Finding Autos with EBay and Microsoft Virtual Earth

I've been in the market for a motorcycle for the last year and have struggled to come to terms with the price of a brand new Harley-Davidson. Perhaps this is why I keep them so close to me as one of my customers hoping they'll throw me a bone (in a legitimate way, of course). Anyway, I found a mashup that just so happened to whet my appetite for getting one step closer to getting on that HOG - The application takes features of EBay's API and provides a simple interface for filtering your search based on auto type, model, location (postal code), search radius, sort preference (distance, bid price and time to end) and max price. Once results are produced, they are overlaid on a Virtual Earth map with custom pins plus data and a picture injected into the enhanced roll over. Mapped out results are also produced in a list below the map.


I found 2 H-D Softails within 100 miles of 98072. Now, in Seattle there just aren't that many bikes for sale. Why? Really? Rain? IDK. Those who do ride in the PacNW are hardcore and will ride regardless of the rain. Anyway, once you have your mapped out result set you can then add additional filtering to the results by using the slider bars for year, mileage, price, and distance. For each auto you find you can see how many bids have been made and the time left so you can either get your butt in gear and make a bid or squat until the last 60 seconds (like most people do). There's also a link directly to the auto up for bid so you can make your bid - a great way of connecting the dots. A great application with a very clean interface.

Now, a little story. I hope this application really catches on or EBay hires my boy, Vivek, who wrote this application. They'd be up and running in no time. About 2 years ago I spoke with EBay and wanted to get this interface on their site. So, why haven't they done it? Maps are so easy to integrate with the AJAX programming model (or, now, .Net with the Virtual Earth ASP .Net Control) and provide such a rich interface for users to find what they're looking for. They're like the last site to not do this.

As for my destiny to end up on a HOG, this Fatboy for $10,000 looks like a pretty sweet deal. I may have to give this guy a call for a test ride. Oh, and for those of you who are into motorcycles, the Harley-Davidson Museum just opened July 12. I'll be making my way out there in short order because Milwaukee in the winter is, well, who likes frozen cheese?


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