MeFi on Google Earth
December 28, 2005 8:21 PM   Subscribe

All MeFi members plotted on Google Earth (screenshot of the Western US). To load it into Google Earth, go to Add, Network Link, then put in http://junk.haughey.com/metafilter.kml in the location field. Wait a minute or so for the file and all points to load and you should be good to go.

That file will be periodically updated, but for now you can zoom around and see who is near you on a grand scale.
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 8:21 PM (101 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Also see: Western Europe / Africa / Australia & New Zealand / South America / Asia
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:45 PM on December 28, 2005


Holy hell, that's pretty slick.
posted by panoptican at 8:49 PM on December 28, 2005


Dammit, Matt, every time I open Google Earth, I get lost for hours. I need to sleep some time!

PS: This is pretty cool.
posted by frykitty at 8:53 PM on December 28, 2005


(So was a screenshot of the Eastern US left out just because of the trouble dame stirred up a few threads down?)
posted by nobody at 8:55 PM on December 28, 2005


Hmm, it looks like a few people in Russia are people in Boston that forgot to put a "-" in front of their longitude.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:14 PM on December 28, 2005


Very very very cool! Thanks, Matt!

I also think it's neat to see how large the intersection is between the non-North-American community, the lurker community, and the reads-the-site-often community. Otherwise, how else would we wind up with so very many people whose user names I totally don't recognize having put their very out-of-the-way coordinates in their user page within the few days since the option was made available?
posted by Asparagirl at 9:19 PM on December 28, 2005


Something you should know about Google Earth (beta): Google Earth is a broadband, 3D application that not all computers can run.

Apple Macintosh computers are not supported at this time (but we are working on it).


*sob!*

Is there a way to get this to work with maps.google.com?
posted by fandango_matt at 9:19 PM on December 28, 2005


mono blanco, do you live on a boat?
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:20 PM on December 28, 2005


fandango_matt: There's a leaked Mac version (beta) that's been floating around, and it works pretty well. Try a p2p or torrent site.

This is neat, mathowie. I'll have to update my coordinates...
posted by danb at 9:23 PM on December 28, 2005


I found a google earth beta for the mac on the darknets. Look around, it's there.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:24 PM on December 28, 2005


On post, how silly of me to mention that the leaked version is a beta. I forgot who we were dealing with here.
posted by danb at 9:24 PM on December 28, 2005


Apparently I have not entered my coords properly.

Damn it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:29 PM on December 28, 2005


Fixed it (I had lat and long switched, durrr), but nobody shows up close to me anyway on my userpage, despite the fact that mathowie's screenshot shows two other people in Korea (so far). Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:43 PM on December 28, 2005


Very cool. Mine isn't right, (I suspect that no one in China is correct), but it is in the general area. I guess.

How often will you update this file so we can try to dead reckon ourselves closer?

Thanks Matt!

so much for dame's jihad
posted by geekyguy at 9:43 PM on December 28, 2005


I noticed from google earth that sadako shows up in the middle of the ocean (along with 3 others in the same spot). Then I went to the user page and it gives a site error. Bad zip conversion?
posted by JZig at 9:47 PM on December 28, 2005


I'm in Seoul, stavros, and am on the mappy map. Yr in Busan?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:52 PM on December 28, 2005


Well, waddaya know - Jimbob is in the middle of nowhere, Australia!
posted by dg at 9:53 PM on December 28, 2005


Holy crap, it's dg! Where ya been?

Yr in Busan?

No, I'm down in Gwangyang. Next time mathowie dumps the kml file, my correct coords should be in it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on December 28, 2005


I just updated it, so stavros, you should show up near others now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:12 PM on December 28, 2005


Holy crap, it's dg! Where ya been?
I've been brownosing working extra hard to gain a promotion so I have even less time in the field and more time in the office to surf the Web. Successfully, as it turned out, so 2006 should be a bumper year.

posted by dg at 10:13 PM on December 28, 2005


Wow! according to the map Matt lives about a half a mile from my mom...
posted by Jikido at 10:22 PM on December 28, 2005


*me waves across the Tasman at tracicle*
posted by Wolof at 10:26 PM on December 28, 2005


p.s., awesome!
posted by Wolof at 10:27 PM on December 28, 2005


I just updated it, so stavros, you should show up near others now.

Thanks, Matt. Still no joy, but Joseph's up in Seoul is about 450km from me, so no userpage joy to be had. I'll be in the kml file this time, anyway (which I'll check when I get home from work in a few hours)!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on December 28, 2005


Holy crap. Pretty sweet. Maybe there are folks who haven't put in their coordinates, but as of now I'm apparently the sole representative in Mexico. The location shown is not far from my house, only about 2 miles northeast. As best as I can tell, the long/lat coordinates I found on the Internet for Mexico City are for the seat of government.

Also, I find it gratifying to know that penguin pie is in the Falklands (or Malvinas -- don't know where you come down on that issue, don't want to offend).
posted by donpedro at 10:31 PM on December 28, 2005


way cool. And I wanna live where penguin pie does!
posted by kalimac at 10:32 PM on December 28, 2005


mathowie: Hmm, it looks like a few people in Russia are people in Boston that forgot to put a "-" in front of their longitude.

I'm wondering the same thing about the Kazakhstan 5.
posted by donpedro at 10:40 PM on December 28, 2005


dang, must have just missed the update. I fooled around with the lat/long on my profile a bit last night, but couldn't get it right. right now I apparently live in the Santa Rita foothills east of Tucson, which would be nice though it's certainly not the case. mmahaffie's suggestion seems like it'll work. To clarify though, is decimal notation of lat/long the same as just stringing the deg.minsec all together? what's the difference between 32° 14' 37.40"/-110° 56' 5.80" (from Google Earth) and 32.243686/-110.934845 (from Google Maps)?

somewhere on the internets there's a picture of a little girl riding a pony for the first time in her life at her birthday party. she's resplendent and exuberant, and waving her little hat in the air at daddy behind the camera. I'd find this picture to help me express my joy, but I've been distracted by the porn along the way.
posted by carsonb at 10:44 PM on December 28, 2005


This is too cool. I had no idea there were so many Alaskan MeFites.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:12 PM on December 28, 2005


hi stav!

*waves*

you're not alone anymore! looks like one quick hop-skip to a meetup for two in those mountains somewhere!


posted by scarabic at 11:12 PM on December 28, 2005


oh - did I forget to say: swizzy sweetness, Matt!

This is the way better than going at it via the userpage.
posted by scarabic at 11:13 PM on December 28, 2005


Hello from the lone Malaysian :P

I know there is one person here from Singapore. Anyone else from our general area?
posted by divabat at 11:22 PM on December 28, 2005


hi stav!

*waves*


Heh.

lane73179 joined 4 days ago. I checked. Maybe I'll hold off on getting too chummy until I get an idea what he's like. On the other hand, if he's in the US Army, maybe he can get me black market cheese from the PX. *drools*

It's cool that I'm mapped now, anyway!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:32 PM on December 28, 2005


Alright, so this got me to download and install google earth. I now understand 1) that it is incredible and 2) why no picture of the Eastern US was posted.
posted by nobody at 12:12 AM on December 29, 2005


This Rocks. Thanks Matt / Papa Noel.
posted by adamvasco at 12:16 AM on December 29, 2005


Hey, "Middle of Nowhere, Australia" is actually the glorious Gilbert Valley, sandwiched between two of the world's premier wine producing regions, and home to many thousands of sheep. Respect.
posted by Jimbob at 1:19 AM on December 29, 2005


mono blanco, do you live on a boat?

Oops! Corrected. No wonder my profile said, "There are no other MetaFilter members nearby, sorry."

Hmm...it still says that but I do believe there's a few others.
posted by mono blanco at 1:39 AM on December 29, 2005


Hmm. Woefully few Southern Europeans. Auguri matteo!
posted by romakimmy at 2:33 AM on December 29, 2005


I never knew the seabed was such a beautiful shade of blue, and that saltwater was transparent from space.
posted by rob511 at 2:43 AM on December 29, 2005


That beta Mac version actually works really well. Thanks!
posted by keijo at 3:05 AM on December 29, 2005


Where did you find the Mac Beta, specifically?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:31 AM on December 29, 2005


It's funny... out of all the people in the greater Phoenix metroplex, no one actually lives out in the West Valley.
posted by ph00dz at 3:39 AM on December 29, 2005


carsonb, the digital degrees version of your earthen X/Y is not the same as stripping out the degrees/minutes/seconds from your lat long. Luckily, dg posted a link to a converter in the other thread.
posted by mmahaffie at 3:48 AM on December 29, 2005


PP, used Acquisition, just searched for "Google Earth Mac". Zip file of about 13MB.
posted by keijo at 4:12 AM on December 29, 2005


And Acquisition is a gnutella client, YMMV depending on what you're using.
posted by keijo at 4:14 AM on December 29, 2005


I've apparently got a dirtylittlemonkey on top of me, and I didn't even know it.
posted by crunchland at 4:20 AM on December 29, 2005


I had somebody under me but I quietly moved just a bit eastward.
posted by keijo at 4:30 AM on December 29, 2005


Here's a long/lat conversion tool that will take the d/m/s coords from google earth and convert them into decimal.
posted by crunchland at 4:53 AM on December 29, 2005


Oh, and when I say "digital degrees," of course, all the cool people know that I mean "decimal degrees."
posted by mmahaffie at 4:57 AM on December 29, 2005


I still wish the user page info wasn't capped at 36 miles. It's lonely in the sticks. ;)
posted by terrapin at 5:41 AM on December 29, 2005


this link works for it too, for macs
posted by amberglow at 5:49 AM on December 29, 2005


Yay! This is cool. Moreover, it placed me in a better part of town! ;) I think I'll keep it that way...

Thanks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:53 AM on December 29, 2005


This is so cool! However, I can't find myself. I never entered any long/lat (assume the zips were just converted) but I guess I'll have to go figure it out now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:10 AM on December 29, 2005


Oh, there was a minus in front of my longitude that I don't think was supposed to be there....
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:12 AM on December 29, 2005


Also, you don't have to use a conversion tool if you're using Google Earth. Or, rather, if you're using Google Earth, go to Tools, Options, and on the View tab, in the Rendering box, change "Lat/Lon" from "Degrees, Minutes, Seconds" to "Degrees", and you'll get the long decimal numbers you want. Mine is accurate to the actual window of my house, so I know it works.
posted by Bugbread at 6:19 AM on December 29, 2005


Ugh. Never mind.

I've decided posting before coffee is worse than posting drunk. Carry on.

Thanks Matt!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:21 AM on December 29, 2005


rats. I looked for that option, but couldn't find it. I figured it had to be there, too. thanks bugbread.
posted by crunchland at 6:38 AM on December 29, 2005


Wow, this is really excellent! Thanks for all the great work, Matt!
posted by prostyle at 6:39 AM on December 29, 2005


This is great. Now I can tell who is close to me and who is on the other side of the river.

Thanks Matt!
posted by schustafa at 6:52 AM on December 29, 2005


Tangent Pony Action! Woo!
posted by cortex at 7:46 AM on December 29, 2005


Good Lord, Eastern Europe is barren. Wherefore art thou, easterlings?
posted by Ljubljana at 7:46 AM on December 29, 2005


For some reason that option is making no difference in what I see, bugbread.

I did however update using one of the above converters and will hope on mathowie's refresh that I got it right.
posted by geekyguy at 7:51 AM on December 29, 2005


I'm at work right now so I can't check if I am correctly listed - can I be a pain in the ass and ask if anyone can view my username at the moment? Should be in the Sheffield, UK area. I'd like to know if I completely screwed up or if I really did do it right.

Thanks in advance.
posted by longbaugh at 8:14 AM on December 29, 2005


Not yet, longbaugh - perhaps when mathowie gets out of bed and refreshes the file.
posted by yhbc at 8:22 AM on December 29, 2005


Cheers for that yhbc. Will have a look when I get back from banging my head against a wall of injustice (aka work).
posted by longbaugh at 8:30 AM on December 29, 2005


Suwheet. This is what's going to push me over the edge to get 10.4 installed on my laptop - The Google Earth for Mac leak only works on the latest and greatest, as far as I can tell.
posted by mzurer at 8:51 AM on December 29, 2005


I can (almost) see my house. Funny, I'm not there. Oh, I get it. I'm at the geographic center of my zip code.

*gets sextant and starts taking sun shots*
posted by warbaby at 10:07 AM on December 29, 2005


This is what's going to push me over the edge to get 10.4 installed on my laptop - The Google Earth for Mac leak only works on the latest and greatest, as far as I can tell.

That's crazy. I fail to believe that the Mac OS X architecture is so radically different between 10.3 and 10.4 that they couldn't have written a version to support both. Wankers.
/sulks off to spare room to fire up dusty old PC.
posted by chill at 10:20 AM on December 29, 2005


I now understand ... why no picture of the Eastern US was posted.

Please enlighten those of us who are running neither Windows nor Mac OS.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:30 AM on December 29, 2005


chill : "/sulks off to spare room to fire up dusty old PC."

Probably followed by "/sulks back from spare room after realizing dusty old PC specs won't get near what's needed to run Google Earth."
posted by nkyad at 10:55 AM on December 29, 2005


That's crazy. I fail to believe that the Mac OS X architecture is so radically different between 10.3 and 10.4 that they couldn't have written a version to support both. Wankers.

Well, they have not released any officially supported version on Mac, and VirtualPC doesn't run it either, so I'll take what I can get.
posted by mzurer at 10:59 AM on December 29, 2005


IshmaelGraves : "Please enlighten those of us who are running neither Windows nor Mac OS."

You can try this piece of enlightenment. Unfortunately, it haven't been tested yet
posted by nkyad at 11:04 AM on December 29, 2005


That's crazy. I fail to believe that the Mac OS X architecture is so radically different between 10.3 and 10.4 that they couldn't have written a version to support both. Wankers.

It's not an architecture issue. 10.4 has lots of new features for programmers that make writing programs much easier. To support 10.3 you have to not use any of them.

(thanks for the link amberglow)
posted by cillit bang at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2005


Ismael. It's a bit busy.

I can't believe Chrismears lives so close to me. I thought he was American so was explaining via email British items in really simple terms.
posted by movilla at 11:36 AM on December 29, 2005


For the benefit of those w/o Google Earth, here are a few more screenshots, zooming in to see the coolness:

1. Continental USA


2. Chicagoland


3. North Shore Suburbs


4. me3dia and ednopantz crossing the street, about to get hit by a car


OH NOES!!!
posted by dhartung at 11:36 AM on December 29, 2005 [1 favorite]


dhartung: "4. me3dia and ednopantz crossing the street, about to get hit by a car

OH NOES!!!
"

My co-workers are looking at me funny for laughing at a blurry picture of a car. Thank you, dhartung. You made my week.
posted by Plutor at 12:13 PM on December 29, 2005 [1 favorite]


Aw, man. I guess I'm gonna toast my user page and add long/lat. Thanks, mathowie!
posted by deborah at 12:26 PM on December 29, 2005


I love this feature but it can get a bit too personal. In a city you can be anonymous to a degree but mathowie looks awfully exposed. I can be pinpointed to a street but mathowie lives at a farm in the middle of nowhere aka Witness style. Unless that's where the server is and he's sucking on pina coladas in Hawaii.

Again, nice work.
posted by movilla at 12:40 PM on December 29, 2005


hmm, so now that everyone is madly updating their longs and lats, does this mean matt will be bugged every hour to regenerate the .kml? any chance this will be cron'd or cgi'd, matt?
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 1:08 PM on December 29, 2005


I love this feature but it can get a bit too personal.

Yep. That's why my listed coordinates are not those of my house, but rather a local elementary school several blocks away. It's accurate enough, without getting too granularly creepy and privacy-invasive.

Plus, now I get to hang out on the swingset all the time!
posted by Asparagirl at 1:26 PM on December 29, 2005


Let the stalking begin!!

I actually put my marker on my neghbor's house... heh-heh...
posted by jpburns at 1:43 PM on December 29, 2005


Note to (a couple of) Toronto MeFites: put a negative sign on your longitudes (unless you're really in southeastern Kazakhstan).
posted by hangashore at 2:20 PM on December 29, 2005


A bunch of vancouverites are in Siberia/Outer Mongolia for the same reason. Add that negative sign, yo!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:42 PM on December 29, 2005


OMG, how did I miss the minus sign on the longitude all this time. I am teh dumbdumb. But now that I've corrected my longitude, I have neighbors! Yippee. Now if I only had broadband so I could DL google earth and see me and the nabes.... :(
posted by Lynsey at 5:05 PM on December 29, 2005


someone do Manhattan or NYC for us (i don't have 10.4 either)
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM on December 29, 2005


amber - do you & MM live in the same building as Adam Greenfield?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:47 PM on December 29, 2005


It's kind of wierd that other than andrew cooke (whom I apparently share an apartment with behind the local UN building), the nearset mefite is in the frikkin' Falklands.
posted by signal at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2005


Also, I propose a ban on more US-signups until things even out a little.
posted by signal at 6:55 PM on December 29, 2005


And we need to get somebody in Antarctica, fast.
posted by signal at 6:57 PM on December 29, 2005


For amberglow (and why does adamgreenfield live across town from Adam Greenfield?)
posted by nicwolff at 7:26 PM on December 29, 2005


signal : "the nearset mefite is in the frikkin' Falklands."

I was about to ask if you and andrew are married. I second the American signup timeout, we have lousy 6 people (you 2, 3 in Brazil and one in Las Islas Malvinas) in the whole South America (actually I know there are more, but they probably don't care to read Meta or update their Preferences).
posted by nkyad at 8:13 PM on December 29, 2005


This is cool, but I was hoping for a loan beacon in Portugal :(.
posted by mkultra at 8:23 PM on December 29, 2005


thanks, nic!

(i'd be by adamgreenfield and midas if i was on it)
posted by amberglow at 8:28 PM on December 29, 2005


Also, I propose a ban on more US-signups until things even out a little.

That's not a bad idea, but someone has to pay for matt's kid's college.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on December 29, 2005


My location is pretty darn accurate! I do live in the empire state.
posted by riffola at 8:33 PM on December 29, 2005


Nicely done Matt. Thanks!
posted by Dagobert at 9:14 PM on December 29, 2005


Very cool! You should put this thread up on the sidebar Matt. How often will the data get renewed?
posted by caddis at 2:32 PM on December 30, 2005


I was impressed that we all managed to resist for as long as we did someone filling in the latitude/longitude for the White House.

Well, unless one of W's staffers is actually a member.
posted by longbaugh at 10:30 AM on December 31, 2005


this is so neat!

If any other Canadians were having trouble getting precise latitude and longitude for their location, try Geocoder.ca.

I feel safer choosing a nearby landmark as my actual long/lat coordinates, but it's amazing just how easily we can actually pinpoint ourselves and everything around us!

Whenever I look at the satellite images on Google Maps, I want to put a big sign on my roof that says "Hi Google!" or something like that, even though you can't zoom in far enough to read it. Oh dear, now that I've said this out loud, people will start putting advertising on their roofs or marriage proposals, or other silly things.)
posted by melissa at 1:50 PM on December 31, 2005


Unless that's where the server is and he's sucking on pina coladas in Hawaii.

Nah, that would be me.

Neat stuff! Yeah, my updated coordinates would get you to my driveway, but so would a public records search. Apparently, Metaldog lives a few blocks away. (Any way to tell which coordinates were custom entered and which just assigned by ZIP?)

Thanks for the Mac link, amberglow. Downloading now. Switched in March, but I did miss Google Earth goodies like this!
posted by pzarquon at 7:09 AM on January 1, 2006


I feel safer choosing a nearby landmark as my actual long/lat coordinates - melissa

Me too. Hopefully, people will be able to guess that I don't actually live in a box in the park downtown.
posted by raedyn at 11:21 AM on January 11, 2006


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