Visualize your visitors with Google Maps

Our new geolocation database is in full effect, and as mentioned earlier this gives us a lot more information than we had before, including the latitude and longitude of just about every IP address out there. That information lets us display your visitors with Google Maps. Play with a map of visitors to here, or go to your visitors section and click the new 'map' link to see it for your own site.

Here's a screenshot:

This is also implemented when you click on an IP address in the standard visitors view. Here is a screenshot of what it currently looks like:

Our filtering system is integrated into the maps page, so you can narrow down what you're looking at based on a multitude of factors, including country, web browser, language, etc. Some examples from stats:

Last 20 visitors from the US:

Last 20 visitors who speak French:

The filters can be combined together, so if you wanted to see your visitors from Thailand who speak Spanish and use Firefox on Linux, you can do that. There is one limitation though. This only searches your data from the last 72 hours, otherwise it's too intensive. So very specific filters such as the one just mentioned may not return any results, or just a few.

Why are we limiting the map to the last 20 visitors? It's not that we want to, believe me. The problem is that unless we pay Google $10,000 per year, we are limited to 50,000 lookups per day. Each one of those markers counts as a lookup, so every time someone views a map of their stats, that's 20 lookups. You can imagine how fast those add up, especially when used with the filtering system. Creating the screenshots above was 100 lookups alone. When we're rich and famous, we will glady pay Google their $10K/year, but until then we have to limit you to a reasonable amount of data. This is also the reasoning behind the decision to open a new window when you click "View session" for a visitor, so that it doesn't have to reload the page again (and count 20 more hits towards our limit) when you hit "back". So, have fun with this page, I know I am, but please don't sit there and hit refresh all day or Google won't be happy with us. Enjoy!

Update: Seems I misunderstood the Google terms of service. That 50,000 limit is for geocode requests - meaning when you are requesting the Lat/Long from a physical address. But our database already gives us the geocode data - so there are actually no limits on the amount of data we can display within a map throughout each day. The map does get clutttered real fast once you pass 50 or so markers, so for now I'm limiting it to your last 50 visitors. Eventually there will be an option to display all visitors for a given date - if you have a high traffic site, that might get ugly!
15 comments |   Feb 26 2007 8:40am

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