Apr 13, 2007

Mapping

For a while now we have been wanting to get images from Friends For Peace onto maps...we finally have it.

Before you get too worried, no, there is not going to be a point on your house from your image (more on that in a minute).

There are two places you can see maps, first is on the browse page where we have put a menu of states. If you want to see all the pictures submitted from people in Ohio, just select Ohio from the menu. The second place is on the search results page. So if you do a search for "dog" you can now see a map of all the dogs. Google Earth users can also pull those results into Google Earth, which will update the search results so you can see them over time.

Now, for those of you concerned about (or interested in) how the points are placed, let me explain how I set this up. First off, all points are generated using the location of the zip code covering the city provided when the image was uploaded (for cities with more than 1 I calculate their average location). From that point I then randomly shift the location just a little (within a couple minutes of the original point), so that they aren't all stacked up on top of each other. I also located the markers 8 KM off the ground; while Google Maps doesn't currently respect this last setting, when you look using Google Earth you'll see the points move around a bit as you zoom in, and after a while they will fly past you, making it even more clear that they aren't exact locations.

Take the dog search for example. My dog Patrick lives with me in Claymont, DE. While the marker does appear somewhere generally over Claymont, frequently the random shifting causes him to be located on one of the nearby highways...I can assure you that he's not an outside dog, and lives mostly on my couch, not the highway.

Aaron
Coding for Peace

1 comment:

slack said...

Nice map feature! And a like the way you set it up to also respect people's privacy. Great work!!