Blog Pile

Connecting Calendars in the Cloud


cc licensed flickr photo shared by ejhogbin

Calendar data has always stumped me- on one hand it seems rather structured — something (data) happens on a date (data) maybe at a place (data) but it is something people much more savvy than I struggle with as it gets more complex… but I am not writing about the micro issues of micro data.

In the last few years of many travel trips, I’d dabbled with two web based calendar services, which at some level are very similar– both dopplr and trip.it allow you to add events without the manual typing in of things to form– very elegantly by forwarding via email your airline, car rental, hotel reservations — that is oh so smart. For a while I was using both, but ran into some issues with dopplr accepting a second email sender address (I get travel stuff sent to both my work and personal email).

Both offer maps, itineraries, social connections, blog widgets… Here is my travel on tripit and on dopplr. Tripit has a very slick iPhone app (dopplr is offering one soon). dopplr has a great carbon counter. TripIt’s iPhone app rocks and I have it integrated with a FlightTracker app. doppr has a new sort of collective intelligence thing going with its Social Atlas…. oi, it gets tiring to track.

I cant really say one is “better” than the other because the features are constantly changing, and I don’t really see a need to try and analyze the features; so in the past year, I have been sending all my travel to TripIt alone. It works, but I got some feed notes about dopplr starting some new things and wondered if there was some duct tape and rss way to connect them all together.

I ended up mapping my calendar cloud using gliffy.


My calender cores are Google calendars, shared between my NMC google account and my personal CogDogBlog Google account. I synchronize them to my desktop iCal using SpanningSync (yes there are ways to do this directly with iCal, but what I have works). I have my iCal subscribed to my feed from TripIt, so all of my TripIt data is pushed to iCal and then to Google. And I get everything synced to my iPhone via iTunes.

What I was curious was if there was a way to push my Trip data to dopplr… and sort of found it. Since my TripIt comes into my iCal via a feed, all I had to do is to publish it to dopplr as instructed. It does work, although it seems to be parsing my travel oddly… Since I live in Strawberry Arizona and drive to Pheonix for air travel, dopplr has me listed with a trip “flying to Phoenix”. And for some reason, a tripIt booked hotel in Austin, with full location information, ends up in dopplr in Colorado Springs (I am guessing because the hotel address is on Barton Springs Rd?).

It’s not perfect, but I love building these patchwork spaghetti networks of data. Why? Because I can….

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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