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Black and Blue Zenbu

June 15, 2010

Since the very beginning of Zenbu the members of the NZ Open GPS project have been big supporters of Zenbu.  NZOGPS make weekly-updated, auto-routing, NZ maps for Garmin GPS devices with Zenbu data baked in to the  maps as Points Of Interest (POIs). The maps have a well deserved reputation for being better than the official Garmin maps and are in regular use by thousands of locals and tourists. Of course the free price point is just the icing on the cake!

Users of the maps have contributed thousands of updates to Zenbu (thank you!). Many of those updates have involved placing the location marker precisely on the map; users now know exactly where to go and your GPS will guide you right to the front door. This has been of particular use with vague addresses like “State Highway 3, Awakino” – without the exact location on Zenbu you’d end up driving up and down the road looking for the Junction Service Station.

Zenbu has used a system of different coloured markers to differentiate between markers that are roughly accurate and markers that are exactly in the right place.

  • means “near here” (and you could help us pinpoint it)
  • means “exactly here”

As Zenbu expands it has come to cover things that are real-world businesses, but don’t have an exact location, things like home offices of businesses that aren’t open to the public or tradespeople who operate in a specific area but have no showroom.

In order to accommodate this type of entry and to best display them on Zenbu we have added a third marker type. Let me introduce to you… the blue marker

  • means “around here”; mobile or no public location

Entries with blue markers show up on the map and in nearest searches. They won’t display in the Nearest Zenbu Listings section on other entry pages because that is designed to give people a point of reference in the real world, and blue markers represent things which operate in that area but aren’t actually at that exact location on the map. It is perfect for plumbers, electricians, locksmiths and other businesses who operate in a general area.

There are a bunch of entries with orange markers that should probably be blue. This page is helpful for identifying those entries and putting them in the their place.
http://www.zenbu.co.nz/entries/mapfixer

Thanks to everyone who has helped make Zenbu a wonderland of geospatial data and a great place to find your nearest ‘whatever’. I hope the addition of Blue markers helps make Zenbu data more useful to the world.

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