Google Calendar Display Puzzle
April 29, 2010 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Google calendar puzzle: how to display only some events, either online or in a desktop application? Preferably with visuals customizable.

I'm in an office with several conference rooms. We're a nonprofit that has a lot of meetings, but also rents rooms to other nonprofits. We have a large display screen upfront to show what room has what meeting, so that attendees walking in can see which room to go to. Currently this is handled via a PowerPoint that's edited each evening. But, since the meeting rooms all are scheduled via Google calendar, it'd be nifty if I could just show the data directly and save admin staff from having to type stuff in constantly.

Two challenges: there are four rooms, and I'd like to show today's events only, for all four; also, some meetings are private or in-house, and shouldn't show up at all. I'm guessing that I'd handle that by titling those events with a [private] or something, then filtering for that.

I've puzzled over this a bit and gotten nowhere. I know it's possible to export an RSS feed and then use php to manipulate it, but I'm not quite smart enough to know how to begin (though I have done a little PHP in the past). Anyhow, I have a sneaking feeling there's a simpler way.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks heaps, smart people.
posted by Erroneous to Technology (7 answers total)
Have you tried fiddling with Google Calendar's options for embedding first?
posted by ocherdraco at 9:32 AM on April 29, 2010

easy...set up a google account and calendar for each room then "share" the calendars with a "central" google account calendar. Any calendar event on each room calendar can be set as "private" in which case it won't be visible on the central calendar... display the "central calendar" on your monitor

Memail me is you want more info on this.
posted by HuronBob at 9:35 AM on April 29, 2010

The difficult part might be that the events will overlap when shared, meaning they won't all be easy to read (as overlapping events are on google calendars)...
posted by HuronBob at 9:36 AM on April 29, 2010

If they are set up as HuronBob suggests (I substantially agree. Can be one Google account with separate calendars) they will be in different colors for the different calendars so even overlapping times will be readable.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2010

If you use Google Apps, there are even "resource" accounts just for this need. Embedding is really easy.

Also, if you like you could set up a Google site and embed there and you'll get a number of useful options in addition to being able to wrap information around your calendar.
posted by idb at 11:59 AM on April 29, 2010

Google calendar also has a list display that may be more appropriate than the day by day display if things get to squashed together from simultaneous meetings.
posted by garlic at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2010

Thanks for all the help.

This is going to require some finesse I guess; when I embed them, I can't do them all at once, and it only shows free/busy in any case, when what I want is to show details. (It seems the only way around this is to make details public for all the users in my Apps domain, which seems pretty inadvisable).

I've been trying to embed as gadgets in a Sites page, but that seems subject to some of the same problems (though intermittently it seems to work, some of the times, in some calendars, in some ways.)

Hopefully something else will suggest itself. Odd that such a flexible system should actually have so many peculiar limitations.
posted by Erroneous at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2010

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