Zopto, and a comparison of mapping URLs

Ben Nolan’s presentation from last years Where 2.0 conference is now online at IT conversations.


He talks about “zopto”, which is the name given to the URL addressing scheme created by ProjectX and used on zoomin.co.nz and smaps.co.nz.

Implementing URLs which can be easily spidered by search engines is a great idea.

Perhaps more importantly, having short human-readable (sort of!) URLs which can easily be pasted into an email makes the site much more usable and much more likely to spread via word of mouth.

Here are some links to the Trade Me office on some alternative mapping sites.




It found Wellington, but couldn’t find the specific street address.

Perhaps X needs to spend some more time with Y and teach them a little bit about our country. :-)


Finding this URL was not easy. Here’s what I had to do:

  1. Locate the ‘mail’ icon which is hidden away at the bottom of the map;
  2. Send it to myself (they provide a form and don’t actually let you see the URL at this point);
  3. Click on the link in the resulting email;
  4. Manually fix it in the browser, because the “|” character causes problems in Firefox which appears to use this to break URLs across separate tabs.


Wises is currently the most popular mapping site in NZ. They had 290,000 unique visitors in January compared to just over 100,000 for Smaps. This time last year they had 226,000 unique visitors and smaps didn’t exist. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 12 months.

I gave up!

If anybody can work out how to get the URL for one of their maps please let me know how you did it and I’ll update this post. I won’t hold my breath.

6 thoughts on “Zopto, and a comparison of mapping URLs”

  1. Rowan,

    You forgot Yellow Pages Maps:


    And NZ Post Maps (You have to copy the URL from the frame):


    I don’t think AA Maps lest you bookmark a link. I tried the FAQ and you could only bookmark the whole site.

    PS: When smaps gets driving directions that will be great…


  2. Hence the reason why I use Smaps almost exlusively, instantly useable, and easy to read URLs so my non tech savvy friends know what it is before they click on it.

    Not to mention that Smaps works out the address before you have finished typing it to you know if it will find the property.

    Only problem is when it occasionally places the pin on the wrong side of the road or out in the abyss of nothingness on the map.

    The day its available cheaply and easily on my Palm treo is the day I’ll be a very happy person!

  3. The wises and yellow pages url’s are deliberate in that they contain coordinate systems rather than addresses.

    This is because these mapping applications are also built for GPS technology with the end game being auto-location on mobile phones

    Check out webraska.com for a look into the future

  4. Hi Rowan,

    I agreed, and decided to do something about it, so I hope you find it easier to get url’s off our new site


    thats our office details.


    thats your office details

    Sorry it took so long, ive only been in here 10 weeks. It will be interesting over the next 12 months.


    ps – we also give you driving directions should you ever need it.

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