclusive to that user’s map. Well, I have finally gotten around to making a nice update that I am pretty excited about.
Yesterday I added an “Add Sales” tab that will let users quickly and easily add any other yard sales from other sources, and (optionally) share the sale information with other YSTM users! I’m hoping that this will save everyone time by reducing redundant effort. If only one person in town adds the extra sale information while making her map, then every other YSTM user will be saved the time and effort.
The “Add Sales” tab is not intended to be used for advertising a sale; I would prefer that folks stick with craigslist for their advertising. This feature will hopefully be used as a way to bring all of sale information together each week to speed up the route planning process.
As always, if something doesn’t work the way that it should, or if you think I left out some important feature that would make it easier to share sale information, just email or leave a comment and I will see what I can do.
One of the problems that I have struggled with while working on this site is the bad address issue. There might be 195 different “105 Elm St.”s out there so which one do I map?
I am constantly working to improve the accuracy of my mappings, but there will always be a small percentage that just won’t be correct (for instance, “turn left at the 7-11 and follow the road to Maple Ave”). To combat this problem I have introduced controls that allow you as the user to fix ads with incorrect information. When one person finds and corrects an error, all will benefit. This is something of a social experiment I suppose. When a yard saler is planning a route and spots an excellent, but poorly mapped sale, they can correct the mapping (and thereby improve their own map) and be on their way. The next yard saler will have access to the new and improved map, and all the while everyone is saving time and energy while still finding the best sales.
And in that vein, stage two of my social experiment will be to add the ability for yard salers to share the locations of yard sales through YSTM such that for each locality, this information need only be entered once. Basically if you were adding blue markers before for non-craigslist yard sales and wished to share this information, other users would thereafter see your markers. This feature is yet to come and still needs some design work.
Let me know what you think about the current and future updates, and as always, please let me know if something doesn’t work!