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Youth hockey site features interactive map

By Loren Nelson, 04/30/15, 2:00AM CDT


Twin Bridges Lightning webmaster creates interactive Google map that shows all the rinks in the St. Louis area

Status and quo might as well be four-letter words for Twin Bridges Lighting webmaster Craig Duffy, whose constant quest for improvement is documented almost daily in his work on the youth hockey association’s website.

When we checked in with Duffy for a Webmaster of the Week article back in early February, we raved about his work for the St. Louis-area association. Specifically, we highlighted the Rinks page he created using a customized Google map.

Duffy shows the locations of all the rinks in the St. Louis area, giving special designation to the four that serve as home ice for Lightning teams. He originally differentiated the home rinks with stars instead of the standard balloons or pins seen on most Google maps. 

He has since jazzed up his original version of the Rinks page with several bells and whistles, most notably by putting the full name of the rinks in text blocks under the markers on the map. The four Lightning home rinks are differentiated by matching text and background colors that are different from the rest of the locations.

Buttons for each rink are located below the map. Click on the button, and, presto, the map repositions itself with the selected rink moving to the center. Pretty cool.

We’re surprised more associations don’t make a custom Google map (here is a quickie tutorial from Sport Ngin’s David Urbaniak) to give an overview of all the venues in a region. The Flower Mound (Texas) Youth Sports Association site does a great job of zooming in separately on the dozens of baseball and softball fields used by its teams, but there is no overview map similar to what Duffy has created.

Our favorite part Duffy’s Rinks page is the text block at the top titled, Interactive Map Helpful Hints. As the title suggests, he has written a series of bullet points that explains how to use the map, including how to get directions to the various rinks.