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recently i was working on a proof of concept for virtual earth, etc.  i wanted to do better "find stuff near my address" but have never worked with geospacial proximity before.  so on the quest i went for more information.  i wanted something better than my "select * where zipcode = @zip" query :-).  i was looking for "select * where proximity is within 5 miles of @zip" to show some true calculation.

a friend of mine turned me on to this article regarding implementing proximity searching on sql server 2000.  i read it and it was intriguing (and works on sql 2005 as well) so i gave it a go.  note: atn is not a built-in function for sql server (likely why they used access in the sample, but i bypassed that. 

i had addresses in my database, but not all were geocoded, so i whipped up a quick app using my (which default uses yahoo geocoding) and went to town geocoding 2000+ addresses.  well either yahoo didn't like that kind of activity (or they probably didn't appreciate me using the appkey 'yahoodemo' either!) but it started to fail.  i got most of them in which was adequate for my sample.  the ones that failed actually had apartment numbers in their addresses, etc.  ideally this would be done when the address was inserted from the user interface (geocode at point of save/update).

the second part was to do the proximity calculations update, for which i used the article.  again, ideally this could be a trigger on the insert once you know the lat/long of the address -- i didn't write that up, but that would be a good idea to do as a function or something.

my end result was everything working perfectly as i needed. -- thanks doug for the pointer!

i then wired it up to a web service that i call using asp.net ajax.  then wired that up to virtual earth and boom, done.  i decided to use custom pushpins and format the details pane a little bit more than the default.  the one thing i wanted was to format it even more, which can be done using the customization of the ShowDetailOnMouseOver and OnMouseOverCallback -- both of which worked, but are applied globally to the VEPushpin objects.  the one thing i didn't like was the lack of OnMouseOutCallback...where's that! 

at any rate, my sample refactored and is working.  i made a modified version of what the arizona department of public safety provides for searching for sex offenders in your area.  mine uses virtual earth (the data is publically available).  you can see it at http://azso.asyncpostback.com.  you can use zip codes like: 85032, 85242, anything in arizona only.

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i've always been curious, is the worst first class seat (1a) better than the best coach class seat?  well, i used to think the best coach seats were the exit rows because of the leg room, etc. (actually i still think that)...so when booking a recent flight, i noticed the exits were still available -- and this was a 757...so i picked one. 

27F.

here's my knee:

27F

and here's the flight attendant seat directly across from my other knee:

27F

bottom line: if you are on a 757, avoid 27F!

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we've been handing out these keyboard shortcut pamphlets at various conferences around the world.  now i'm glad to say you can download them online now rather than wait for your lazy busy developer evangelist to bring them to you!

download links:

have fun!

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if you read this blog (and the boring non-technical stuff) you'll remember that where i live they had been filming a movie called 'the kingdom' with jaime foxx and jennifer garner (among others).  well, the trailer is now available.  i'm seriously amazed at how real the movie looks given that i saw the set and how it was constructed -- filmmakers and set producers and cinematographers are amazing.

anyway, here's some pics...

this one is jaimee foxx on the Red Mountain 202 freeway in north mesa:

this one is actually on the set that was by my house:

you can watch the trailer here.  the opening part in the trailer is the set that was build -- it's all a facade.  the airport scene?  that's .  the scene right after that showing the building exploded -- same set after they tore it up; freeway scenes with car explosions?  loop 202 in arizona.

pretty exciting to see it in action now, can't wait for the movie.

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okay, well technically, where's when you need him?  i live in a city called queen creek, arizona...which for most of the time had been a small farming community.  within the past 4 years it has boomed along with the real estate industry in the east side of the greater phoenix, arizona areas.  and now i feel it is a modern day footloose movie area!

it's a great city, still has some small-town feel (which i like), and we have an awesome neighborhood.  still the town is experiencing growing pains.

aside from the city growing pains, there is a pretty resistant neighborhood for certain typse of lifestyle, and apparently dancing is one of them :-).

queen creek spans two counties, pinal and maricopa (maricopa is the largest county).  well, in the pinal side of things, there is a place called , which is a restaurant and outdoor entertainment area.  i must say that i despise country music...i just don't like it.  but *any* music live is great as it brings a level of excitement regardless of what you are doing.  san tan flat is also a good family place (aside from the smoking still allowed, which i'm not sure why as arizona just passed a no public smoking ordinance).  each table has its own fireplace and you can bring in your own s'mores fixings, etc.  a LOT of families frequent the place (they kick anyone <21 out at 11pm).  a group of friends of ours go there sometimes as well to kick back, have fun and dance (well, i don't dance, that was in my pre-nup).

well, it seems the city received some complaints and the residents are pulling out the dated laws to try to get rid of san tan flat.  as reported 12 news, you can read the official complaint here (link to the city complaint and a video about the story).  apparently they (pinal county) found a loophole in that dancing is only allowed in enclosed areas -- and san tan flat is an open area outside.

it's re-friggin-diculous and really makes me think of footloose.  we went there last night and there were 'beware of the dance police' signs all over the place.  all we want to do is have a good time.  you can't hear anything from a neighboring area in my opinion as the flat is almost in the middle of nowhere -- and there isn't any traffic issues either ever since we've been going.

someone has their undershorts on too tight and needs to get a grip on reality.  it's a fun place, it's fun entertainment...get a life pinal county!  i hope san tan flat can succeed in their quest...otherwise i'm calling ren!