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The Internet

GeoURL: We Know Where You Live, Work and Blog! 188

hrbrmstr writes "GeoURL is a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Find your neighbor's blog, perhaps, or the web page of the restaurants near you. Many potential 'location-based services' can spring from this if the database gets big enough. The site has an easy process for maintaining your entries. And can even generate RSS feeds for a given geographical area."
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GeoURL: We Know Where You Live, Work and Blog!

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  • by JanusFury ( 452699 ) <kevin@gadd.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:32AM (#5038660) Homepage Journal
    That's right folks, now all you bored /.'ers can finally find an attractive local girl to stalk! Just enter your location into the convenient form, hit 'Submit', and stalk away!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:33AM (#5038663)
    Doesn't anyone else long for the privacy and anonynimity that the 'net used to provide?

    Posting anonymously for effect, of course....
    • Doesn't anyone else long for the privacy and anonynimity that the 'net used to provide?

      Heck no. I long for the identifiability and community that the net used to provide, pre-AOL and the age of disposable accounts.

      It should be really, really simple: If you want to just read, be anonymous. But when you actually add something, you should be able to be tracked down.
  • by $$$$$exyGal ( 638164 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:34AM (#5038665) Homepage Journal
    At first I thought this was just another lame whois database of url's. That's been proven to be idiotic. What this is is a human-edited database of url's to locations. You can submit your own.

    If they are successful (will need a very large database), then I bet Google would be very interested.

    --free sex [slashdot.org]

    • I bet they would too. If I am not mistaken, a similar technology is what the winner of the Google programming contest won. A way of sorting results by distance from the requester.
    • Why do it by hand? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @07:13AM (#5038980) Homepage
      You know, if Google decided to search for a specific META tag that gives the geographic location of a company, then I'm betting a lot of designers/companies would add it immediately (and update old sites). If they announced this new tag I'd certainly update some sites!

      At the moment, it would be a bit hit and miss to try to search for an address in a page to generate the database programmatically.
      • A sure way of getting *away* from those pesky people who keep following you...

        <META name="GeoLocation" value="Antarctica">

        Of course, then you could be getting emails from some pretty lonely scientists...
      • You know, if Google decided to search for a specific META tag that gives the geographic location of a company, then I'm betting a lot of designers/companies would add it immediately (and update old sites). If they announced this new tag I'd certainly update some sites!

        And many more companies would populate multiple pages with multiple locations so that they could be close to everyone. What happens with websites representing multiple locations? Say franchises?

        Does 120.000,-35.000 mean the coder lives there or they have a crummy atlas?

        Location is cool, but is linking it to a web page the way to go? What about a geographic LDAP?

        Xix.

    • It seems like this technology may already be in place at Google. The other day I did a search on Google for Fox Schedule and the number one hit was at fox.com, the number two hit was a link to the Fox affiliate in the home town of my ISP - Hmmm.
    • Actually, this sounds like the winning submission [google.com] for Google's programming contest.... So.. yeah, google probably would be interested... either in suing or being the owners... probably in that order.
    • by dav ( 5309 )
      Last night before I went to bed I had done a GeoURL neighbors search to see what was registered around Tokyo. This morning I reloaded that search to see what had been added, to my surprise a lot had been taken away. Here's the cache html from last night: last night [danger-island.com], and here's the html that just loaded: this morning [danger-island.com].

      I had noticed last night that some enterprising hotel marketer had plastered GeoURL [geourl.org] with links to their hotel web sites (and hundreds of these, all over the world, not just Japan) and thought that while this probably exposed an oversight in the GeoURL design it was certainly a legitimate use of the system. The oversight being that they should have added categories to separate business from personal, etc, so that if you were looking for blogs in a certain area you wouldn't have to wade through links for hotels, coffeeshops and thrift stores.

      But now they're all gone. If they were taken away by the original link poster, well OK, but I find it more likely that someone at GeoURL got rid of them. I find this disturbing; It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      It would be easy to add another META tag that Geo-URL could use to do this categorization. That's what they should do rather than start getting picky about who can use the system. Fuck censorship.

      I just checked the source for one of the de-listed hootle.com [hootle.com]pages and it does indeed still contain the geo.position data that is accepted by GeoURL [geotags.com]. I say again: fuck censorship.
  • Ahem? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Noodlenose ( 537591 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:34AM (#5038666) Homepage Journal
    Why, oh why in this age of deranged stalkers, nutters and neverending digital identity theft would I tell the world where I live?

    Just so half of this planet's socially challenged would appear on my doorstep and want a beer?

    • Re:Ahem? (Score:3, Funny)

      by orthogonal ( 588627 )
      Why, oh why in this age of deranged stalkers, nutters and neverending digital identity theft would I tell the world where I live?

      Just so half of this planet's socially challenged would appear on my doorstep and want a beer?


      Knock, knock.

      Uhm, ok, Noodlenose, where's that beer you promised me?

      (/me: Socially challenged and not real good at reading comprehension.)
    • OSS is all about fere beer, right? All 31,415,926 of us are coming over to your place this evening.

      Tom (location not disclosed)
    • Re:Ahem? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @10:21AM (#5039892) Journal
      I think as the net gets more and more mainstream, it becomes safer and safer to share your personal information online- I think it'll get to a point where it's as safe as real life- whether that be sharing your phone number in your sig, writing your name on a bathroom stall, or filling out all the info on a Church flyer. That is, real life isn't that safe either, but it's safer than what we fear online. Also then again, I'm not in the right demographic for my claims to be bold. If I were a 16 year old girl saying the same thing, these words would have a different weight behind them. Instead, knowing that I'm a 23 year old male and having a phone number of 603 330 3532- I just proved that it's not a big deal cause there ain't but nobody who's gonna look that up, much less call it, and MUCH less stalk me by it. :D "As the Internet becomes less and less an exclusive club, it becomes a universe, common to all, and sacred to none." When's the last time you heard of someone getting hacked via YellowPages?
      • Dude, you're number is unlisted.

        603 330 3532 [google.com]

        • No it's not, do a reverse phone lookup on it.
          • If it involves picking up a phone and dialing, I'll have to pass. I'm not that interested in stalking you. Sorry I'm not a more dedicated stalker.

            Other than that, typing in the phone number in Google *should* give the subscriber's name and address, since the phone companies all put their white pages on the web, and Google checks for phone numbers in the search query. Check out:

            this one [google.com]

            • Nah nah, it's easy. Check this site out. here [reversepho...ectory.com]. I didnt know I was unlisted. Yeah, I know I am not cause I had to pay three bucks a month to not be listed, and I said screw that cause it's just a dialup line and I don't even have an actual telephone for it.
    • I'll be nice and not post it here, but you do know what whois is, don't you? Next time I'm in Lochgilphead (yeah, right) I'll drop by for that pint. ;)

      Triv
  • Doesn't the whois/DNS database already do this?
    • They are saying that you can find a URL by it's geographical location, which I guess if you really wanted to do alot of whois queries and then drop the results into some sort of, well even a flat file, then find entries by location, then this is it. Soo I guess, yes but this eliminates the back-end work.
  • yikes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tunesmith ( 136392 ) <siffert&museworld,com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:36AM (#5038672) Homepage Journal
    For some reason this strikes me as a service to NOT sign up for... why would I want semi-anonymouse visitors to my blog to know where I live?

    Be good for signing up a business address, though..
  • by irc.goatse.cx troll ( 593289 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:38AM (#5038676) Journal
    I'm not about to give them ANY information unless I can download a full dump of their database whenever I want.
    Anyone remember how badly people got burned by CDDB? Its the same buisness plan;

    Phase 1) Invent neat idea with a few good uses so that people will populate your content
    Phase 2) ???
    Phase 3) Profit!

    where ??? becomes 'Fuck over users, start charging for access, bite hand that feeds.'.
  • by ItalianScallion ( 145653 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:48AM (#5038700)
    my friend lives half the year in vermont and half the year in california. his site is physically hosted in virginia. what would he be supposed to enter for his website location?

    this site might not always make much sense for individuals. the situation is similar to that of american telephone area codes; in our highly traveled world they are starting to lose their value as a location indicator, what with mobile phones, choice of area codes for faxes etc, and (in theory) relocatable phone numbers. you can choose a location, but it might only be true sometimes.

    better to link it to your frequent flyer number, perhaps?

    • If you're looking for the Longitude and Latitude information, you can get it fairly easy at Census site [census.gov]

      Too bad the original link in the article cannot witstand the hits. But the concept of it does sound like a good idea.

      I personally would enjoy finding out the location of few bloggers and kicking them in the mouth repeatedly so they stop whining and typing in caps on their pathetic sites.
  • by chrisranjana.com ( 630682 ) <{moc.anajnarsirhc} {ta} {ofni}> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:54AM (#5038710) Homepage
    Is it the same as this http://www.networldmap.com/TryIt.htm [networldmap.com] of is it different ?
  • by SobiOne ( 411695 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @04:56AM (#5038717)

    This looks similar to what was done in the google programming contest [google.com]!

    I wonder when google plans to implement this?
    It's a really neat idea! And google's method sounds like it should work better than GeoURL's
    (which requires people to submit their location info, rather than just swipe it off the web site.)

  • something the RIAA could use to locate "pirate sites" and then send some guys to rough up the place... They would of course call it "Market Demographics Analysis."
  • database (Score:2, Funny)

    by Zayin ( 91850 )

    Many potential 'location-based services' can spring from this if the database gets big enough.

    ...assuming they backed it up before the server melted.

  • Wow, now we can track down the spammers that sign with their real name and kill them! Preferably gutting their entrails with a spoon!
  • slashdotted (Score:4, Funny)

    by zephc ( 225327 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @05:03AM (#5038729)
    Looks like no one will be stalking random local girls anytime until this story drops off the front page...
  • by edLin ( 5192 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @05:04AM (#5038732) Homepage

    Here are some Debian geolocation links for you:

  • by blowdart ( 31458 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @05:40AM (#5038803) Homepage

    Not that anyone uses the DNS LEO entries (RFC 1876 [ckdhr.com]).

    This allows DNS names (and thus via rDNS, IPs) to store longitude, latitude, even elevation. (I did have a nice diagram here, but the ever so shit lameness filter said I had too much whitespace). The entries themselves look like this

    loiosh.kei.com. LOC 42 21 43.528 N 71 05 06.284 W 12m
    kei.com. LOC 42 21 43.528 N 71 05 06.284 W 12m 30m
    vrx.net. LOC 43 40 N 79 25 W 30m

    But, of course, DNS on a host doesn't allow for all that stalking you can do should amihotornot start supporting this on a per URL basis ....

    • It's more like finding out people or places near each other. Your homepage can be hosted in some other country, but maybe you would like to keep your personal location. And the DNS is only for each server, with this system, each page can have it's location.

      J.
    • Most people don't have such find control over DNS.

      My ISP(s), for instance, don't allow me to add anything by A, CNAME and MX records (which is done by request).

      I can't get my PTRs changed, let alone LOCs.

      S
    • This allows DNS names (and thus via rDNS, IPs) to store longitude, latitude, even elevation.


      What possible use would elevation have, other than to provide proper coordinates for a ballistic attack against your computer?
    • But, of course, DNS on a host doesn't allow for all that stalking you can do should amihotornot start supporting this on a per URL basis ...
      And don't forget: you can't put banner-ads in DNS entries ;) (although geourl is a nice site without any banners or popups).

      This weekend I added DNS LOC entries for things like webcam.idefix.net [idefix.net]. Going to the location make you end up in the view of the camera.

      Maybe geocachers can use this.

  • by daniel_isaacs ( 249732 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @06:13AM (#5038861) Homepage
    Really. It's co-loed in Ohio. I'm not in Ohio. And my companies website? It's 300 miles away. How functional can this be, really?

    • I agree. All of my websites are in Salt-Lake City, Utah and I live in Toronto, Ontario. Besides the fact that I'm in a different country than my web host, it's also nearly 4,000km away. Though I would imagine they've thought of this situation, and while they probably default, there must be a way to tweak the results.

      - j
      • it's also nearly 4,000km away

        Um, what's that in miles?

        "I was, booooooorn in the usa"

      • The idea is that when you create your web site - you enter the Lat/Long
        as a Meta tag. What you enter is entirely up to you.

        Ideally, you shouldn't enter the location of the server - or of your home -
        you should enter the Lat/Long of the area you would LIKE people to find
        you hanging out at.

        So - You want lots of emails from people interested in Outer Mongolia?
        Just add Meta tags the that lat long. You have a web site about the
        Eiffel tower - add Meta tags for that part of Paris. Each URL can
        have different tags - so you can be in many places at once.

        It doesn't threaten anonymity - if you want to stay hidden - don't add
        the tags. If you want to lie about where you are - fine. If you want
        your GPS to tell your PDA to email your server to tell it to update
        your home page every 10 minutes - also fine...(although you'll have to
        ping the geosite server to tell it to update your URL in it's database).

        It seems to be a good idea. Since the information is in your web page,
        any search engine can take advantage of this...all it takes is to define
        a standard lat/long tag.

        IMHO, they should have included altitude and an error metric in the tag.
  • I remember reading something in NewScientist last year which is simalar to this
    I think it was HP, or some company like that. Were looking into spacial messaging. Ie your phone can look up messages/pages based uppon your location.
    At the time I thought it was really interesting and had a lot of applications. In theory you could get user reviews of the place you are going to eat, just before you go it. Find out if the shop you are in has better online prices than they do in store. Loads of stuff.
    This is another thing on my 'meant to look into but have forgotten all of the important details' list.
  • IP-based lookup (Score:4, Informative)

    by nwetters ( 93281 ) <`ngourlay' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @06:51AM (#5038938) Homepage

    The site is slashdotted, so I haven't been able to have a look at it. However, if I were building a geo-search engine, I'd use the WHOIS data for the bulk of the indexing work, and for providing a default location for visitors. The tweaking around the edges (changing the location of the website or page), is just icing on the cake.

    No one really knows the accuracy of IP->Country lookup. There's an onlgoing thread on the london perl mongers list [pm.org] about this topic. Some geolocation companies state 98% accuracy [washingtonpost.com], which is pure bullshit. It's more likely to be around 70%, with most of the error occuring in overestimation of US addresses.

    By the way, if you want a fast IP locator, here's one [cpan.org] that's just as accurate as any of the commercial products. I'm surprised more people don't use this sort of stuff for providing intelligent defaults for their users when filling in HTML forms.

    • Here's another Perl Module [cpan.org] for looking up IP address based on country. This one requires a C library, and there is a slower one that is pure perl here [cpan.org].
      The basic IP to country database is free and updated monthly.
  • by tacocat ( 527354 ) <tallison1.twmi@rr@com> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @06:52AM (#5038942)

    This is a great concept! I absolutely love it!

    Now I can associate addresses to the script kiddies trying to break into my servers, hunt them down, and beat the ever loving crap out of them with baseball bats and chains.

    Finally, something useful on the internet!

  • Surely all that is needed is for people to put their location in an HTML meta-tag, then Google and the like will be able to search.

    For example I could embed the information

    city:London
    zip:SW9

    Then by searching for that string (I refuse to use the phrase Googling) in your fave search engine, you could find people in your area.

    Also someone could write a plug-in for browsers to pick up that info and display it in some-way.

    Hell if its that important, maybe a new formal meta-tag could be incorporated into the next version of the HTML standard.

    Just a few thought

  • They can track where you live based on your IP address, but can they survive the slashdot effect? I think not. =)
  • This is the greatest result of a slashdotting I've ever seen:

    System error

    error: Can't locate auto/DBI/connect.al in @INC (@INC contains: /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005 /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005 /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005 /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005 /usr/local/lib/site_perl/5.00503/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005/i386-freebsd /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.005 . /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503/mach /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503 /usr/local/ /usr/local/lib/perl) at /home/joshua/work/geourl/site/autohandler line 5

    context: ...
    275: # whether they should generate a full stack trace (confess() and cluck())
    276: # or simply report the caller's package (croak() and carp()), respectively.
    277: # confess() and croak() die, carp() and cluck() warn.
    278:
    279: sub croak { die shortmess @_ }
    280: sub confess { die longmess @_ }
    281: sub carp { warn shortmess @_ }
    282: sub cluck { warn longmess @_ }
    283: ...

    code stack: /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503/Carp.pm:279 /usr/libdata/perl/5.00503/AutoLoader.pm:88 /home/joshua/work/geourl/site/autohandler:5

    • That's Apache::Mason curling up and (croke|die)ing.

      Looks like the coder is trying to be a good citizen, and either the database can't handle the load, or Apache is running out of swap. Or, there's a dumb captialization problem in the use statements or somesuch.

      Sorry, I've just been doing too much of this lately. "Stop me before I debug again"...
  • Well this method sure beats searching whois databases for domains registered by someone geographically near to you.
  • Anybody know how they've implemented their spatial query when grabbing URLs within $x kilometres of $lat,$lon?

    I hope it's not "SELECT * FROM urls WHERE latitude > $a AND latitude $c AND longitude $d;", however based on the slashdotting they've had....
  • Looks like the webmaster doesn't appreciate all of the attention a Slashdot mention brings to his website. The current contents of the index.html page:

    <html>
    <head>
    <title></title>
    <meta HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=javascript:history.back()">
    </head>
    </body&g t;
    </html>
  • It seems geourl.org is located... nowhere. It seems the /. effect can alter the very fact of your physical existence.

  • ;; ANSWER SECTION:
    www.geourl.org. 28m24s IN A 127.0.0.1

    So, whichever whacked out moderator moderated my original post on this as OverRated, buzz off.

    Why is their A record pointing to 127.0.0.1?
    • Probably to reduce the slashdot effect. I've known of this site for a month or so and it's only really now "making the rounds" roung the "blog community" - but I don't think they anticipiated such a large influx in 48 hours. Hence, to try and reduce the server load, why not temporarily point people "away" to somewhere else?
  • Hmm, FullXML, is anyone else getting a FullXML template there?
  • Thieves.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @10:26AM (#5039924) Homepage Journal

    Thief 1: Let's see.. who in this area has a blog..
    Thief 2: Several!
    Thief 1:How many talk about the goodies in their house?
    Thief 2:Hmm new home theatre setup 3 doors down..
    Thief 1:Good, do they mention working day jobs?
    .
    .
    You get the idea...
  • I know that a lot of "matching" sites (as in, for people like slashdot geeks who'll never meet a girl without a PC) use postal code or combined postal/phone-area-code as a geographic identifier. From what I've heard, it's pretty good, you can tell within about 50km or so where a person is at most times

    Why would we use longitude/latitude. It's one thing to know that a user is somewhere "nearby" and another to whip out the old GPS and track them down to Lat 34 Long 82. Sounds more like a tool to be abused to me.
  • Anyone else notice this site is the "GeoURL InterContinental Ballistic Missile Address Server"
  • was the first thing that came to mind. How sad is that? Pr0n, sex, etc, it's always what drives the technology.

    what a world. funny how nudity is outlawed on TV, yet violence is ok, then kids shoot eachother and we wonder why, yet pr0n drives every technological breakthrough we've had.

    fuckin puritans.
  • Why oh why did I register with InstaTrace?
  • Domain Name (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dze ( 89612 )
    Anyone can find my address from my domain name registration, therefore I'm not going to be extra-paranoid about giving the latitude and longitude (which I've already given out for the Perl Monks [perlmonks.org] Monk Map [tinymicros.com]).
  • There could be another approach to this geographic mapping of the web so you can find neighbors and what not.

    WHOIS databases also contain the address of the people who register the domain names. One could program a bot to lookup domains and parse out the geographic information from their entry and then put that into a database using the technology that the guy in the Google Programming Contest did in order to assign a lat. and long. number (or ICBM number).

    Then you could even allow people to update their entries like you can with the online phone books just in case the spider grabbed the wrong information.
  • when I go to www.geourl.org or any link in the article, I am redirected to my LOCALHOST !!! the only way I know this is Im running a local server... at first I thought they were pointing to me :)
  • by Embedded Geek ( 532893 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2003 @12:24PM (#5040746) Homepage
    ... circa 1988, I tried to convince the admin on the UNIX system (back when there were only two flavors) at school that we needed a where command to complement who, using the tty's of each user to figure out which lab they were connected from (or just flag 'external dialup'). I was willing to write an awk script to do it, but he was never willing to give me the mappings to all the ttys.

    And, no, I wasn't, er, trying to pick up on female CS students. No, never that. It's just conincidence I wound up marrying one.

    Honest.

  • It uses GeoIP and a Perl snippet to determine where the users are at. But ofcourse, it's nothing like that site.

    http://www.internetional.org/ [internetional.org] if you want to give it a try.

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