I no longer write my blog’s software but that hasn’t stopped from dabbing in the web world and creating stuff. Lately, I’ve been building some micro sites – sites that take a me a day or two to build. An example is my Gas site.

When I saw the Winterlicious site from the City of Toronto, I got that itch again. Every year they list the restaurants in a big table (well you can “filter” it slightly by picking your region of the city) but it is incomprehensible to me. Especially because I rather go for the $15 lunch or $25 dinner ones.

This year, I was thinking that the restaurants would be much easier to visualize if they were on a map. I started debating whether I should take on such a project; it’s just a matter of parsing their page into an easier to handle format, and then outputting it as Javascript. I was on the fence because I don’t think I’m even going to go to any Winterlicious restaurants this year!

Well my geeky side one and I implemented a Google Mashup of Winterlicious 2010’s restaurants. The parsing was easier (i.e., mostly brainless) than expected, but I actually got stuck a bit because I didn’t know how to use the GMaps API. I didn’t realize you couldn’t just pass the API an address and have it place it on the map, so I actually had to insert an extra step where I performed all the geo-location offline.

In the end it was worth it, both Torontoist and BlogTO picked up my site and ran it. Torontoist included it in their blog about Winterlicious 2010, and although I missed BlogTO’s Winterlicious post (since they already put it up), they mentioned me on their Morning Brew for January 14th. I noticed they kind of ripped off each other’s “screenshot” of my site!