Where in the world are all these people?! August 28, 2007 2:27 PM   Subscribe

We've began updating the metafilter KML file again. If you're using Google Earth, point it at metafilter.com/metafilter.kml to get the latest data (it's about 3Mb so it'll take a while). It'll be automatically updated once a week from here on out.
posted by mathowie (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:27 PM (36 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Thanx Matt. Quick on the draw!

I seem to recall that previously there were hardly any mefites with GPS coordinates in former communist europe. And now there are. So that's interesting.
And it seems the Netherlands isn't the primo non-English speaking nation anymore. Either Germany or Japan takes that laurel now.

And there's still a large contingent of US mefites who've placed themselves at the opposing side of the earth smack in the former communist south-asian countries. Probably some minus sign that has been lost.

Fill in you GPS coordinates people.
posted by jouke at 2:35 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Just as long as Wendell doesn't come and visit all of us...
(though that could make for an interesting meetup type event. Oh, wait.)
posted by niles at 2:37 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

What if you are a homeless nomad? What GPS coordinates are appropriate in that instance? Ideally, is there a code whereby Meatbomb could be displayed as everywhere? (sort of like Elvis)
posted by Meatbomb at 3:05 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

You'll have to update your GPS in realtime Meatbomb. A GPS twitter. Where we can stalk eachother all the time...
posted by jouke at 3:14 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I understand somehow this can be used to view where everyone is, but I don't understand how to use it, so I'll ask for all of those who don't understand: how does this work?
posted by micayetoca at 3:20 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

1. Download Google Earth
2. Save the file Matt linked above
3. Go to Google Earth, go to File, Open, and browse to that file
posted by k8t at 3:26 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Oh, thx, k8t. No way of viewing it online without downloading GE, then?
posted by micayetoca at 3:28 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Better then manually downloading and opening, use Add > Network Link and paste in the URL so you can more easily automatically update it in the future.
posted by grouse at 3:34 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Let the stalking begin!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:40 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

There are some MeFites in some unexpected places, but I should have guessed where PenguinBukkake is.
posted by grouse at 3:48 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't find the stupid file once I downloaded it. arg.
posted by konolia at 3:50 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

konolia, you can also in the 'open' dialog, instead of browsing to the file on your filesystem, just paste in the url of the file. Google Earth will freeze for a while while downloading the .kml file.
posted by jouke at 3:55 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

is there a specific time you are updating it? if you let me know i can put it in my crontab and only hit it once a week, rather than daily, as i am currently.
posted by 31d1 at 4:02 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm a computer idiot. I went to metafilter.com/metafilter.kml but apparently should have done so THRU Google Earth (which we do have) but instead I apparently downloaded all this to the main computer and bottom line is nothing works and I CANT FIND THE FILE.

so did I just kill a lot of memory for nothing and is there a file I can find and get rid of or-

Look. Bottom line is I did something but not sure what I did and now I cannot find the file since I did not download it on Google Earth.

posted by konolia at 4:05 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

(I have run Search but Search claims there is no such file. )
posted by konolia at 4:11 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Heh, konolia, relax. I'm sure you have enough disk space to be able to ignore some lost 3 MB file.
Just use one of the other ways mentioned to open it in Google Earth.
You can do it.
posted by jouke at 4:17 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Konolia, download it again and see what directory the save dialogue opens. Assuming Windows.
posted by miniape at 4:20 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks-I suspect it never got saved at all.
posted by konolia at 4:25 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

why is everyone listed twice? (or am i confused? - never used this before)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:37 PM on August 28, 2007

also, why is the main information on chile that this program displays the location of (ex- one asumes) torture centres?!
posted by andrew cooke at 4:39 PM on August 28, 2007

why is everyone listed twice?

They're not — it's just that metafilter's KML file apparently uses the user name for both the name of a placemark as well as the placemark's description. Clicking the first user name (the placemark name) will hilight that placemark in Google Earth, while clicking on the second user name (the placemark description) will take you to the user's MeFi profile in your browser. Perhaps mathowie could reduce the confusion by changing the placemark description from "<username>" to "<username>'s profile".
posted by RichardP at 4:47 PM on August 28, 2007

I am not a COMPLETE fucking idiot on computers. I'm pretty SURE I have a handle on them. But if I do THIS:

File/Open and paste in metafilter.com/metafilter.kml I get THIS:

The above file name is invalid.

If I THEN open My Places, then click Add... then click Network Link, I get a fancypants Google Earth - New dialog, and when I put "metafilter.com/metafilter.kml" in the Link: box, I get an IMMEDIATE "Fetch of NetworkLink "Metafilter" failed (C:\Program Files\FOO)... Abort/Retry/Continue" dialog. THIS SUCKS, I don't need to tell you.

IF, however, I then EDIT the Network Link in the My Places/Add selection and format the URL PROPERLY, with the appropriate HTTP:// PREFIX no one has PROVIDED yet, THUSLY:



SO, IF you INSIST on providing us with these links, PLEASE remember that some among us MAY need you to provide a COMPLETE URL, not an INCOMPLETE one.

GOOD CHRIST IN HEAVEN do I have to do EVERYTHING around here what the FUCK.

I get emails like this from one of my technicians about once a week - its pretty funny
posted by disclaimer at 4:59 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I must say - even though it isn't news to me - that this is really rather depressing.

Still, gotta love the updated KML file!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:01 PM on August 28, 2007

I can't believe I can't figure this out on my own, but here we go...

Okay, so I've gotten to the point where I have the list of users in my sidebar and clicking on the first of the two names takes me on a flight to that users' home.

Is there a way, however, to see all the data points at once on the earth so that I can click on random data points by location instead of clicking on specific users' names?
posted by mosessis at 5:03 PM on August 28, 2007

yes, click in the little box next to "metafilter" (near the names list)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:04 PM on August 28, 2007

I think I could just reach out and touch sswiller - hey is that you?
posted by nowonmai at 5:11 PM on August 28, 2007

Thanks, andrew. I think the problem was that I had my little slidey bar all the way towards small. Moving it to the right helps a lot.

Also, Matt, this is sweet! Thanks!

And now at least I _know_ that there's no one anywhere near me.
posted by mosessis at 5:13 PM on August 28, 2007

I would also like to know when the file is updated.
posted by puke & cry at 5:17 PM on August 28, 2007

Our name is Legion: for we are many.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:24 PM on August 28, 2007

Cool. Thanks Matt.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:37 PM on August 28, 2007

i don't know if anyone else has worried about this, but it appears to not use cacheable urls for the images, so running it through a caching proxy doesn't help any :o(
posted by andrew cooke at 5:58 PM on August 28, 2007

thanks disclaimer!
posted by Big_B at 6:21 PM on August 28, 2007

Jesus Christ, I didn't see you guys!
*puts some pants on*
posted by carsonb at 9:53 PM on August 28, 2007

The above file name is invalid.

Yeah, I deliberately left off the proper http:// not to confuse anyone, but to keep the search bots, scrapers, and whatever else robots scour text on the web a thousand times per second from seeing the full URL and hammering away on a 3Mb file.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:07 PM on August 28, 2007

Time to go knock, knock, knockin' on MeFite doors.
posted by sparkletone at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2007

And... I just discovered that I'd somehow entered wrong numbers in for my coordinates. And the thing linked in the edit profile page gives correct ones! Dunno how that happened.

At least the ones that are in the current copy of the kml file aren't that far off (in the right state, etc , etc.).

But still, that means I'm "moving" the next time the file updates...


Who wants to help me move my stuff?
posted by sparkletone at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2007

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