CityGuide: Go WebApp to Share Locations

CityGuide is a WebApp to help you discover and share cool spots in cities. These guides are useful for backpackers, digital nomads, and people new in town that are keen to discover cool things. For the past year, I’ve been improving my Go coding skills with the goal of achieving a new milestone in my career. Similarly, I’ve been curious about Indie Hacking and MicroSaaS and what it would take for me to create my own product or service. Inspired by Peter Levels’ Hoodmaps creation in public and by an article called Hello, production I decided to create CityGuide.

The goal of this project was to create a prototype that is deployed in production within a month. So for the month of August, I coded away and kept a log of my progress. Here’s that log:

Check out the GitHub repository here:


As a digital nomad every time I travel to a new place I spend some time locating/discovering places that are useful to my stay: coworkings, gyms, markets, etc. I usually locate these places using a combination of Google Maps, reading blogs, and by asking around. This can take a few days of research which can be a problem for someone that relocates over the weekend and is looking to jump into a routine ASAP, specially if you’re working a regular 40h week. So it would be nice to be able to share a list of places, a guide, for a new town that answers these questions just by looking at it. In other words, you can see your options.


Create an application that creates a city guide that can be shared with others. A city guide contains locations defined with: latitude, longitude, small review, and useful links.

Possible monetization: having hostels/accomodations pay to host the maps that they can offer to guest for free.


My motivation is to practice my Go skills as well as my product creation skills. I’m inspired by Hoodmaps creation in public. Also by Hello, production because I want to create a product that is running in prod even if it’s minimal. I believe this would be a great project that can be used as a portfolio.


Day 0

Monday, August 1

Reading the hoodmaps blog posts and Hello, production.

Day 1

Playing around with LeafletJS to see what is needed to draw locations on a map and familiarize myself with needed data. Followed this tutorial

Reading: “Tracer Bullet” chapter in Pragmatic Programmer.

Day 2

Started “City Guide” Go project. Decided to deploy Hello World on Prod as a map centered around a town.

Day 3

Spend some time reading about: mapping projects, deployments, and CICD. The former two mostly by browsing Digital Ocean Community docs. Decided to deploy on my DO droplet

Added a simple HTTP server serving a map. Tomorrow going to server it on Digital Ocean.

Day 4

First order of the day is reorganizing my toolbox and processes. Focusing on simplicity and moving forward. I ended up setting up my own git server using this guide.

Day 5

Deploying on server.

Day 6

Sunday, August 7

While configuring the current server that host my blog( I managed to locked myself out of the machine. I tried a few things like copying the .ssh/authorized_keys and even the Digital Ocean droplet recovery consul to no avail.

Day 7

Monday, August 8

Started a new server(droplet) from scratch. Set up a git server. Installed Go.

Day 8

Tuesday, August 9

Setting up nginx!

I spend about 2 hours reading about firewalls and ufw.

As silly as it may sound, I spent most of my working day trying to figure what Go does with templates and assets. I discovered while deploying to prod that the template that I had created was not included in the binary so I’m getting an error when trying to reach the site’s index. I’ve asked in the Go’s #newbies channel and in Bitfield’s #go channel. I was hoping for a definitive answer or some guidance on how this should be done when deploying. How was it done before the new embed package?

Day 9

Wednesday, August 10

Used embed and it’s now live here !

I’ll have to build a Delivery pipeline

Day 10

Thursday, August 11

Back to the code!

Day 11

Friday, August 12

Decided to introduce IDs as the index to Guides instead of coordinates. That meant a lot of refactoring.

Day 12

Tuesday, August 16

Realized that POIs(Points of Interests) also ought to be indexed by IDs rather than coordinates(which are not necessarily unique). Also realized that POIs being a (hash)map adds unnecessary complexity because it makes into a “store” entity which means it needs CRUD. To avoid complexity, I’m keeping it simple as an array. This was the first lesson of the day.

Another interesting lesson, is the fact that I cannot template a variable inside a script block I was about to ask on StackOverflow until I realized that this could be accomplished directly using Javascript. Something tells me this is on purpose.

Day 13

Wednesday, August 17

Create Guide!

Day 14

Thursday, August 18

Finished /guide/create with decent form validation.

Day 15

Friday, August 19

I’ve realized that I’m closing in on 49 hours of work on this project and in the interest of keeping it short I’ve got to wrap it up. My current plan is to add the ability to add Points Of Interest to guides, add a DB, and redeploy.

Day 16

Monday, August 22

Added POI creation but it was not at straightforward as I expected. Things like:

Day 17

Tuesday, August 23