Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
No such thing as a small change
 
PerlMonks  

Monks' Maps!

by AgentM (Curate)
on Oct 16, 2000 at 20:15 UTC ( #36938=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

A few weeks ago, I found out that ctweten works within miles of where I live! I also remember a post about a perlmonks get together in the exciting state of Missourri (hmm...this continues our discussion of whether Kansas City is in Missourri or Kansas- bah!). I think it would be a fabtastic idea if there were more of these get togethers. I find that we are an overly friendly bunch o' computer nerds and that we would mesh well. I also imagine that such get togethers are only hindered by a type of anonimity: location. For example, if I knew that five perlmonks were in my area, I'd invite them to a QuakeFest or picnic or something along those lines.

"Get to the point, AgentM!" Yes, I hear you. Along these lines, I propose MONKS' MAPS!. I imagine this as a page where a medium-sized map of the world is displayed. Over this map is a layer (or div, rather, as proposed by the HTML "standard") consisting of a transparent GIF imagemap. On this transparent GIF, every monk would be a be able to place a small dot, representing a relative location. Of course, this may be an optional entry under user settings. The perks? One would easily be able to recognize concentrated areas of monks and optionally invite them to chow or even statistical analysis ("...studies show that most perl hackers live in the White Mountains...").

Further options on this map could include linking monks with their respective dots so it's clear who's who (remember, the dots are relatively large, so no one would be able to figure out which town you live in, perhaps just the state or country), isolating a list of monks in a certain radius, automatically msg'ing monks connected with certain dots, or even state/ country recognition (that might take a while to hack out...)

I can't imagine that this would in any way be harmful, since it would be optional from the start, but such a cut little map might make me happen to know that I can stay with a fellow perlmonk in my area if, for example, my dorm burns down (just kidding). Tell me what you think!

AgentM Systems or Nasca Enterprises is not responsible for the comments made by AgentM- anywhere.

Comment on Monks' Maps!
RE: Monks' Maps!
by turnstep (Parson) on Oct 16, 2000 at 20:21 UTC

    Sounds interesting, but I think a simple text listing may be easier than a transparent gif-thingy. Of course, every monk already has a place to put voluntary location information, namely, the 6th piece of data that is presented on a user's home node

      Right, but there is no real way to actually collect that data in a useful set. And i have to disagree with your text thing: I came up with the map idea to specifically preserve anonymity. I don't think a string would accomplish the same and you wouldn't be able to find monks in your region if someone answers "Pittsburgh", "Pennsylvania", or "Moon". The search would beceom impossible. with the map, you are able to see AT LEAST how many monks are in your area. (Therefore, i would suggest a nice political map.)
      AgentM Systems or Nasca Enterprises is not responsible for the comments made by AgentM- anywhere.

        But if the monks are anonymous, how do you invite them over for a Quakefest?

RE: Monks' Maps!
by swiftone (Curate) on Oct 16, 2000 at 20:37 UTC
    Neat concept. I too will vote for text over a map. First off, a "medium sized map of the world" is pretty lousy resolution. Your "dot" would cover an area at least a hundred miles wide, probably more. Secondly, why bother with the huge bandwidth of a transparent GIF over the first? Why not generate the GIF/JPEG dynamically and place the dots via a longitude/latitude option we can all set in our user settings?

    (I can imagine a dizzying array of tools coming from that. PerlMonks would be calculating the areas of highest Monkly concentration, the bar nearest the most monks, etc)

    In general, having your data in text is FAR more flexible than in other formats. You can always generate an image given text data.

      But who governs what is input into the text field? How would you plot an input of "Massachusetts" vs "Townsville, MA"? the only reason that i suggested the layer was that poor vroom woudln't have to deal with some messy GD routine. (If a monk changes places, every dot would need to be rewritten.) I imagine that the layer routine would simply simplify! :-) I would keep the scale to about 100 miles per dot. This number would retain maximum usefulness while maintaining anonymity. Of course, that's not for me to decide, but I feel that it would be much easier in the long run (programming, how to use the map, etc) to have a submission image map where you *click* and you're done. I don't have any idea what my current latitude nor longitude are- anyone new would be discouraged from entering anything. Something would have to check the user's input. I still find a quick click on a world map much friendlier.
      AgentM Systems or Nasca Enterprises is not responsible for the comments made by AgentM- anywhere.
        You don't need the layers, though. It should be trivial to make a clickable image map, then have GD generate the dots in one image, centered at the clicked coordinates.

        --isotope
        http://www.skylab.org/~isotope/
        But who governs what is input into the text field?

        We can set the info in our user settings.

        How would you plot an input of "Massachusetts" vs "Townsville, MA"?

        We wouldn't, thus the Long&Lat. (BTW, The postal service doesn't seem to think Townsville, MA exists)

        poor vroom woudln't have to deal with some messy GD routine.

        He can just give us access to the data, and we'll do all the hard work.

        I don't have any idea what my current latitude nor longitude are

        According to your usersettings and MapsOnUs.com, roughly -79.98, 40.44. Many tools exist on the web for translating ZIP or what not into coordinates. The SCA has a nifty non-USA lookup via NIMT.

        If you're worried about privacy, you can set the coords to whatever level of accuracy you desire.

        I'd say a "click" would be horribly inaccurate. On a mid sized world map, you can't distinguish Townsville from elsewhere, because you can't be sure you'll hit massachusetts.

(jcwren) RE: Monks' Maps!
by jcwren (Prior) on Oct 16, 2000 at 21:09 UTC
    I too have wished to see what kind of global monkular distribution there is, but never bothered, since I know how often the location field in the homenode is meaningless.

    But, as an alternative, I'll offer this. I'll create a database of Monk names, latitude and longitudes, and serve that from the stats pages. We can generate that info, from those who are interested in particpating, in the following manner:

    In the HTML text of your home page, create a HTML comment:

    <!-- Location:latitude=034.00.00,longitude=-084.10.06-->

    Update: Note that the first 3 digit group are the minutes. Valid values for this are -179 to 179. The second 2 digits are the minutes, and have valid values of 00 to 59. The third 2 digits are the seconds, and have valid values from 00 to 59. Do not use decimal expressed lat/longs! The parsing code checks for legal values, and will toss out any location tags that are invalid.

    North latitudes use positive numbers, South latitudes use negative numbers. East longitudes are positive, West longitudes are negative. The example above is approximately where I live, which is 30 some-odd miles north-east of Atlanta. If you want to be a little less specific where you live, put 0's in the low order digits. The format MUST be [sign]DDD.MM.SS, where DDD=degrees (000-179), MM=minutes (00-59, SS=seconds (00-59). The HTML comment can be anywhere you like in the text, EXCEPT embedded in another HTML comment. Personally, I'd put it at the bottom where you're not likely to tromp over it. Check the significant update checkbox on your homenode. The 'bot will only scan homenodes that appear in that list. This will minimize the server load, and will be checked once a day. If you remove the comment and set the checkbox, I will delete your entry from the database, so you can literally vanish from the face of the earth.

    If you're not sure of your latitude and longitude, use MapBlast to locate yourself. It's a pretty decent interface, and you can get near yourself by starting with your ZipCode, or select your country if your non-U.S. Be sure to click the lat/long display in the upper left corner of the map to display the correct format lat/long. The correct format will have a small degree symbol to the right of the first number in both the latitude and longitude.

    As soon as I've finished the homenode scanner and created the database (around Thursday, I should expect), I'll post a followup how to get the data. Someone else can write the map overlay stuff. If you do it in Perl or PHP, I'll host on my site, if you like.

    --Chris

    e-mail jcwren
      As of this posting, 9 people have posted location tags, of which 6 are correct. Here are the 'rules' for how the tag must be expressed:
      The first 3 digit group are the degrees. Valid values for this are -179 to 179. The second 2 digits are the minutes, and have valid values of 00 to 59. The third 2 digits are the seconds, and have valid values from 00 to 59. Do not use decimal expressed lat/longs! The parsing code checks for legal values, and will toss out any location tags that are invalid.

      The format MUST be [sign]DDD.MM.SS, where DDD=degrees (000-179), MM=minutes (00-59, SS=seconds (00-59).
      If you have used the decimal format, or have values that don't conform, please update your homenode. Use MapBlast to find yourself. It will display the lat/long the map is centered on. Click the lat/long display in the upper right hand corner so it is displayed as Degrees/Minutes/Seconds (denoted by the first number having a degree symbol to the right of it). This is the number you want to use on your tag.

      Remember that North values are positive, South values are negative for latitude, East values are positive, and West values are negative (everyone in the U.S.) for longitude.

      --Chris

      e-mail jcwren
      I've got preliminary monk mapping going at The PM Stats Page, if you'd like to play with it.

      I'm looking for a *good* 800 x 600 PNG or GIF map of the world that can be easily mapped to. I'd like something where the coordinate transform is pretty painless, unless someone wants to write the correction algorithm for a polar projection map (I can't remember which is which, right now.). It would be good if it had political boundaries, and perhaps for the states had dim outlines of the states.

      Anyway, if you have any good map links, or feedback on the stats stuff (except for sorting. I know about the sorting. It doesn't do it. Yet. It will. I promise. Sooner or later...), please drop me an e-mail, below, or /msh (heh!) me.

      --Chris

      e-mail jcwren
RE: Monks' Maps!
by agoth (Chaplain) on Oct 16, 2000 at 21:22 UTC
    I think thats a very good idea, implementations aside.

    I would like to see a monk distribution pictorially, and as long as any msg functionality was optional in the home node fine....

    I watch out for its appearance...

RE: Monks' Maps!
by OzzyOsbourne (Chaplain) on Oct 16, 2000 at 21:23 UTC

    Latitude and Longitude could be exclusionary to those that don't want to be zeroed in on.

    If the field format is agreed upon, and it is flexible, we are in business

    I propose this: 3-letter country code, 2 letter state code, and 5 digit zip). That way, the field can be broken down by varying degrees, and people can input the level of detail that they are comfortable with.

    E.g. USAMA02126

    This lacks flexibility (very United.S(c)entric, though, b/c I am unsure how state and zip codes would apply to the rest of the world.

    Update: I agree that Longitude/Latitude seem like a much better idea as long as the trailing zeros are an option.

    -OzzyOsbourne

      I disagree.

      Latitude and longitude are absolute, lend themselves to easy super-imposition upon a map (coordinate conversion is trivial), and degree of accuracy is controlled by the user. If you want to be a little hazy about where you are, don't provide the significant digits.

      For the record, I have a fair amount of experience with this, dealing with moving map displays and GPS based tracking systems under APRS. Attempting to implement a system such as you're describing makes it quite a nuisance, and is too U.S.-centric.

      Not to mention, my ZipCode is 2 years old, and *still* isn't in half the ZipCode-to-whatever converters. Nextel tried to tell me I don't exist, based on my ZipCode. I had to use a nearby one so they could process my order.

      --Chris

      e-mail jcwren
        Nextel tried to tell me I don't exist, based on my ZipCode. I had to use a nearby one so they could process my order.

        <Peter Pan>
        (claps hands) I believe! I believe in jcwren!
        </Peter Pan>

      You don't have to provide precise longitude/latitude information. Replace digits with zeros for the level of ambiguity you want. When building maps with this information, assume all trailing zero digits are meant to be ambiguous, and plot something in the vicinity, perhaps a circle around the area.
        Perhaps the aquisitions interface can provide a lower-left and upper-right (or vice versa) bounds, so you can be in an arbitrary rectangle of your own resolution.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

RE: Monks' Maps!
by extremely (Priest) on Oct 17, 2000 at 04:44 UTC

    Statistics? Great we find out that the average perl programmer lives in Indiana, is 24 and likes cheese. =) And that the median monk lives in Kansas is 43 and owns a gun. Real useful =P.

    I'd liked to see it graphically, text means nothing when looking at distribution. Better still would be lat/long so we could plot em different ways.

    --
    $you = new YOU;
    honk() if $you->love(perl)

RE: Monks' Maps!
by BastardOperator (Monk) on Oct 17, 2000 at 07:44 UTC
    Any reason you couldn't just link to MapQuest?

    i.e. I work here

    here's the actual url
    http://www.mapquest.com/cgi-bin/ia_find?link=btwn/twn-map_results&zoom +_level=5&uid=u72803ya3d41g4he:r00r2wgw2&SNVData=3mad3-g.fy%28ayalrt_% +29ztlurb%3bah7-%3dzzg9%2bPIEJQR%2bV%13BI%3aGQ%14OLUMOSCI%3aH%13%3d0an +da_x9at_F%15%28x5zbg0%3a_a007gl%3aa%3bwh%7c2
    the uid thing may be a problem, not sure yet.

    2004-12-29 Janitored by Arunbear - added code tags around long url

RE: Monks' Maps!
by AgentM (Curate) on Oct 19, 2000 at 03:56 UTC
    hey, vroom! is there any way that lat and long fields could be thrown into the user settings so that people could be made more aware of this setup- no rush, this isn't a priority, just a nifty hack 8-O
    AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy is responsible for the comments made by AgentM.</h6>

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: monkdiscuss [id://36938]
Approved by root
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others lurking in the Monastery: (10)
As of 2014-11-28 17:26 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?

    My preferred Perl binaries come from:














    Results (199 votes), past polls