Friday, April 14, 2006 maps upcoming conferences

Conference season is nearing. And just in time, added a conferences map showing locations of upcoming and recently finished conferences. Oh boy, do I want to set this up for chemoinformatics too! makes use of the rel="conference" attribute for the <a> element. I'm not sure how they distinguish between upcoming and finished conferences (will need to check the source code). But I think some manual processing is done, for example, to extract conference details, like title, location and dates. I assume the URL is used as unique identifier. Additionally, the conferences are not 'tagged' yet, which should be possible too, as already associates tags from blog items with articles mentioned in that item. But this is likely a temporary ommision.

I already saw ChemConf2006 picked up from an earlier post by me. Unfortunately, because it is an online conference, it does not show up on tha map :( The following two conference do have a physical location, and I hope the will appear on the map. If you wonder why I mention only these two, they are the two I will attend in the next 8 weeks, and will have presence of open source bio- and chemoinformatics software developers (at least one, me).


  1. Nothing fancy, unfortunately - the code picks up posts with the appropriate markup or with a title that sounds like it could be about a conference.

    When logged on as an admin at Postgenomic you can then browse conference-related posts and enter the relevant details (name, date, location, blurb) manually. The Google Maps lookup is automated, however...

    In the ideal world everybody would use hCalendar event markup when describing the conferences they discuss. Unfortunately this seems unlikely in the short term - so (some) manual labour it is. : )

  2. I had a look at your HTML code, and decided that is looked easy enough to give it a try myself. The result is at:

    I also hooked in asynchronous reading of the XML data.xml backend. With Pg is makes sense to have the markers defined from the HTML itself, as it is autogenerated anyway. I use a static HTML page, with a backend with entries that looks like:

    <marker lat="52.0243" lng="5.6725"
    title="Netherlands Bioinformatics Conference"
    place="De Reehorst, Ede, The Netherlands"
    date="24 April 2006"

    Full file at:

    I have not looked at hCalender yet, but hack that in would be nice. Is it XML based?