Creating a new TA Near You - help and info needed

#1
The killing off of the TA.mod.uk website, subsuming it into the new Armyjobs.mod.uk one, has made finding out about the TA much more difficult.

In particular, it is much harder for potential recruits to find out for themselves which units are local to them.

Dr Evil said:
Prior to 1 April 2007, someone interested in joining their local TA could do the following:

1. Google "Territorial Army"
2. Click on the TA website, www.ta.mod.uk
3. Type their postcode into TA Near You on the TA website home page and click "search" on the same page, and be presented with a list of nearby TA units

Since 1 April 2007, the steps are:

1. Google "Territorial Army"
2. Click on "Join the Territorial Army (at the bottom of the screen)
3. Click on "Contact us" (that's if you already know what you're looking for - it ain't obvious)
4. Click on "In Your Area"
5. On the new page that appears, enter postcode and click "Search"
6. If it works, as is not currently the case a list of all Army institutions nearby appears. About 10 A4 pages' worth of scrolling later, beneath the Army Cadets, the AFCOs, the ACIOs, the Army Medical Services, Regular Army units, etc., etc., you reach a list of nearby TA units.
The ability to find out which TA units are local to one's area is vital to our ability to recruit. Several posters on various threads on Arrse have pointed out how hard it now is to get that info.

So, bearing in mind that the new Armyjobs site has been up and running, and doing its destructive business (from the TA's point of view) for two and a half months with no sign of an easily-accessible "TA Near You" function, I've had an idea.

Go guerilla.

Are there any technotypes out there who could tell me how hard (or not) it would be to produce something using Google Maps which would perform the same function?

I've read about Google Maps "mashups" which combine info from various sites onto Maps in a richer, interactive way. See for examplehere.

All we would need is for the locations of all TA units and subunits to be plotted onto a searchable Google map. Not as hard as it sounds.

For the newbie, the steps would then be:

1. Google "Territorial Army"
2. Click on "Territorial Army Near You - a Google Map site" (there are tricks I know of to get that new site high on the list you would get from Google)
3. Enter postcode
4. Bam - an interactive map with placemarkers showing local TA units. Place mouse pointer over them and you get info about the unit and a hyperlink to their website.

If you know how to do this, PM me.

I am damned if I am going to let that fcking mess of a One Army recruiting website knacker our internet-based recruiting.

Are you with me?
 
#2
Herr Evil, not that hard at all - we'd simply need to know the location of all TAC's and the units there-in - I imagine this is easy enough to get hold of.

One thing that may be an issue here is security, but if the information is in the public domain then there can't be too much of an issue.

You'd also be looking at registering a domain name (10 quid tops) and then hosting - I run a small internet coy so would be happy to host FOC; we could also look to outside advertisers if we need to bring in revenue to cover costs.

PM if you want to talk further.
 
#3
Duly PM'd - wanted to post an update here.

Right, we'll basgy a domain name. Then we'll invite TA units to send us the following info:

Unit/subunit name
Address
Phone
Fax
Website URL
Recruiting team email

As this is a service we would be providing to TA units to enhance their web-based recruiting, the onus will be on them to provide us with the info.

The end result should look a bit like the BBC website I linked to in my original post.

Oh, and by the way: message to One Army Recruiting Nazis - you will never keep up with us. NEVER!
 
#4
danglydell said:
Herr Evil, not that hard at all - we'd simply need to know the location of all TAC's and the units there-in - I imagine this is easy enough to get hold of.

One thing that may be an issue here is security, but if the information is in the public domain then there can't be too much of an issue.

You'd also be looking at registering a domain name (10 quid tops) and then hosting - I run a small internet coy so would be happy to host FOC; we could also look to outside advertisers if we need to bring in revenue to cover costs.

PM if you want to talk further.
Dr Evil has come up with an excellent idea, particularly in this modern internet-dependent society.

With regard to security, surely the fact that TACs have big signs outside them advertising what unit is within must render this info UNCLAS.
 
#6
Reserves a poor relation once again - its up there with the fact they they forgot about the TA when they looked at JPA! Looks like we were an after thought on the Armyjobs website - and with the TA name and identity all but gone - we will all be regulars next - one way to deal with a manning crisis -0 I guess!

Good call chaps keep up the good work

Cheers
 
#10
FB,

Staffing up chains has been going on since the start of May, as the impact of the cr@p new site was felt immediately by any TA unit with an active web recruiting campaign.

It's now been two and a half months. Too slow.

Charlie/Nuwanda said:
Chaos screaming, chaos dreaming. Gotta do more! Gotta be more!
I'll post the URL for the new site as soon as we have set it up (should be within the day). That site will list the info we need from TA units/subunits in order to create the searchable map.

Dr E
 
#12
How much was the One Army Recruiting web spend for the last year? In 2005, the TV and associated bumf budget for the Army was £15.3m: see here.

In fact, hand that site over to me and disband the RFCAs. I will keep the change left over from £2.5m per annum to fund my private Army.

It will be called Dr Evil's Army Reserve - but I promise you, life in it won't be dreary! Arf!
 

Sixty

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#13
May also be worth utilising Google Earth as well as Google Maps. There’s a rather handy overlay thing accessible through ArmyNet which plots the location of most RLC units and offers the facility to contact the webmaster to update your own unit’s details.

Relies on people actually getting off their backsides but is quite a nifty resource.

ArmyNet main page >> RLC >> Google Earth Resource for a demo.
 
#14
Good idea DrE!

I never realised how much of a bollox up it was until I went to look up the units in and around Belfast (for my mate who is thinking of joining..). I got there, but by f**k it took a while.
 
#15
Dr_Evil said:
How much was the One Army Recruiting web spend for the last year? In 2005, the TV and associated bumf budget for the Army was £15.3m: see here.

quote]

Ah yes, but the ONE ARMY can spend what it wants, while the otherONE ARMY get stripped to the bare, then fcuked up the ass everytime there is money to be saved! cnuts
 
#16
If you are still looking for a way to create a searchable database for TA units, I would be willing to create a mini web based application for you all we would need is a list of all current TA centres in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Of course this would be done free of charge!
 
#17
TopBadger said:
I'm loving it.

Why not go one step further, and make our own part-time army?

TB
You bastard, i have just wasted a perfectly good cup of Rosie on a perfectly good laptop because of your sense of humour. Invoice in the post!
 
#18
I didn't realise that the old TA site had gone! But... in balance to most posts on this thread, I just had a go at trying to find local units by post code. Didn't find it that difficult.

Go to www.army.mod.uk
Click 'Territorial Army'
Click 'Join Territorial Army'
Click 'Contact Us'
Click 'In You Area'
Type in postcode and away you go...

The other option of course is for Joe Public to pick up a telephone and ring the phone number integrated into the logo?
 
#19
Bushnut said:
I didn't realise that the old TA site had gone! But... in balance to most posts on this thread, I just had a go at trying to find local units by post code. Didn't find it that difficult.

Go to www.army.mod.uk
You're a potential recruit who knows nothing about the military. How did you already have the Army's URL as step 1?

Click 'Territorial Army'
Click 'Join Territorial Army'
Click 'Contact Us'
"Contact us" is, to most web users, the click of last resort if all else fails. We want to make it as easy as possible for potential joiners to FIND OUT about local units BEFORE they personally contact anyone: ie, make it a similar experience to shopping around for a holiday or insurance. People want to be armed with info BEFORE they are faced with a salesman.

Click 'In You Area'
Type in postcode and away you go...
Like I said in my original post, the TA info is listed beneath a pile of other useless shoyte. And by the way, the postcode search function doesn't work for my old home address and my unit - not sure if it is similarly broken for others.

The other option of course is for Joe Public to pick up a telephone and ring the phone number integrated into the logo?
See above, re salesman.
 
#20
felthamn said:
If you are still looking for a way to create a searchable database for TA units, I would be willing to create a mini web based application for you all we would need is a list of all current TA centres in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Of course this would be done free of charge!
Don't want to be a pedant, but Northern Ireland is in the UK :wink:
 

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