[GSBN] Matts' Fun with Maps
billc_lists at greenbuilder.com
Wed Mar 4 21:28:53 CST 2009
At 6:14 PM -0500 3/4/09, RT wrote:
>On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 13:00:07 -0500, <gsbn-request at greenbuilder.com>
>>It would be fun to see a map of the world showing all the
>>countriesrepresented in the GSBN.
>I like fun as much or more than the next person but I also tend to
>have a disturbing fondness for numbers.
>To appease that unnatural fetish, perhaps rather than just showing
>an image of the world with countries' geo-political boudaries
>coloured-in, it might be even more fun to have every SB house in the
>Straw Bale Registry shown as a digital pin-head illuminated dot.
>This would give an idea of SBH intensity and identify "SB hot spots"
>at a glance (and by corollary, SB Cold Spots that are in dire need
>of some SB Missionary work.
>Ideally, this map would be self-managing where a digital pinhead
>would be inserted into the map automatically whenever an addition to
>the SB Registry is made.
>Whether those pinheads be Blue, Red, Pink, Green or Brown (each with
>defined associations)and whether or not they flash and whether or
>not they flash in some sort of rhythm pattern could be something for
>discussion I s'pose.
>Don't ask me how this would be done but with the
>more-than-a-thousand Listmembers on the various SB Lists, I'm fairly
>certain that there are any number of Digital WWWizards who could set
>this up quicker than you could say "Gezhundheit!"
>Volunteer WWWizards please form a line to the left...
I was excited about the possibility when I first thought of it a
couple of years ago.
But then I realized..... The big trick on that would be privacy.
See, we have a lot of Very Private People who have built themselves
straw bale homes - some of whom are intentionally vague about where
they are located. Lots of those haven't even listed their houses in
the Registry because they wish to remain under the radar - whether of
Code Officialdom or other Authoritydom, or just don't want to make a
big deal about it. It's like pulling hen's teeth to get some people
to list their homes as it is, and that's with us promising to keep
all personal details and location specifics completely private if
they so desire (just mark 'em as "no visitors").
The problem is that Google maps and similar web based tricks are TOO
PRECISE. They don't allow you to enter an amorphous blob shaped area
over a square mile and say "we're somewhere kinda in that area".
They pinpoint with as deadly accuracy as they can.
Perhaps they've changed things so that you can decide how far the
visitor is allowed to zoom in - county level, mailbox-on-a-dirt-road
level, or flea's eyelash level - but last I checked you couldn't do
that. Even if you could, they'd still have your location in there
pretty precisely (unless you deliberately entered it in the wrong
place). And the paranoid among us would say "yeah, it looks private
but what if the FBI or whomever comes to the map people with a
warrant? They'd just let 'em have it."
If someone has a brilliant way around this, I'm all for it and it's
pinheads here we come.
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