One Friday per month we have developer Hack Offs at FreshBooks. Hack Offs are one day code sprints, where our developers are given the entire day to work on whatever they want. They’re a lot of fun and it’s amazing how often ideas that start as Hack Offs make their way into the product.
Last Hack Off I thought it would be interesting to see from where in the world people were using FreshBooks right now. I figured mapping where anonymous FreshBooks events were happening in real-time would be a doable visualization project. The result of my hack off was FreshMap, and folks seemed to like it. So much in fact, that we’ve put it up on a 52″ TV in the office kitchen!
We’ve also put a version up on our website, so you can view it here. (Go on, it’s fairly mesmerizing).
How does it actually work?
Technically speaking, FreshMap is pretty simple. It uses the Google Maps API for the map and geocoding, and JQuery to fetch data from the web service, which returns anonymous recent events from FreshBooks that are formatted as JSON (we made this anonymous data feed to power our home page).
If any developers want to check out the source code, you can find FreshMap on GitHub.
Again – check out FreshMap live!