I worked up a custom google maps view showing every user June 30, 2005 6:08 AM   Subscribe

I worked up a custom google maps view showing every user (screenshot inside). Once I get it working more smoothly, I'll post the URL for folks to play with it.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 6:08 AM (86 comments total)


posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:09 AM on June 30, 2005


This is using the google maps API, though sending ~3300 records to it almost kills firefox so I'll wait until I hear more from Google on large datasets before posting the active URL.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:11 AM on June 30, 2005


USAFilter. :)

Still cool, though!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:12 AM on June 30, 2005


Does this mean there's not going to be a North Dakota meetup anytime soon?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:12 AM on June 30, 2005


Wow. We all look incredibly alike; big red bulbous heads with a black eye in the center.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:16 AM on June 30, 2005


Doesn't it work for Canada? It goes to the trouble of naming their provinces. Still nice though. Very east-heavy, wouldn't have thought that.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:16 AM on June 30, 2005


"Very east-heavy, wouldn't have thought that."

I dunno, it kinda looks a lot like this map.
posted by dersins at 6:37 AM on June 30, 2005


Wow. We all look incredibly alike; big red bulbous heads with a black eye in the center.

Well, that's what all of us look like. What are you, some kind of weirdo?
posted by jonmc at 6:38 AM on June 30, 2005


Looks like a "War of the Worlds" tie-in. Invasion of the giant one-eyed bulbous headed creatures.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:45 AM on June 30, 2005


I love it, although I wish just once the shutter wouldn't go when I have my eyes closed. And I'm moving to Montana just to show up better. More later, I've got to pack.
posted by OmieWise at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2005


Hello neighbors in the South! Who knew there were so many of us in South Carolina?
posted by chiababe at 6:52 AM on June 30, 2005


Very cool! I could see a hack where you view a MeFi thread via the google maps interface, so that each comment shows up as one of those address balloons and when you close it, the map animates to the zip code of the next user and displays the next comment. It would be an interesting way to see how a conversation we think of as happening in the same "place" (i.e. metafilter.com) actually shoots through thousands of miles of space.
posted by gwint at 7:22 AM on June 30, 2005


Shit. Guess there aren't any North Dakota meetups coming up anytime soon. What about Alaska and Hawaii?

"Hello neighbors in the South! Who knew there were so many of us in South Carolina?"

My wife is from Columbia, and we spend Thanksgiving there. How about a meetup at our favorite pool and beer place, Jakes? come November? :)
posted by terrapin at 7:23 AM on June 30, 2005


Matt, do you know what percentage of users have entered ZIP codes in their profiles?
posted by aaronetc at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2005


Forget North Dakota, I want to a Key West meetup!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2005


I have to say that either we're very very closely packed into one icon, or the Washington DC contingent is completely AWOL. And is 3300 the number of active participants on the site?
posted by crunchland at 7:34 AM on June 30, 2005


oops. I should have typed "the Washington DC and surrounding suburbs."
posted by crunchland at 7:38 AM on June 30, 2005


In fact, there seems to be an anomolous east coast gap for all of virginia and west virginia. A sea of red eyeballs surrounding a 300 mile bubble of mefi silence.
posted by crunchland at 7:41 AM on June 30, 2005


We are represented on the map by... vermicious knids?
posted by Wolfdog at 7:44 AM on June 30, 2005


A sea of red eyeballs

Yes. And now my plan is complete.

KNEEL BEFORE EBK!
posted by eyeballkid at 7:57 AM on June 30, 2005


Man, ebk, its hard to type when I'm genuflecting in front of you like this

Matt, do you know what percentage of users have entered ZIP codes in their profiles?

I'm guessing that the +/- 3300 number he cited is the number of users who list Zip codes.
posted by anastasiav at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2005


If I click on the Satellite view, will everyone be able to see my terrible hair!? I have a haircut in an hour and a half! Please god don't go live before then!
posted by tpl1212 at 8:08 AM on June 30, 2005


What is the friggin' zip code for Cuba? Because I want to change mine to that and grow a beard and just sit there and straight up defy you all, one eye style.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:19 AM on June 30, 2005


Must.....resist......red......eyeballed........overlord......joke........
posted by googly at 8:21 AM on June 30, 2005


Where's Iceland? The Netherlands? The UK? Middle Earth? Endor? Venus? Io? The sun's core? Concurrent Universe 76-B-92.5 Heterotic-O 884?

Are we supposed to tolerate these flaws and exclusions?
posted by gramschmidt at 8:27 AM on June 30, 2005


jamesonandwater writes "Doesn't it work for Canada? It goes to the trouble of naming their provinces."

This is a MeFi problem not google. We don't have zip codes up here so of course we can't enter them so they can be fed to the API generating the map.
posted by Mitheral at 8:29 AM on June 30, 2005


I wonder how many of those California pins are 90210?
posted by Mitheral at 8:31 AM on June 30, 2005


Where's Iceland? The Netherlands? The UK?

They were all swept into the abyss and can now only reached by donkey-captained longboat, I thought you knew that by now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:51 AM on June 30, 2005


I worked up a custom google maps view showing every user

You are the world, eh?
posted by timeistight at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2005


So there are NO Metafilter members in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana or Mississippi? Wow.
posted by killdevil at 9:10 AM on June 30, 2005


Wow, such silence in alabama, mississippi and louisiana. This explains a lot.
posted by justgary at 9:13 AM on June 30, 2005


Actually, killdevil, there are at least 2 of us in Montana, and one I know of in South Dakota. My zip is listed in profile, and I think Davidmsc's is as well. Not sure why we're not represented, though.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:22 AM on June 30, 2005


I am the voice of Louisiana.

I sound just like Justin Wilson. How y'all are?
posted by ColdChef at 9:26 AM on June 30, 2005


Wyoming is messed up, too. My zip is in my profile, but no dot on Casper. Poor, sad, Casper. There is someone here in Cheyenne? That's awesome.

Then there is this guy, who's zip is in Casper, but he claims NY.
posted by dual_action at 9:31 AM on June 30, 2005


I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Alabama!
posted by keswick at 9:45 AM on June 30, 2005


Nice idea, but not exactly inclusive.
posted by deborah at 10:19 AM on June 30, 2005


Possibly this would work better with some kind of data massaging. Perhaps reverse-lookup the city/state of each ZIP code, then only plot unique cities. That should really reduce the data load. Even plotting only unique ZIPs would probably reduce it by at least 50%.
posted by kindall at 11:18 AM on June 30, 2005


I was wondering that that giant bulby lookin' thing was hovering over my house....
posted by spilon at 11:21 AM on June 30, 2005


Actually, scratch the whole map, check out your user pages.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:46 AM on June 30, 2005


This is great but I want the satellite version so I can laugh at tpl1212's hair.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:47 AM on June 30, 2005


The script on my user page gives me a warning about slowing down Mozilla and I have to abort it in order for the page to load.
posted by LeeJay at 11:52 AM on June 30, 2005


Replace Mozilla with Firefox.
posted by LeeJay at 11:53 AM on June 30, 2005


Now it's throwing up a message about the Google API Key being registered to a different website.
posted by LeeJay at 11:56 AM on June 30, 2005


on firefox it tends to choke on more than 100 nearby users. I need to figure out a way to limit it to really close by folks, to get it down to 50 at most.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:04 PM on June 30, 2005


Mine won't load; I get a "Cannot open page; operation aborted" error message (on IE).
posted by occhiblu at 12:06 PM on June 30, 2005


awesome and disconcertingly.
posted by sailormouth at 12:08 PM on June 30, 2005


ok, I put a limit in place. If you have more than 100 nearby folks using the previous method of looking for nearby folks, it closes the circle much tighter, so that folks in NYC see just the 50 closest people.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2005


The problem occhiblu mentioned is now fixed. Now the page will load, but it says the Google Maps API key was registered to another website, and it still displays nothing but a blue box where the map is supposed to go.
posted by raedyn at 12:15 PM on June 30, 2005


Mine loads smoothly now. Interesting. Thanks Matt.
posted by LeeJay at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2005


I'm actually still having the same "cannot load page" problem.
posted by occhiblu at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2005


I lied. Sometimes the error message IE gives me is "API key was registered to another website" blahblahblah and sometimes IE tells me "cannot load ... operation aborted" but either way, I haven't been able to load any user pages with a zip code on them.
posted by raedyn at 12:25 PM on June 30, 2005


OK, that's pretty cool. But it says "2 MetaFilter users near this user" and the only one it shows is ook, no matter how far I pull back the view. (Also, I'm pretty sure there are several MeFites in western Mass.)

And weren't you going to do something about the US-only thing?
posted by languagehat at 12:30 PM on June 30, 2005


Does this mean there's not going to be a North Dakota meetup anytime soon?

well, there are two of us, heh.
posted by fake at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2005


This is quite good. It compels the constituent molecules of my beans to slow down markedly.
posted by gramschmidt at 12:36 PM on June 30, 2005


I checked out my user page and it's the same as always.
posted by kenko at 12:59 PM on June 30, 2005


I entered my ZIP when I joined and my user page has an "no zip found in the db" error.

Any chance of updating the zip codes in the database?
posted by 27 at 1:01 PM on June 30, 2005


27 does it show your zip on your customization page? If not you can try filling it in there.
posted by Mitheral at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2005


Is there supposed to be something new on our user pages? I got nothin'. (Mac, Safari or Firefox)
posted by evoo at 1:11 PM on June 30, 2005


(I think Matt's working out some kinks, since the new thing disappeared from my user page, too.)
posted by occhiblu at 1:15 PM on June 30, 2005


I turned it off after hearing reports of IE choking on the code.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:24 PM on June 30, 2005


I have the same issue that 27 has . I entered a zip, it shows up on my profile page, but at the bottom of the page, it shows 'no zip found in the db'.

Could it be because my zip starts with a zero, and the DB is somehow storing it as 4 digits? (although on checking , 27 doesn't have the same scenario.)
posted by darsh at 1:30 PM on June 30, 2005


"And weren't you going to do something about the US-only thing?"

Question seconded. Lat/Long coords would include everyone. For NA users, conversion of their address/zip/postalcode to coords is available via a vareity of web pages, easily linked. And I bet for almost everyone else, it'd be easy to find, as well.

I include my coords on my profile page for that reason. Um, mine was discovered via my handheld GPS and will place you right outside my patio door. Others would probably not want to be so exact. :)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:38 PM on June 30, 2005


Nice!
posted by graventy at 2:12 PM on June 30, 2005


If anyone's interested, it looked like this before Matt turned it off.
posted by gramschmidt at 2:15 PM on June 30, 2005


Thanks for that, gramschmidt.
posted by deborah at 2:50 PM on June 30, 2005


Alaska?
I know there are at least four of us, maybe even five. That's more than Louisiana.

Also, what is the radius for finding "users near this user"? It would be nice to be able to change that radius to something larger. There's a lot of empty space between me and the users(s) in Anchorage 300 miles to the south, but it's still only a weekend drive away. Though I understand why someone living in Manhattan would want to keep the radius smaller.
posted by rhapsodie at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2005


This is a MeFi problem not google. We don't have zip codes up here so of course we can't enter them so they can be fed to the API generating the map.
Is it possible to generate the data using lat/long instead of zip codes? Not that this would help those of us who are not included in mathowie's every user subset, seeing as how Google doesn't acknowledge our existence either.
posted by dg at 3:24 PM on June 30, 2005


*knocks on EB's patio door*

Uh.. trick or treat?
posted by languagehat at 3:32 PM on June 30, 2005


I wonder how many of those California pins are 90210?
posted by Mitheral at 8:31 AM PST on June 30 [!]

Six.

P.S. Excluding Canadians = unacceptable.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 3:41 PM on June 30, 2005


Exluding the entire rest of the world? Predictable.

I'd have expected better from Matt, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:06 PM on June 30, 2005


I turned it off after hearing reports of IE choking on the code.

Booooo!

That was one of the most k-rad-est, quicket-to-implementation ponies evar, and you killed it like fucking Pharlap.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:24 PM on June 30, 2005


I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Alabama!
posted by keswick at 9:45 AM PST on June 30 [!]


Jesus was born in a manger in Alabama.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:09 PM on June 30, 2005


Sulks.
posted by Tarrama at 9:57 PM on June 30, 2005


Wulgar, HUSH! We don't want everyone to know the exact location of our Secure, Undisclosed Locations!

And Matt: very, very cool -- thanks for at least trying to get this working.
posted by davidmsc at 10:18 PM on June 30, 2005


Invasion of the giant one-eyed bulbous headed creatures

**SINGING**

It was a one-eyed no-horned flightless bulbous headed creature
One-eyed no-horned flightless bulbous headed creature
One-eyed no-horned flightless bulbous headed creature, looks normal to me!
No horn?
Tequila...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:45 PM on June 30, 2005



well, there are two of us
(in N.D.) said fake

Actually, there are at least three counting Dakotadusk.
posted by dabitch at 12:28 AM on July 1, 2005


I love it when Matt just does stuff like this. No pony request, just something he thought would be cool. Thanks, Matt.

Ni Hao from China.
posted by geekyguy at 1:50 AM on July 1, 2005


A .kmz file? What is that?
posted by dabitch at 3:54 AM on July 1, 2005


geekyguy: Holy carp! That's a better picture than the one of my neighborhood in Maine. Ni Hao your own bad self.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:05 AM on July 1, 2005


A .kmz file? What is that?

"Google Earth file" quoth the mouse roll-over.
posted by mmahaffie at 5:31 AM on July 1, 2005


By the way, I get the (very, very, very) strong feeling that matt was suffering from premature posting on this (something I've done way too many times).

It's just not like him to say "every poster". He would say "every poster who has a zip code on their user page", or "every poster who lives in the U.S. and has a zip in their user page", or something.

No matter what, he's just not the type (almost none of us are) to say "every user" and leave it at that.
posted by taz at 5:54 AM on July 1, 2005


Maybe he was waiting to get more info from googlemaps about who/what gets included before modifying that sentence.
posted by taz at 5:58 AM on July 1, 2005


Typing the first part of my postcode, OX4, into Google Maps gives the correct area of Oxford, so in theory there's no reason why this couldn't work for the UK, and presumably, Canada. All we need is a place to enter our postcodes on our profile page.
posted by salmacis at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2005


How about a meetup at our favorite pool and beer place, Jakes? come November?

Oh my god. That was the sound of my worlds colliding. I'm in.

Maybe we can get shoepal to come back for the occasion.
posted by climalene at 4:02 PM on July 1, 2005


SteveInMaine: Yeah, I was pretty geeked/amazed at what a great picture. In fact, much better than many larger cities in China.
posted by geekyguy at 5:39 PM on July 1, 2005


Happy Canada Day.
posted by timeistight at 5:53 PM on July 1, 2005


« Older is the MeTa page grey or am I on crack?   |   SOMEBODY has been busy derailing threads Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments