in reply to Monks' Maps!

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.


e-mail jcwren