Online Wedding Planner now supports Importing of Contacts, Template based E-mails, RSVPs and more.

June 17, 2009

Online Wedding Planner now supports Importing of Contacts, Template based E-mails, RSVPs and more.

Started Tweeting : http://twitter.com/rraj

Recent Tweets :

(rubbing hands) Incoming email support & XMPP API in AppEngine expected anytime now (at most by, June 22) http://bit.ly/1a3u5F
1:59 AM Jun 15th from web

GOOG’s Girouard : g-Docs to get much better within 12 months; will be “night & day from what they are today” http://bit.ly/3T8eL
1:51 AM Jun 15th from web

RT: @metrocommute: Commuting options (buses/trains) for apartment you plan to buy? www.placetolive.in answers with help from MetroCommute.in
6:56 PM Jun 13th from TwitterFox

RT: @placetolive: XS Real: Bella Tuscany is iPhone “class”, but we understand functional phone markets, so: http://bit.ly/iOSOX #Real-Estate
6:31 PM Jun 13th from TwitterFox

Opera to make browsers into mini web-servers ?! Refer : http://www.opera.com/freedom and http://bit.ly/859Qe #opera
3:51 AM Jun 13th from web

facebook.com/rajkumar.radhakrishnan
6:02 PM Jun 12th from web

Driving Directions supported, try http://bit.ly/I7LXj
7:50 PM Jun 10th from web

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Metro Commute in Chennai using buses or trains connecting West Mambalam

June 9, 2009

Anugraha Hall details in MatrimonyPlanner has the following “Access details” property..

ROAD :

From Rajiv Gandhi Road / OMR : Take road towards Velachery, just after Naidu Hall and Sony showroom, take left to reach Anugraha Hall.

From Vijaynagar Bus Terminus in Velachery, take Taramani Road and just after Baby Nagar Bus-stop, take right for Anugraha Hall.

TRAIN :

Nearest MRTS Station : Perungudi. You may take an auto-rickshaw or walk (refer our map for details). 

And this does not even include details on how to get to Velachery (from say Tambaram / Central / Egmore / Koyambedu / etc.,.). You would have noticed that wedding cards usually have the bus routes to reach to the mandapam locality and it imperative to have better details as part of the marriage hall details in MatrimonyPlanner.

The following is Sahasvat’s attempt towards that goal..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Central

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Koyambedu

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Tambaram


MetroCommute.in

 

The details provided in the website include bus routes and train routes to localities in and around Chennai.

The website is still in beta and may need some more ironing out of details with respect to stage names of bus routes and their geo-locations. This is because the data from the MTC bus site, cannot be used as is. There can be a lot of ambiguity and some incomplete/incorrect stage names..

To give you a sample on ambiguity..

  • “Madipakkam Rd. Jn” may mean the road junction in Madipakkam or the one near Velachery MRTS.
  • “Anna Nagar” may also refer to Anna Nagar near Korukkupet or to the Anna Nagar near Vandalur.
  • “Ramapuram” may also refer to Ramapuram near Putlur.
  • “Thirumangalam” may also refer to Thirumangalam Village, near Sunguvarchathiram.
  • “Brindavan Colony” may be Brindavan Colony in Adambakkam or the one near Anna Nagar.
  • “Thandalam Village” near Thirupporur is actually Mettu Thandalam Village.

And a sample on incomplete/incorrect stage names..

  • “Andakuppam” may actually refer to Andalkuppam, near Manali and different from Andakuppam near Kundrathur. 
  • There are stage names like P135, E022, C064, K115, V085, G023, K116, etc.,.

For most errors, I would assume the reason was some sort of an auto-completion/selection being used when entering the stage-names. But I wonder why stage codes (like P135, E022, etc.,) have to be left in the routes. I guess, the first letter in codes should actually refer to the starting letter of the stage name.

The ambiguous nature of the stage names can cause route maps to have stages out of path, but easy to identify visually, when loading the route map. Once that is done, the alternate/name of the stage and its exact location can be found by zooming into the region and doing a search. This can still fail to identify the location (probably due to differences in spelling – “c” instead of “s”, an extra “e” or “h” or “l” or “t”,  “d” instead of “t” or i/y/e used interchangeably or differences in using spaces, etc.,.). In such cases one needs to switch to the hybrid view and see for settlements in that locality and then find their names.  Even this can fail as many will have just “the great abc’s home” / “xyz’s plot” kind of descriptions. For some remote locations I may have interpolated a few stage locations. A few more iterations and possibly feedback from users may be required to have even better accuracy.

Suburban train route details from Southern Railway did not have such issues.

Driving directions and call-taxi / call-auto / call-driver details will be coming up next.

Details on switching buses en-route, may not be taken up at once. It is not a trivial problem to solve and while it is easy to implement it in a simpler way, it can fail providing wrong suggestions. For example, if you search for options from Velachery to Chromepet, you will be asked to travel to Thiruvottiyur Bus Stand, in one of the existing solutions. 

“Wait, you mean there are already websites which use the MTC bus routes data.. then, why do you have to build MetroCommute.in ? How different is it from others ?” you might ask.

MetroCommute.in site is not just for MTC bus routes. Details of existing suburban train routes including MRTS, Beach-Tambaram, Tambaram-Chengelpattu, Central-Thiruvallur, Central-Arakkonam, Central-Gummidipoondi and Central-Sullurpeta lines are already part of the site. Details of Call-Taxi / Call-Auto and Call-Driver numbers, Personal driving directions, Discussion Threads on commuting options, Group Travel, etc., will also be supported. The goal is when you come to the website, your commuting option should be finalized.

(By “Group Travel” I refer to something like an ondemand carpool. This is already common in offices, where employees form a group and book a Sumo/Van for attending a colleague’s wedding and share the costs. But what if the wedding is for someone who is not a colleague, but people from your locality are attending the same. And, what if more people are travelling to the same locality, but for a different wedding. Well that is just a rough idea.)

MetroCommute.in takes a locality-centric approach to finding the routes, rather than limiting itself to specific bus stages. This is more useful when you are not sure of the stage names (like for example, there is no stage name called “Ashok Nagar” or “West Mambalam” in the MTC bus stages), but with MetroCommute.in you can find..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Ashok Nagar

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/West Mambalam

Once you reach the locality, you can always use an auto-rickshaw for a shorter commute to your specific destination.

You can even search for options like..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Mount Road/with/OMR

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/ECR/with/OMR

MetroCommute.in is developed to be embedded into other sites which have locality specific data. Sahasvat has 3 such sites (MatrimonyPlanner.in, PlaceToStay.in and PlaceToLive.in), where it requires to use this feature. The type of integration can also be flexible, with a possible two-way integration with MetroCommute.in. So building a site with such flexible options can be useful when it comes to integrating with other websites.

We welcome your feedback/suggestions on improving the usefulness of MetroCommute.in .