Finder & Hero Templates: The Fastest Way to Get Started with Location-Based Windows 8 Apps

By: Nik Garkusha, February 15, 2013

Today our team is sharing in the excitement of revealing two new Windows 8 templates : “Finder” & “Hero”.

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    • Finder Template: user can locate points of interest on a map (e.g. buildings, historic places, etc.), with a sortable menu a “Details” and “Directions” options for each point.
    • Hero Template: users can crowd-source location-based data (e.g. fix-my-street type scenarios), with a way to submit & map points of interest, and a management back-end.

Built by the awesome crew at RedBit Development, these Open Source templates are near-complete Windows 8 apps using WinJS. This means if you know HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you can grab the code from GitHub here, change the configuration to point to your own data feed (JSON), customize a few bits (map key, splash screen, icons, etc.)  and you’re done!

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Both templates include a web-based back-end, written in Node.JS, but for an app based on the Finder template you only need a backend if you’re pointing to more than one data source. You can read up more on the templates in this Mark Arteaga’s post and stay tuned for Quick Start Guides coming soon!

Lastly, those are you familiar with government Open Data will recognize that the Finder template is ideal for all that geospatial data (parking meters, schools, flu clinics, etc.) and the Hero template is of course useful for any citizen/resident crowd-sourcing initiatives. So, it’s by no coincidence that our team is adding an Open Data theme to the Make Web Not War Hackathon @ Confoo in Montreal (Feb 25th/26th) with a specific focus on using these template.

So, check out the templates today, and if you’re in Montreal – we hope to see you at the hackathon!

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