'Near' is a pretty relative term, don't you think? April 30, 2007 8:30 AM   Subscribe

I was wondering if there was any way to increase the cutoff distance for 'users nearby' in the profile pages. I realize the middle of Iowa isn't exactly a hotbed of technoloigcal happenings, but I know that there are some MeFites that live within 60 miles or so. Could this be implemented as a drop-down in the preferences page? That way, people who live in more densly populated areas could keep their list smaller, while those out in the sticks could have a bigger list. Or is there a page somewhere that searches user's long/lat by distance, and my goog-fu failed me (again)?
posted by ArgentCorvid to Feature Requests at 8:30 AM (21 comments total)

Let me give an amen.

That said, you might get more of what you want by using the Google Earth KML with the plots. I assume Matt is continuing to update it but I can't back that up with fact.

The KML link to use in GEarth is http://junk.haughey.com/metafilter.kml or was - I haven't tried it in almost a year...
posted by phearlez at 8:41 AM on April 30, 2007

I don't know why it didn't occur to me when I was typing the question, but an alternative would be a "These are the closest X MeFites:" place in the profile, sorted by distance.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:54 AM on April 30, 2007

I imagine the reason this doesn't exist is that if someone like me increased it to 60 or 75 miles, the list would be insane...

There might need to be some sort of a way to limit this for those of us in urban areas...
posted by twiggy at 9:00 AM on April 30, 2007

We kinda covered this here. Ultimately, it's a matter of hitting the noise threshold before mathowie decides to work on it.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2007

I think the current kml is located here: http://www.metafilter.com/metafilter.kml
posted by metaname at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2007

Is there some way to get those London mefites to move closer to me? Birmingham, it's not shit you know.
posted by srboisvert at 9:08 AM on April 30, 2007

I think its only fair that you move closer to the rest of us.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:12 AM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: Reversing the decentalized nature of the internet, plus we have cameras!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2007

It's probably been suggested before, but I think the best compromise is to show users within X miles unless that number is below Y, in which case show the Y closest members. That way the cityfolk still get their 200 people within a 1 mile radius, and the countryfolk wouldn't feel so sad and alone.
posted by Partial Law at 10:01 AM on April 30, 2007

And Dave Faris, I don't know if "the rest of us" really applies here.
posted by Partial Law at 10:04 AM on April 30, 2007

srboisvert: As my Harborne-dwelling sister loves to tell me, Birmingham is on a hill so when the sea level rises, we'll all come running.
posted by patricio at 10:06 AM on April 30, 2007

I don't know if "the rest of us" really applies here.

Yeah, but you don't see me complaining about search radii, do you?
posted by Dave Faris at 10:30 AM on April 30, 2007

Partial Law's idea makes a lot of sense to me. It's something urban people don't think about very often, but rural people travel a lot more than urban people do. When I lived in South Dakota, I definitely would have considered driving 90 minutes for a meetup. Now, going to the East Bay is a pain in the ass.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:38 AM on April 30, 2007

roll truck roll:
That's kinda what I was thinking about. People in NYC could have it set in their profile to show all users within x blocks (or miles or whatever), since they are more likely to be walking/using public transit. and I could have my profile set to everyone within 60 miles, since the closest place with anything worth doing in it is ~45 miles away.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:10 PM on April 30, 2007

The KML file isn't terribly recent - I joined in January and don't appear there. Another oddity - the profile page of a user listed as being near me does not actually list his location, so I'm wondering if you remain in the KML file even after you delete your location. Could be a privacy concern for some.
posted by desjardins at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2007

I think that's just a consequence of it being out of date. It depends on which URL you use, but they're both somewhat old:
$ curl -I http://www.metafilter.com/metafilter.kml
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 20:01:53 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.59 (Win32) JRun/4.0
Last-Modified: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 07:07:13 GMT
ETag: "db61-2723ef-96a3bbf0"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 2565103
Vary: User-Agent
Content-Type: text/plain

$ curl -I http://junk.haughey.com/metafilter.kml
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 21:03:13 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.33 (Debian GNU/Linux) PHP/4.3.10-15 mod_perl/1.29
Last-Modified: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 10:00:02 GMT
ETag: "3c4a07-204cbd-43d357a2"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 2116797
Connection: close
Content-Type: application/vnd.google-earth.kml+xml
posted by Rhomboid at 1:05 PM on April 30, 2007

oh, cool. I didn't know about the Google Earth thing.

posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:28 PM on April 30, 2007

There are at least two Yellowknifers who have outed themselves as such in comments, but haven't put their location on their user page.

I don't really know what I'm asking here...

Can you force them to fill that out, or something?
posted by ODiV at 7:50 PM on April 30, 2007

Somewhat on topic: Could it be changed so that those users that are "0 miles away" are show to be "< 1 mile away? 0 miles just sounds like they all live in the same house! br>

Take this guy for example, they've gotta be breaking some kind of fire regulations.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:58 AM on May 1, 2007

I would prefer that it only list Mefites who have posted something in the last year. some of the ones closest to me haven't posted since Bush was popular.
posted by Megafly at 10:40 AM on May 1, 2007

You think you've got it bad? Some of the ones near me aren't even real people.
posted by Partial Law at 6:57 PM on May 1, 2007

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