It’s a common problem on real estate agencies websites that on the detailed information page of a property there is no street name or map, which could help to visualize the location of the property. This can be very disturbing, because so the users don’t have enough information to decide whether they are seriously interested in the subject of the ad.
The application I’ve developed enables the automation of displaying addresses of properties on a map, as it can search between properties in a database by specified search criteria, and can display the results on a selected web-based map. Of course, I don’t want to scare away the user at the intake of properties data, so geographical coordinates are not expected, only addresses. But web maps usually need coordinates, so we have to implement a process on all the addresses in the database that is called “geocoding”. It means that the address is converted into coordinates, so displaying a point on the web-based map is no longer a barrier.
The application consists of two main components, the first is responsible for the search function, it returns only those results that meet the search criteria. This component is written in PHP, and of course, with use of SQL queries too.
The second component is responsible for displaying the data given by the search component on the map, uses the coordinates, or, if there aren’t any, performs a geocoding process on the address. It is also responsible for the “text-bubble” with the property name, that appears if we on an object on the map. The property name is also a link, by clicking on it we can reveal additional information about the (description and image gallery).
At the end of this dissertation, I demonstrate some possible development directions, but, as there are too many ways, I can’t present all of those.