(Moriches, NY) To help spread holiday cheer and encourage families to enjoy the holiday lights that only come around this time of year, William Floyd Middle School general music teacher Jonathan Dignam has compiled a list of the locations of the best decorated homes in Nassau and Suffolk counties on an easy-to-use Google map available on his Christmas Lights Long Island map Facebook page and here for non-Facebook users. The map, which launched just three years ago and what has become Mr. Dignam’s “winter hobby,” lists the locations of more than 700 homes that are festively decorated for the holiday season. The map also extends into New York City.
William Floyd Middle School general music teacher Jonathan Dignam. Photo Credit: William Floyd School District.
“I started this map in 2015 because I could not remember where the awesome houses were and would have to bring the newspaper or print out addresses from online,” said Mr. Dignam, who usually checks out the lights with his seven-year old daughter. So the Christmas Lights Long Island map was born – first as a tool of convenience and now something that has brought joy to many. His lights map has had more than 400,000 views since its inception and the Facebook page has amassed more than 3,500 followers.
Mr. Dignam’s comprehensive list was compiled from a variety of sources including newspaper articles, social media groups and online forums, as well as the old “just driving around looking for lights” method. He also relies on tips from his Facebook followers and fellow map users who send him messages daily of new addresses or “duds” that get removed.
“This year I am focusing on adding pictures to the house description so when people click on a house on the map they will see a picture or video,” said Mr. Dignam. As an example, if a person types “65 Elm” into the map and clicks on the green bulb, a picture or video will appear. Map users can also browse by location.
“The great part of this map is that it seamlessly integrates into Google maps on your phone,” added Mr. Dignam. “This way you can just zoom into where you are and click on a location near you and click ‘get directions.’ It’s that easy – very user friendly.” The map is also compatible with Mapquest and allows users to upload up to 26 addresses at a time and it will create the best route to take.
If you would like your home added to the map or know a good one that hasn’t been included yet, you can message him through the Christmas Lights Long Island map Facebook page or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So this holiday season, grab a cup of hot chocolate, turn up the radio with the “sounds of the season” and set your course for Christmas lights!