Category Archives: Publishers

CityGrid Publisher Showcase: Merchant Reviews by The Emerald Curtain Studios

I’m spending the majority of my time lately getting to know all the CityGrid publishers, and understanding how they are building web and mobile applications using CityGrid Places, Reviews, Offers and Advertising APIs.

Today I want to showcase an innovative web development shop in Dallas, Texas called The Emerald Curtain Studio. Phillip Bryan of The Emerald Curtain Studio used the CityGrid Reviews API to write a WordPress plugin that embeds a merchants reviews into their WordPress driven websites.

An example of how The Emerald Curtain Studio implemented reviews for a merchant web site, is on the Zen Salon Centrum in Dallas, TX.   The business owners maintained their own CitySearch / CityGrid merchant profiles and wanted their reviews to show up on their business websites.

“I was able to develop the plugin without much trouble, and have used it in three sites so far. The online documentation was very helpful and I was able to develop my tools easily.” says Bryan of The Emerald Curtain Studio.

When you think of using CityGrid Places API, you often think of building nationwide or city local directories, but the usage by The Emerld Curtain Studio demonstrates there is a lot more you can do to provide web development services to existing CityGrid and CitySearch merchants providing added value to your existing services, and making their sites possess much richer content.

Location Photos from Foursquare, Instagram and Flickr

I was playing around with the Instagram API yesterday to see how many of the images on the popular photo sharing platform actually had geo coordinates associated with the pictures.

It was about 50%, and I will definitely be using more in local sites I’m building.

This morning CityGrid Publisher, Explore.to pointed out their innovative usage of photos from multiple sources.

On their places detail pages, Explore.to doesn’t just use the default images for a place, they also pull in geo tagged photos from Foursquare, Instagram and Flickr.

Explore.to is a great example of the power of APIs, and mashing up geo content from multiple sources to make your places search and detail pages much richer and localized by the people who actually have been to these places.

CityGrid Publisher Showcase: Store Locator Component from Verious

Mobile-ready software component marketplace, Verious has another mobile component designed using CityGrid, this time it is a store locator component that allows you to drive foot traffic into retail locations with a product offer or local deal, that any mobile developer can use in their own apps.

This component is like a mini app with all of the functionality you would expect from a standalone location application. It is the quickest way to add a store locator functionality to your iPad app, without doing the development yourself.

The store locator component would be a perfect addition to applications for major retailers, hotel chains, regional retailers, or anyone with an app that is looking to drive people to a specific location.

This component handles all of the real-time calls, back-end content parsing, data presentation and caching necessary to bring the store locator functionality into a native mobile app. It is integrated with our CityGrid Places API, providing access to 15M local businesses and over 1M local advertisers in the US.

Component features include:

  • Location Awareness that defaults to current location, but user can change location
  • Branded Pins
  • Coupon that can be saved to gallery
  • Built-in Social Sharing
  • Built-in Local Search
  • This component also has comprehensive configuration options so you can change the look and feel to best match your application’s user interface.

The store locator component from Verious provides a quick, yet powerful way for developers to drive foot traffic to retail locations via your mobile app, using CityGrid places.   Also a great showcase of a CityGrid publisher, and what is possible with our APIs.  The component is one of thousands of modules, mobile developers can take advantage of on the Verious platform.