Tips and Tricks On Converting Addresses to GPS Location

I see people graphing addresses on maps all the time. For example, one of my clients,, had me do some work on their system. Here’s a quick “Q” and “A” for people who may be working with this sort of thing in the future:

Q: What’s the easiest way to lookup the gps locations of addresses and then put them on a map?

A: Google maps is by far the easiest and most prolific. Everybody uses it.

Q: Wait, but isn’t it just for nonprofits?

A: Technically, they say so, but I have never seen it enforced. Many businesses use it; as far as I can tell, Google loves the free advertising, but they just want the right to revoke it (again, they never have stopped a business from using it).

Q: Okay, so don’t they limit you to a certain amount of lookups per day?

A: Yes! Its like 15,000, though. You can use a server-side language like “PHP” to “cache” the different address lookups, ┬áthat way you never lookup the same address twice. For example, you could force the user to type in something in the form of a “city-state” combination and then “cache” all city-state lookups. Then, you would only lookup a city ONCE ever! Its very fast.

Q: When developing, any tips?

A: Write a “GPS” class that handles all of the gps-lookups throughout your application. Then, optimize it by caching all city-state lookups, zip code lookups, and address lookups. Also, have the configuration for the script (the “application key”) stored or configurable within the class. I’ve seen people hardcode this in throughout the application… that’s a big “no no.” Don’t do it.

Q: Lets say I have a list of locations (maybe businesses or schools or something) and I want to find all of them within a certain distance of a location. How do I do that?

A: If you took geometry, you probably remember “Pythagrian’s Theorum” (A^2 + B^2 = C^2) and distance formula (C = sqrt(A^2 + B^2). There is a “modified” version of the distance formula that you can use that converts the “A” and “B” from “miles” to “degrees longitude/latitude.” has more information.

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Yom – day or period of time?

Alright, enough people have asked whether or not the hebrew word “Yom” means “day” or “period of time” and I’ve read enough articles about it to decide that there’s some important information lacking… REAL SOURCES! So, I’m not going to give any conclusions; just read the pdf below and draw your own conclusion.

The pdf consists of 5 pages:

  1. The first page of the Bible IN HEBREW with the word “yom” circled
  2. First half of Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words definition to Yom
  3. continuation of page 2
  4. First Page (of 4) of Brown Driver and Briggs definition of Yom
  5. Second Page (of 4) of BDB definition of Yom
  6. Third Page of BDB definition of YOM
  7. Fourth Page of BDB definition of YOM

Please read all pages and note the many uses of the word YOM. Also note the many forms of the word Yom, particularly in BDB. Its a very flexible words. Also, on page one, note the music notation… something that translations can’t capture…


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My First Android App!

Alright, as of today I now have an Android App on the market! It can be found if you search for “Splayback.” I have attached the “APK” installation files below. There are two versions: one for older Android devices and one for newer ones. If you are not sure which one to get, get the “Android 1.5+” version.

Splayback.apk – For Android 1.5+

Splayback_2_1.apk – For Android 2.1+

Be sure to check on Android Market for updates!


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To Mozy or not to Mozy

Not to Mozy.

I have been using Mozy for around 6 months now and recently had to restore some of my files. Restoring was a HUGE pain. Also, I found that it had not backed up all of the files that I asked it to backup, causing me to lose some of my work. The whole point of having Mozy is to not need to continually back things up, but if you can’t rely on them, its not worth your time. Use Carbonite, their major competitor. Its better.

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