Users Near Me January 27, 2006 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Small ponies, roaming free...

On my user page, it says there are 5 users near me, since it only 5 users live within 50 miles of my fair city. Sixty miles away, though, there's an absolute assload in Seattle. Would it be possible to increase the 50 mile limit if there number of users near someone is less than some magic number, so the poor guy living in Valdez, AK has users living within 1,000 miles, but those of us just outside of a more major metropolitan area don't feel quite so left out? This may be the world's smallest pony, but the 10 mile difference between almost no one near me and having a bunch of people near me has nagged at me a little bit.
posted by Captain_Tenille to Feature Requests at 9:35 PM (23 comments total)

1000 miles is hardly near. 100 miles seems reasonable to me though.
posted by furtive at 9:37 PM on January 27, 2006


I had pictured the 1000 miles thing as being the ridiculous end of a sliding scale.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 9:41 PM on January 27, 2006


I am not a computer scientist, but this seems like more of a computational nightmare to implement than you might initially think.
posted by odinsdream at 10:22 PM on January 27, 2006


furtive : "1000 miles is hardly near."

On the other hand, last time I checked Mefi over Google Earth there were less than 10 users in South America - so 1000 miles wouldn't be bad. You want to know who lives in the next county, I would like to know who is in the next country.
posted by nkyad at 10:29 PM on January 27, 2006


odinsdream : "I am not a computer scientist, but this seems like more of a computational nightmare to implement than you might initially think."

At this point I believe it is just a matter of more processing time - it is already implemented. The same program that calculates who's in a 50 miles ratio from you will calculate who's in a 550 or 3000 miles ratio from you, it will just take more database queries.
posted by nkyad at 10:32 PM on January 27, 2006


Show nearby users where either the distance is less than x or the number of users is less than y. Is that what you want? That is, show me 50 or so nearby users. If I'm in NYC that may mean those within a couple of miles, if I'm in Alaska that may mean within a few hundred miles. That seems like a good idea. I can't figure out any way to do it in SQL without nested queries or the equivalent so that be a little bit of a drag on the DB. But I'm no longer a computer scientist so I could be wrong.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:35 PM on January 27, 2006


what about a scale that works this way? (I am not a programmer)

If the user has less than 50 people within 50 miles of them, the page shows the nearest 50 people.

If the user has more than 50 people within 50 miles of them, the page shows the people within 50 miles.
posted by shmegegge at 10:38 PM on January 27, 2006


How about just the nearest twenty. That's plenty, imo. And if you go to any of their pages, you can see who else is close to them, and so on.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 PM on January 27, 2006


You think you have problems? My map thingy says I live in South Central Russia!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:55 PM on January 27, 2006


nkyad; I think we're interpreting the request differently. As far as I can tell, the suggestion is to not have a concrete number, like 10 miles, but to have the number be determined by how many people it takes to fill it. So, the concrete number would be a minimum number of neighboring mefi members. It's more like "Here are the nearest N members, and how far away they are, where N is larger than or equal to 10."

Okay, so, maybe it's not that big a deal.
posted by odinsdream at 11:08 PM on January 27, 2006


How about just the nearest twenty.

The New Yorkers have complained a lot about this, for understandable reasons. It really should be everyone within x miles, with at least y entries. All you have to do is start building the list and escape out at 50 miles if the minimum number of entries has been met, otherwise keep going - it shouldn't be too tough. I'm sure orthogonality will pop up with a code example :P

Of course it wouldn't be too tough to add a geocoder.ca link to the Preferences page either. (Please)
posted by Chuckles at 11:29 PM on January 27, 2006


I live in a submerged submarine. So anything within 50 fathoms is good for me.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:58 PM on January 27, 2006


I can't figure out any way to do it in SQL without nested queries or the equivalent so that be a little bit of a drag on the DB. But I'm no longer a computer scientist so I could be wrong.

I think you'd have to calculate everyone within 1,000 miles in SQL, then have the display code stop at 50 miles or 50 entries, whichever comes later (since there's no easy way I know of to do "whichever comes later" in SQL). It might not be so hard on the server if the first query was fast.
posted by cillit bang at 1:25 AM on January 28, 2006


Move closer to Seattle. Problem solved.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:27 AM on January 28, 2006


nearest 20 would be awesome. it's awfully lonely up here. and cold. and dark.
posted by mr.marx at 5:08 AM on January 28, 2006


Alvy Ampersand : "You think you have problems? My map thingy says I live in South Central Russia!"

Assuming you don't actually live in Central Russia, you have probably mixed the longitude signal (if you live in the US) or the latitude signal (if you live in India, Thailand, Malaysia or somewhere nearby). Just change it from nothing (or plus) to minus or the other way around and wait for the update.

Anyone knows how often does Matt update the coordinate file, if ever?
posted by nkyad at 7:07 AM on January 28, 2006


Some option like this would be cool for me... I'm curious how many mefites are in Athens. Or anywhere else in Greece.
posted by taz at 7:43 AM on January 28, 2006


I like the nearest 50 if that is in any way feasible. I live ~40 miles from Chicago and there's apparently only 1 other MeFi-er within range of me.

I can hardly believe it. This is one of the largest metro areas in the country and there's only one?

And we've had the internets for way over a year...
posted by hwestiii at 9:53 AM on January 28, 2006


Um, as a work around, couldn't you just temporarily change your location to one closer to the metro area to see who's there? Then switch it back? Just a thought.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:10 AM on January 28, 2006


I only have TWO listed near me.

And I brushed my teeth and used deodorant, even.
posted by konolia at 10:59 AM on January 28, 2006


It might be better to be able to list several different home points.

for example, while I live in Savannah, GA, I often travel back to Baltimore, Washington DC and Raleigh. It would be nice to include those points to see who's nearby when I'm in town. Conversly, it would enable people to list several points around them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on January 28, 2006


Brandon Blatcher, I think that is called feature creep...

nkyad: Anyone knows how often does Matt update the coordinate file, if ever?

I'm not sure if I understand... I just tried changing my coords and it took effect immediately.
posted by Chuckles at 1:40 PM on January 28, 2006


Speaking as one of the loneliest South American souls, I made a similar suggestion here - if there's noone nearby, zoom out until you've got at least one person. Just one, I beg yooooooooooou... (voice rings out over the empty South Atlantic....)
posted by penguin pie at 12:53 PM on January 31, 2006


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