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Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq

We are the world

*We  are the world.*     You probably remember Freddy, the mean green  joke-machine, who summoned  (From the Grumpy Old Man:Taken)  the SDN community to collaborate in  another way during my enforced absence. Since that demand didn’t evoke a lot of  response, Freddy doesn’t believe me anymore when I say that the SDN community  has over 250K members, not even when Amir Blich confirmed that 250K was a conservative  estimate.   Freddy challenged me to prove this with hard facts.      *Earthlings*   So I wondered what the best way was to prove my assertion. After all, he is not of this world and I assume/presume that he isn’t terribly interested in lists of figures. I also wanted to protect the privacy of the SDN members. Then, after having endured yet another noisy, sleepless night (caused by my daughter not wanting to sleep anymore, apparently because of the supposed presence of ghosts in her room, and various other groundless fears put forward to justify the need to sleep between her parents), I began to see (very early) daylight. I personally need to visualize things and I wondered which the most effective way was in order to show these figures to a little green machine. When “eureka” it came to me – why not use a map of the world showing where all the people of the SDN community reside!     *Off  the map*   Now that I had determined the underlying idea, I still needed to implement it. Thus I started to look for a possible mapping solution. There are plenty of them out there, since it is a hot topic these days. As with many of these hypes, one can doubt the utility of the hype, but in this case it did prove rather useful. To tell the truth I’ve wanted to do something with it for a while. I was just waiting for the right incentive and then to find the best software.               The first big criterion was the price or, even  better, the lack of it. Regardless of the intriguing factor of the challenge, I  didn’t want to run the risk of incurring moral and pecuniary regrets.  Furthermore, I wanted to have as much control over things as possible and even  to host things by myself. It took me a while, but I found the ideal software in  the form of worldKit  (http://worldkit.org/). I was very impressed  by the number of different implementations  (http://worldkit.org/examples.php) available which proved its flexibility.   It might not be the most fancy of the possible solutions available, but it suited the job I had in mind perfectly.      *Keep  it simple*            Atom and RSS 1.0 are also supported. More info on all of this can be found at  this location  (http://worldkit.org/doc/).            ** The XML for one location needs to be added to the existing file which the map (generated in Flash) will read. The only thing left to take care of is to make sure that all tags are properly nested and closed which a simple append won’t do. **   **   Refresh the page in order to visualize the newly entered data. In order to prevent problems with the cache, we need to do provide the classical header for not caching things  Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate Pragma: no-cache    and antedating  Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT       Why PHP and not, for example, my beloved BSP? Sure BSP could be used too. The only little catch might be the updating of the XML file. In this configuration, the file needs to be in the same directory as the Flash, so you need to pay attention to that. Nevertheless, the main reason for not choosing BSP is the simple fact that SAP is not installed on my personal web server at my provider. And I don’t think that he will install it for me either L. So I stuck to a plain old PHP script without fancy stuff such as AJAX.    *Up  to you*              I need your help in order to convince  Freddy that this vibrant community has many members. It won’t even take a  minute of your precious time. Just visit this specially constructed page  (http://sdn.idizaai.be/sdn_world/world.php) and  enter your data. There’s no need to be afraid for your privacy. The info requested  (name and BC link) is exactly the same as that which is requested by SDN, and the  location data is only saved in the form of a geocode.    If you still have doubts: in accordance with article 10 of the Belgian law of December 8, 1992, you can exercise your right of inspection on request.   And no, I don’t expect that all >250K members will fill in the data, but that doesn’t count as a valid excuse for not showing Freddy that you’re proud to be an SDN community member.IMPORTANT. It might take some time before all entered members are shown, which keeps us in suspense;-). So, pls DON’T REPOST your entry or press the reload button (Ctrl-R) of your browser if you don’t see yourself appear immediately. The worldKit implementation doesn’t show multiple entries at the same location. If your location is already occupied by somebody else, pls add your entry and notify me in order that it will be shown.  Update:  This version of SDN World is for documentation purposes only. A newer version is available here  (http://sdn.idizaai.be/sdn_world/sdn_world.php)     image

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      34 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Eddy,

      now, there are two of us on the map 😉

      kr, achim

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Many thanks!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Eddy:

      Great idea as always -:) I already enter my information...But I think that it doesn't get update...I didn't see the counter add me -:'(

      Anyway...Hope I'm wrong -:)

      Greetings,

      Blag.

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Your data is indeed inserted. As said in the web log. Things take some time. Pls don't repost your data when you don't see immediate result.
      Author's profile photo Mark Finnern
      Mark Finnern
      Hi Eddy,

      Love it. Done it. Now I know where exactly in Norway Dagfinn is living 🙂

      Small tip: You can find your business card URL in your profile. (Top left Profile Management -> Update profile or if you are on your business card the link is also behind your name.)

      Would love to know more about Tomi, currently the most northern SDN member, but the BC link does not work. Didn't know that Finland is going that far up. He/she is probably living in Ivalo.

      All the best, Mark.

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Mark,

      Tomi didn't provide any BC info. It is advisable to put the BC info (and nothing else) in order that people can see some details. In your BC you can determine what is visible or not.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Eddy,

      Indeed very funny idea. But I'm a bit disappointed with map used -- it is small and doesn't zoom well. Probably Google Maps will be better option. Btw, it is possible to set markers in Google Map, so functionality will be exactly the same.

      Valery

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Valery,
      Google maps and others have indeed better features and functionalities, but due to the reasons given in the web log, I have picked worldKit.

      However, technology is subordinate to the fact the SDN community can unite via this way.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Great idea. But why is the whole world black? And where is the statistics page with the number of entries?

      BTW to get the total number of SDNers we could send a huge plea to Craig or Mark. They should be able to figure out the number soon and post them here. Only one number.

      Dirk

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Dirk,

      It shouldn't be black. What browser/OS and Flash plugin do you have installed?
      The number entered is a good idea. I see what I can do to include this.

      A permanent counter on the home page isn't a bad idea at all:-)
      The SDN world app is a nice visual add-on to my feeling.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      IE 6, XP SP2 and some of the toughest security regulations I've seen. I will check it this evening from home.

      Best regards
         Dirk

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      We hear you!

      I just added my own name, perhaps we can work together with Eddy to get this as standard for SDN?

      What does everyone think?

      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      I think it would be a great idea.
      If the user log on to SDN, it should be shown in the SDN map.

      Peter

      Author's profile photo Boris Magocsi
      Boris Magocsi
      Hi Eddy,

      okay, I entered my data - but I can't see myself on the map (should be near Boston, USA). I'm guessing that's not normal - should I re-enter?

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Your data is indeed inserted. As said in the web log. Things take some time. Pls don't repost your data when you don't see immediate result.
      Author's profile photo Boris Magocsi
      Boris Magocsi
      Okay, you're right, it takes like 5+ minutes for everything to load. Not for the impatient. So, how do you think this will perform with 250k+ users listed, considering that's your stated goal?
      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Boris,

      I've been doing some fine tuning and it should be much better now.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Boris Magocsi
      Boris Magocsi
      Much better. Good job!

      Boris

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Eddy,

      This is great, I just entered my first name though, and it looks a little stupid, can I update the entry?

      BTW - the update was almost instantaneous for my entry.

      Brad (Williams)

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Done that. Glad to see that the tweaking has results.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Eddy:

      Can you please delete one of my entries...My browser crashes so I though my entry was not saved...But now I think I have two entries...

      Alvaro Tejada and Alvaro Tejada Galindo

      Please delete the first one -:) Thanx!

      Greetings,

      Blag.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I'm getting this error.Invalid zip/city and/or country provided .
      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Hi,

      Which city in India did you want to enter?

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hyderabad.
      we dont have zip codes.we have postal codes and these are 6 digit numbers!!!
      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Hi,

      Just fill in the city and country. It'll work (just tested it).
      The zip code is US only.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Yes , It worked!!!
      Thanks!!!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Eddy,

      My complains about map display aside; I wish sincerely to this post to be most viewable post on SDN! Previous recorded count (Top Weblogs of All Time [3 to 0]) was 15669, so you/we need more to make Freddy believe 😉

      Valery

      Author's profile photo Amir Blich
      Amir Blich
      Hi Eddy,

      Indeed - we passed the 250,000 member mark last year and we are at 400,000 and growing.

      Great initiative - I'm now on the map.

      Should we make this app more visible on SDN? You did a good job of hiding the link in your weblog... Can you (would you like to) handle the extra traffic?

      Amir.

      Author's profile photo Mark Finnern
      Mark Finnern
      ... per zip code or city it seems.

      Now that Amir has posted his location that is Palo Alto Zip 94403 he is the only one on the map. Looks like he overwrote Marco ten Vaanholt who overwrote me when he signed up.

      That is a bit unfortunate, Mark.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Confirmed.

      Maksim Rashchynski overwrote my entry. We both are from Minsk, Belarus.

      VS

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      Hi,
      Thanks for pointig that out. I've been searching for a solution and I didn't get further yet than the option to show the 'older' entries first. It seems to be an old issue with worldKit. I have to look further to find a solution (if any). Sorry for the inconvenience.

      Eddy

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author
      The only solution I could think of is to put several people on the same point. The link to the BC is gone then 🙁
      If there are other people in the same situation, pls  notify me to 'fix' things.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Eddy,

      As an option: handle click on point yourself, if there is only one person then redirect directly to SDN business card, otherwise open HTML with links including all persons from same location.

      Valery

      Author's profile photo Durairaj Athavan Raja
      Durairaj Athavan Raja