Friday, October 21, 2005 - review
content [0-10]: 6
ad layout [0-10]: 2
Made For AdSense: No

I can appreciate As far as I can tell, the webmaster put some work into the map code. That proves to me that maybe he might have an interest in the content beyond putting up ads. I checked out the Toxic Waste and Volcano maps, and it's mildly interesting to check out where the markers are.

Enough compliments. Now it's time to pick it apart, because not as much work has been done as first appears. Obviously this site is utilizing Google's Maps API, so all the bells and whistles (the map interface itself) can be credited to Google. What does that leave? For anyone to use the API, they still have to know what they're doing. The marker logic doesn't just code itself. Well, true as that may be, SkookumMaps didn't code it either. The marker framework is PdMarker from So now what does that leave? I'm not sure. I don't intend for this to be a code walkthrough, so let's just say SkookumMaps has some novel maps implemented on top of a some cool frameworks created by others. And that's good enough for a 5 rating in content.

The ad layout is the part of the site that I don't like. It's a blended layout, big surprise. Pictures next to borderless ads, formatted to look like content links, and so forth. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. All this serves to do is trick the user into clicking an ad. Layout score is 2.

Update: In response to Dave (lonecrow), thanks for stopping by. I base my reviews on first impressions, and seemed like a borderline Made For AdSense site. Regardless, it's your ad layout that piqued my interest, because blended ads are a sure sign of putting money before usability. However, I changed the content rating from a 5 to a 6. Good luck with the coding experiments.

Image Hosted by