The origin of geourl and finding MeFi members near you April 30, 2003 1:07 PM   Subscribe

I really like geourl and wanted to know which metafilter members lived near me, so I programmed it today. If you're logged in, and viewing a member's page that has a zip code, it'll do a lookup for all the other members within a 1/2 degree of longitude/latitude which is about 25 miles. Scroll down on my user page to see everyone near me.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 1:07 PM (95 comments total)

Damn! You live near everybody!
posted by thirteen at 1:11 PM on April 30, 2003


Damn! So do I!
posted by thirteen at 1:13 PM on April 30, 2003


Chicago, nyc, and SF have a zillion matches. Those in the flyover zones may notice just a few neighbors. Remember the map?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:14 PM on April 30, 2003


Sweet. Thanks, Matt. This'll probably bring up a new batch of MeFi gatherings too.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:15 PM on April 30, 2003


I have NO ONE.

I could have sworn I used antiperspirant.
posted by konolia at 1:16 PM on April 30, 2003


My god.

Someone's been posting from my bathroom all this time. Don't panic, kaf, don't panic. Stay alert.

If I can just get to the phone to warn th--
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:22 PM on April 30, 2003


"no zip found in the db"
even though it's right there in plain sight.
perhaps it is referring to the geourl db, in which case i have to say it's horribly out of date.
posted by quonsar at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2003


Interesting. Now I know who's within practical stalking distance.

BTW, it's repeating the "X users near this user" heading between each item.
posted by Su at 1:26 PM on April 30, 2003


Any way for Canadians to play?
posted by timeistight at 1:28 PM on April 30, 2003


*hides from Su in 60618*
posted by Mid at 1:29 PM on April 30, 2003


Kick ass!
posted by me3dia at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2003


That's off the bottom of your user page, Matt. Just fyi.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:33 PM on April 30, 2003


D'oh! Spoke too soon -- got the same error as crash, and I know Su and mid are close enough to me to register.
posted by me3dia at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2003


quonsar, yeah, the zip data is out of date, from the 1990 census.

I could drop the zipcodes altogether and begin asking people to leave their longitude/latitude instead, which would open the whole thing up to the world.

Anyone got any quick long/lat lookup finders that'd help people put that stuff in?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2003


Lotsa Chicago in the MetaTalk today. 60618 over all!
posted by thirteen at 1:38 PM on April 30, 2003


Here's geourl's longitude/latitude resources list: http://www.geourl.com/resources.html
posted by timeistight at 1:39 PM on April 30, 2003


Matt, we're grilling steaks tonight. You coming?
posted by padraigin at 1:45 PM on April 30, 2003


Lots of people in Providence, and a few in Pawtucket. And of course if you slide though Pawtucket, you best be careful.[Real Audio, naughty language, and probably not that funny for those who don't live near Pawtucket]
posted by SweetJesus at 1:47 PM on April 30, 2003


well i'm 2 clicks away from you Matt. Anyone for a game of 6 clicks of seperation?
posted by th3ph17 at 2:17 PM on April 30, 2003


Perhaps we can cross reference zip codes to our Segmented Marketing Lifestyle Cluster. My Metafilter comments would look a whole lot better if everyone knew they were being posted by a "Young Literati."
posted by PrinceValium at 2:17 PM on April 30, 2003


konolia - you can up the distance by changing the dist param in the url. i have it set to a 1000 miles and that gets me 12 neighbours :o)
posted by andrew cooke at 2:33 PM on April 30, 2003


MultiMap will convert Canadian (and US) postal codes to lat/long.
posted by modofo at 2:37 PM on April 30, 2003


oops, and i was talking about the "usual" geourl interface, not what matt's doing with zip codes.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:39 PM on April 30, 2003


*washes hands in kafkaesque's sink, leaves a zodiac sign on the door, steps over k's body, steps through front door*
posted by eyeballkid at 2:40 PM on April 30, 2003


"There are no other MetaFilter members nearby, sorry."

*wonders if this is a good thing*
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 2:47 PM on April 30, 2003


SweetJesus, please spell it properly so I can stop cringing every time I hear about a Sox callup or rehab stint: P'tucket.
posted by yerfatma at 2:50 PM on April 30, 2003


Talk about a pony I don't want. Thanks for letting me know Gandolf here lives near me.
posted by yerfatma at 2:56 PM on April 30, 2003


Andrew, I do well to know how to post a link. And I learned that here at Mefi!

It would be easier just to ask if anyone lived in North Carolina.

If not, I want a pony. Or I'll cry.
posted by konolia at 3:12 PM on April 30, 2003


I live in Liverpool. UK. I suspect none of you are in my vacinity.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:30 PM on April 30, 2003


well that's a boring feature since it's only useful to americans.
posted by zarah at 3:34 PM on April 30, 2003


This and the music are very cool new features Matt, though it does beg the question of what's next for "the community"...
barbeques,
personals,
egging someone's house instead of flame wars.
posted by NGnerd at 3:38 PM on April 30, 2003


i like geourls too !!

boom ! boom !
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:39 PM on April 30, 2003


egging someone's house instead of flame wars.

If you try and egg my house, the drug dealers on the corner will shoot you.

Anyone familiar with the location of my ZIP will surely know that's right.
posted by padraigin at 3:53 PM on April 30, 2003


I'm all alone...

so very alone...
posted by Stynxno at 3:56 PM on April 30, 2003


Very nice feature, Matt. Thanks. Though geographic location usually matters little on the Net (one of my best online friends lives half a world away), it's nice to see who's local.
posted by Inkslinger at 3:58 PM on April 30, 2003


Matt - my zip code is on my page (94929) but I don't see my name in your list - too far away?
posted by Lynsey at 4:10 PM on April 30, 2003


I am alone. I am utterly alone.

As someone outside the CONUS, I'd love to see the system switched to latitude and longitude, although how would we write it? Does anyone know how to make the degrees symbol? Or would it be better to leave it out and write it more plainly?
posted by Ljubljana at 4:10 PM on April 30, 2003


Congrats Matt. How does it feel to know you're within such intimate geographical proximity to such exuberant nature lovers as fishfucker and donkeysuck?

Perhaps, like how they make the sausage I eat, some things are better left unknown.
posted by dgaicun at 4:11 PM on April 30, 2003


Lynsey, it's probably too far, but the zip isn't in the zip lookup db.

I'll add longitude/latitude locators to user profiles soon, then people won't have to worry about these zip problems, or it being US-centric.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:27 PM on April 30, 2003


ox1 4rn

That's in old money, f'naar f'naar.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:35 PM on April 30, 2003


Yay!! Thanks, Matt!
posted by timeistight at 5:08 PM on April 30, 2003


115 MetaFilter users near this user

Actually, that's 116, because I happen to know Vidiot lives in the nabe although he's not on the list. So all I have to say to you all is: Step back and let the passengers off first—and don't hold the doors!
posted by languagehat at 5:20 PM on April 30, 2003


Matt, could you please increase the line height for the list? The descenders of the letters are being cut off.
posted by riffola at 5:24 PM on April 30, 2003


25 miles? No wonder I'm not near anybody... in Alaska, you have to drive at least 100 miles to get to the next town big enough to be called a city. For someone to be on my list, they would have to be in my very own city.

'Tis cool, nonetheless.
posted by rhapsodie at 5:30 PM on April 30, 2003


Does anyone know how to make the degrees symbol? Or would it be better to leave it out and write it more plainly?

Much easier just to use decimal format. Maporama gives you the result in both forms.
Rounding to the nearest tenth of a degree puts you somewhere within a 6km radius.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:34 PM on April 30, 2003


urr.. square.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:35 PM on April 30, 2003


Cleveland is too small for 15 mefiers.
posted by Recockulous at 6:17 PM on April 30, 2003


Cleveland is too small for 15 mefiers.
Ok, please send boomchicka to NYC. She'll fit right in here.
posted by riffola at 6:29 PM on April 30, 2003


Love the feature. Wish there were a way to expand the radius beyond 25mi...

Unfortunately, it doesn't look so hot in "lite" (white background) mode--it's gray and light blue on Cerulean. It's hard to read.
posted by tss at 7:11 PM on April 30, 2003


Anyone familiar with the location of my ZIP will surely know that's right.
posted by padraigin at 3:53 PM PST on April 30


Curious, I googled your zip.
padraigin's 94303 vs. mathowie's 94070
posted by G_Ask at 7:20 PM on April 30, 2003


This is cute. There's something wrong with the style, though; all the lines are scrunched together. (Mozilla, Mac OS 9.2)
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:24 PM on April 30, 2003


Curious, I googled your zip.

Bwa!

and NSFW, for anyone who's not looking at that URL before clicking the link.
posted by padraigin at 7:31 PM on April 30, 2003


Just me here in Albuquerque's North Valley. Nobody else lives here, but maybe you could all come over. We've been meaning to have that feaky tiki party... anybody know how to limbo?
posted by answergrape at 8:17 PM on April 30, 2003


I could end up motocycling down Albuquerque way one of these days.

Actually, I'd love to do a photo/blog tour, and crash with netfolk on the way. It'd be great fun.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on April 30, 2003


Burque is biker heaven, but if you can come here with a teeny little bike or a crotch rocket you're liable to be blown off the road. They take bikes seriously here.
posted by answergrape at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2003


We plan to retire to Apple Turkey. See you in a couple years, market willing!
posted by padraigin at 8:38 PM on April 30, 2003


This is awesome. Lat/Long would make it even sweeter.
My website's GeoURL page
posted by j.edwards at 8:44 PM on April 30, 2003


Very cool, Matt, thanks! How else would I know that I live just a hop skip and a jump from someone named vomitola!

Be consoled, all you global people - use this feature as a roadmap for where & who to crash with on your next visit to the *bush* country.

answergrape, I'll visit - I love NM. I will just hop in my car and be there in a few days, k?
posted by madamjujujive at 9:03 PM on April 30, 2003


please send boomchicka to NYC

Hee! I'd gladly transfer to the New York branch. Although I must say, feel a certain responsibility to the heartland. Those cows don't milk themselves, you know! :)

Great feature, anyway; thanks Matt. It's fun to see who's nearby.
posted by boomchicka at 9:11 PM on April 30, 2003


Lat/Long rocks. There's still few bloggers nearby. My GeoURL page. I did learn from my new blogging neighbor Nathan Alter, that there are millions of Atari cartridges buried nearby in Alamagordo. Sadly, most of them are "ET" cartridges. Who knew?
posted by answergrape at 9:14 PM on April 30, 2003


It's a great road trip to Albuquerque. Drive to Chicago, get on the mother road Route 66 and drive for a really long time. Don't forget to stop anywhere in Texas/Oklahoma for bargeque. Oh, and if you really can't make it all the way, stop in Tucumcari and stay at the historic Blue Swallow.
posted by answergrape at 9:19 PM on April 30, 2003


I'll add lat/long later this week.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:27 PM on April 30, 2003


Lat/Long would be great as, sadly, my area code is not and never will be in the database. I am at Lat -26 56 Long 153 19
posted by dg at 9:28 PM on April 30, 2003


I'll add lat/long later this week.

Heh. Poor Matt confronts the celebrated Greenwich Mean Time/European clusterfuck once again!

If I knew who had invented the expression US-centric I'd kiss that person full on the lips.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:59 PM on April 30, 2003


Sadly, most of them are "ET" cartridges. Who knew?

This is such a great story. I don't own an atari, but I own an E.T. cartridge because of this. (for those of you not in the know, the game sold so poorly that tens of thousands of copies were buried in a landfill).
posted by j.edwards at 10:35 PM on April 30, 2003


Matt, can you do something about getting the New Jersey people off my fine Manhattan zip code? *Shudder*

No offense to the lovely Jerseyite Ms Vader (whose CD is finally shipping tomorrow, I swear!).
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:10 AM on May 1, 2003


Does this also work for non-americans?
posted by zerofoks at 4:13 AM on May 1, 2003


Just think!

I can go hang with Stan Chin.

Or not...
posted by jpburns at 4:28 AM on May 1, 2003


Does this also work for non-americans?

Not the mefi part (you don't have a US "zip" code), but geourl works fine, as long as you can determine your lat and long.
posted by walrus at 5:26 AM on May 1, 2003


Why do the ideas always come at the moment just after I have pressed the post button?

Matt, would it be possible to have lat/long fields as well as zip fields in the user page, for all of us furriners? Or is that just too much work?
posted by walrus at 5:30 AM on May 1, 2003


Matt, can you do something about getting the New Jersey people off my fine Manhattan zip code? *Shudder*

I know!! What's with mixing all those bridge and tunnel people with us?!? ; >

(but it is fun to see "119 MetaFilter users near this user" --although it was only 117 yesterday)
posted by amberglow at 6:08 AM on May 1, 2003


Hmm... only three people. And one of them (corpse) literally was in my bathroom this morning. I know there are more people from the Triad on MeFi (though thankfully not in our bathroom) so come on, Greensborians. Put in those zip codes!
posted by jennyb at 6:18 AM on May 1, 2003


07091 in the hizzouse.

Matt, can you do something about getting the New Jersey people off my fine Manhattan zip code? *Shudder*

Hey! Don't be pissed that our hockey team made the playoffs and yours didn't!
posted by adampsyche at 6:23 AM on May 1, 2003


And one of them (corpse) literally was in my bathroom this morning

There was a corpse in your bathroom this morning? Time to clean, young lady.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on May 1, 2003


i changed to my 'parent' zipcode (the current, actual zip wasn't split off from the parent until recently and isn't in the geourl database) and so far, none of my 7 neighbors wants to own up to it. :-)
posted by quonsar at 7:36 AM on May 1, 2003


i've noted an extrordinary number of moving vans on the road this morning...
posted by quonsar at 7:37 AM on May 1, 2003


Matt, is the database updating continually - i.e. if we go to customize and add it now, will we get results, or only those who already had their zip entered when you put this together? Or should I just shut up and wait for the Long/Lat version?
posted by soyjoy at 10:14 AM on May 1, 2003


I'm suprised by the low number of fake 90210's.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:45 AM on May 1, 2003


soyjoy, put in your zip, reload your user page and you should see results!
posted by quonsar at 10:52 AM on May 1, 2003


Thanks, quonsar. You da MAN!

*(whew! quonsar is nowhere on that list!)*
posted by soyjoy at 1:17 PM on May 1, 2003


updated my zip code too, so quick, check your user pages.

maybe you too are lucky enough to live by me.

and attend my upcoming drinking-in-dolores-park party. email me if you're interested.
posted by fishfucker at 1:49 PM on May 1, 2003


all the nice geourls love a sailor...
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:02 PM on May 1, 2003


Good news for answergrape: there are TWO mefites near me.

Bad news for answergrape: they're either lurkers or dead.

Teo
Nick Tamm
posted by answergrape at 3:26 PM on May 1, 2003


Apparently my zip is too new to be listed. There is another zip code two blocks away that probably is old enough though. Oh, cruel fate!
posted by Hildago at 5:54 PM on May 1, 2003


I'd love to see a Long/Lat field added.

Lon -1.21073 Lat 51.7289
posted by salmacis at 2:45 AM on May 2, 2003


Wow, a good solid number of Twin Cities Mefites in the hiz-ouse. Very neat feature, even if it did spark a bunch of pony-wanting.

Now, if you can just add a feature to do my taxes. I'll wait until next year, I swear.
posted by norm at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2003


the MeFiers "near" me are in the next state. I love New England.
posted by jessamyn at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2003


I'm glad that lattitude and longitude are being talked about for the world. It's neat to see who lives near who. (and has great potential for "hey can I stay with you" when mefi-ers are travelling)

In Canada, postal codes can cover a very limited amount of places. (e.g., my postal codes for both work and home cover only the individual buildings I'm in). This seems to happen in cities more (duh - more people) since when I entered my hometown's postal code, it covered much more territory. (Here's the link to test that theory. I'm not giving you my postal code to test it!) So, I wouldn't feel comfortable adding my postal code if the option was available since it could lead to trouble very quickly.

Obviously, US zip codes work a little differently (although I imagine zip codes cover small territories when they are highly populated as well), since some users have lots of neighbours.
posted by melissa at 4:52 PM on May 3, 2003


All mine are lurkers or have jumped ship. Sucks.
posted by oissubke at 10:17 AM on May 5, 2003


This is great Matt! ...can't wait for the LAT/LONG to be implemented!

: )
posted by silusGROK at 9:25 AM on May 6, 2003


17,000+ websites would probably be a lot to traverse, but MeFi could automatically pull up the long/lat for users who have GeoURL metatags on the websites listed in their profiles.
posted by hit-or-miss at 10:02 PM on May 6, 2003


RJ Reynolds and amberglow, what gives? Northern NJ is the sixth borough.

Is there any way to look near a particular zip code (or lat/long)? I want to see who's near other places without changing my registered zip code over and over.

07042, out.
posted by Songdog at 11:55 AM on May 7, 2003


Nope. No one in my area (62522). To quote the old song:
"Nobody loves me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms."
posted by Samizdata at 3:45 PM on May 13, 2003


*impatiently waits for matt to add long/lat so the rest of us can play*
posted by t r a c y at 4:11 PM on May 13, 2003


So weird -- you mean to tell me no one else from Long Island's fessing up?! :D
posted by metrocake at 3:58 PM on May 18, 2003


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