News from Open Camping Map

Looking at one might get the impression that nothing has changed.

This is true as far as the general UI is concerned, however quite a lot has been changed behind the scenes.

BTW, I still would like to have prettier site icons. Probably somebody with better graphic skills than mine can help here!

So here is what has been changed behind the scenes:

In the past I was somewhat frustrated that search engines like Google did not find the link to a particular campsite on my map even if there was no better information somewhere else on the web.

Often search engines come up with mostly useless stuff like which is basically just a rip of locations from OpenStreetMap data tagged tourism=camp_site providing no further information.

That they did not find the more useful information on Open Camping Map has mostly technical reasons and is hopefully fixed now.

In the past a campsite description like has been generated by pure Javascript in the users web browser so no way for a search engine to index this description as these usually can not select sites from interactive maps.

So what I did now is generating a static version of the campsite descriptions on the server side using the same code executed only inside the users web browser before. The result can be seen if Javascript is turned of in the browser. So finally this is something a search engine should now be able to index.

My backend is now running osm2pgsql (flex) instead of imposm and a clever setup allows for faster database updates. I also generate sitemaps for crawlers like Googlebot which should then be able to find and index all the campsites shown on the map.