Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yet Another Function of Google Maps

Google maps have been 'hacked' (I'm using that word in the original sense, meaning a cool way to do something, instead of the media twisted sense meaning a malicious prank) in yet another cool way. You can now track from where people are visiting your blog. You don't have to give any information out, not even your e-mail. It's quite nice. I registered this blog a few days ago and just got my first European hit.

One interesting thing is that my brother, serving in Iraq, visits my site, and yet it does not show up as coming from Iraq. He thinks that he may be one of the East Coast sites because of the way the military routes their communications.

Anyway, another application and demonstration of the beauty of openness.


UnPhiltered said...

This is an interesting, and somewhat startling tool. I registered my USU server space. Within an hour, someone from SLC had viewed one of the pages on that site. Using the map device, you can zoom in. According to this tool, someone living between 300 E. and 400 E. and Roosevelt and Cleveland Ave. in SLC stumbled onto my site. The satellite photo shows they have a grey roof. Can an IP address reveal physical location?

Matthew Buckley said...

I don't think the service is that accurate. For example, if you go to my page there are two links from Logan and Smithfield. If you zoom into the Logan marker it appears that my site was accessed from the top of the Mount Logan. And the Smithfield link appears to be a field of corn. There may be some web sites that make a person want to go hide in the corn field before they click, but I kind of don't think my site is one of those.

I wonder if the service just finds out what city the hit came from, and then randomly places a marker somewhere in the vicinity. I just got a hit from Las Vegas. I'm pretty sure that this was my sister-in-law, but when I zoom in, it is nowhere near her home. It almost appears to be a random location.