Find Me In Chicago

This article and the Find Me In Chicago application was originally written in 2016. I am pleased to say that as of this update, the application still seems to be working just fine. If I were to do a rewrite today, I would definitely not use jQuery. Sorry jQuery, I still appreciate all you have done for the web and I am impressed at your longevity. However, there is no denying today’s more robust frameworks like React or Angular with Material Design would be the obvious path forward.

Modern web architecture began to change dramatically with the introduction of jQuery in 2006. Finally reliable cross browser JavaScript code was in reach of even the most modest project using CSS selector syntax and a unified DOM interface. Still, for years, the most practical approach to using this technology on the public Internet was to use progressive enhancement. Core web application functionality would work event if JavaScript (and thus jQuery) was not available or active on a browser.

Today the idea of browsing the web without Javascript is an unusual use case to support. This opens up the potential to deliver a more fluid user experience with minimal effort. As an example I present Find Me In Chicago a small application developed in a just a few hours powered by Google Maps, jQuery, and Socrata Open Data using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JSON, AJAX, REST, Geocoding, Reverse Geocoding, Mobile Friendly, Responsive Design, Single Page App (SPA), Microformat and Web Service technologies.