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Member Map?

I know this idea has come up in the past, but it looks like it's been over a decade (referring to Claude's "frappr" attempt at it -- I went to check it out, frappr is a closed down site)...

How about a USCA Member Map?

The Directory is great. But a way in which I would never use it is when planning out a longer trip, see if anyone is along the way. (That is, beyond my home state where I know the towns, or if people might live in major cities that are recognizable, the directory doesn't give a good sense of where folks are.) A map would make that easier.

This site: shows an example (of their own staff) and explains how it can be done. I've used shared maps with other groups, it's easy. And I'm sure we could agree a color-coding to correspond to the directory categories, as well as others if they made sense.

Just a thought that occurred to me as I was poking around the forum looking at next year's rally. Obviously the cabins have been scooped up, so I was looking at a map of where hotels are (I'm just not a camper at heart). My kids and I will be at the Courtyard, 202 Colonial Drive, Horseheads, New York 14845, about 10 miles from the campgrounds. We took our rig into the Big Apple Friday -- short vid of it here: -- and it started getting me pumped up for the event!


That's a good idea. We have a couple of things to consider. The most important is to be sure that any personally identifiable information is published on an opt-in only basis and secondly that it isn't available to the general public. Right now we don't have a "members only area" and that would need to exist. We would also need a full time volunteer to administer such a site. Our members renew on an annual basis so every month we have a number of changes that would need to be made each month.

If we can do it right, I'm all for it.

Thanks, Al.

To your points:

1) Yes: Opt-in only is the only way this makes sense.

2) I agree that only those with a link should be able to see it--that in google you couldn't search "sidecar" and all of sudden find our map. However, there's a few ways to handle the link: 1) a members only section of this -- sounds like work to me, 2) we could email the link only to bonafide requesters, or we can have it here in the forum -- again, sounds like work, 3) we could just stick it here in the forum. Maybe I'm naive, but I am hard-pressed to believe any bad could come from knowing 1) My name, 2) my phone number, 3) I have a sidecar/am a member of USCA. Basically, via Facebook, that's pretty much all out there anyway.

3) Yes, if it were considered a strictly members-only map, then those changes would be important. I personally would be less a stickler about that aspect, but that's just me.

Just to help people get a better sense of what I would be describing -- which may well be very different from what you are envisioning, Al -- here is a Google Map, with my location and contact info:

If you follow it you will see I've simply called it Sidecar Enthusiasts. I do in my own entry list my USCA member #, but that's more a "wave" to fellow USCA folks. I wouldn't be in favor of restricting this map to members only.

Happy to discuss the idea further -- let us know what you think, folks!



This isn't an adversarial situation. My post was just pointing out what would need to happen to make it safe for the USCA to do it. I've got nothing against the idea so long as it is done safely. The idea of "sticking it here in the forum" fails to take into account that this isn't a purely USCA site. This site is run by the USCA for the benefit of sidecarists and the sidecar interested folks out there. We have about 1,000 members in the USCA and there are over 10,000 users here and about eight times that many "guests" who never register or post. I've actually met folks who say that they are members of the USCA because they post here. They don't even realize that there is an actual club that supports this virtual presence.

Having the USCA do something is different from a grass roots movement to do something yourself. The USCA has to account for potential liability and well, frankly, I hear a lot of ideas about things that we ought to do. If you want an unvetted map of folks who have sidecars and are open to sharing their locations, I think it's a keen idea. I just don't have time to do the work. If you want to do the work, I'll donate toward your hosting costs.

If we ever do manage to implement a "members only area" on the web site, I have access to software that will populate a Google map from a table of names and addresses. The mechanics aren't overly complex. It doesn't however take maintence into account. That would require a volunteer.

I don't speak for the USCA but I do volunteer work for the club. If you feel strongly about this, form a plan, submit it to the Board and see if they will approve it. I'd support the idea if it is done right.

Yep, that's very similar to the software I spoke of. Hey, I'm for it, knock yourself out. Anyone who wants to opt in can do it. Let us know where it's posted.


This has gotten to be a circular discussion. OPT-IN systems don't start with data, they start with the opportunity for an individual to choose to participate or not participate in a program or system that exists and can be demonstrated to them. In addition our system does not support a "members only area" which is the flag you mentioned. Until there is a sea change here, our software will not support it safely.

If you really want to do this, get yourself a free Yahoo Group or similar and have a go at it. I'm sure some folks will follow you. Heck, I'll sign up.