January 8, 2003 2:10 AM   Subscribe

Forget BlogChalking. Go by the globe. A (slightly) simpler cousin of the GeoTags search engine (which I could never get useful information from anyway), the GeoURL ICBM Address Server (by Joshua Schachter of Memepool) pegs sites to specific points on the planet via good old-fashioned coordinates and META tags. While the web supposedly has no borders, many sites - like blogs - have a place at their heart, a virtual (if not physical) home. Now you can see if your site has neighbors. [Via Blogdex - More Inside]
posted by pzarquon (8 comments total)
General bot baiting like BlogChalking never really interested me. Without a controlled vocabulary (very important with an indexing system — ask any librarian), and by depending on independent search engines like Google, the system will always be only moderately useful.

But these geographic indexes intrigue me. While both GeoURL and GeoTags offer some free text like site names, the heart of it are longstanding, internationally-recognized coordinates. Latitude and longitude, simple numbers that are about as perfect a controlled vocabulary as you can get. An almost pre-made industry standard.

Not only that, they're based on metadata. So not only won't your entry fade as a blog post disappears into your archives (or below the depth crawled by a bot), but conceivably, future bots by any developer can read, interpret, and present them. Mapquest could incorporate them. I bet Google Labs is already playing with them.

Perhaps most practically important, though, is that GeoURL and GeoTags have active bots and live databases. Literally seconds within submitting your properly-tagged site, their server visits your page, sucks in your coordinates, and plugs you into its global map of websites.

True, neither site is pretty. Hell, they're practically user unfriendly. Instead of starting with cool design and fumbling with the architecture, this is clearly an example of scientific minds with a great idea who just need some time to develop their packaging. So it takes some patience to figure out how to determine your coordinates, or to tag your site for GeoURL or GeoTags (though GeoURL proudly proclaims it accepts GeoTags formatting as well).

Good thing geeks like a challenge.
posted by pzarquon at 2:11 AM on January 8, 2003

It seems to be getting a right royal slashdotting at the moment...
posted by PenDevil at 2:43 AM on January 8, 2003

I prefer visual traceroute programs over chalking sites;
there's so many sources one can find while cruising RFC forums,
bbs archives, and even the odd USENET post which may rarely turn up
on Google, IRC, or yes, even meta-related blogs. The additional benefits
of such apps are the luxury of tracking down many a spammer/troller/
script kiddie if ever the need arises.

Not that I'm paranoid, mind you...
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:45 AM on January 8, 2003

Your link is asking me for a password...
posted by rushmc at 5:42 AM on January 8, 2003

Hmm, it appears that is currently resolving to
posted by Lafe at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2003

it's dead, jim.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:15 AM on January 8, 2003

Wow. I think I broke it. Sorry, guys. (And Joshua.)

I hope it wasn't the last link in my post, to MeFi's "neighbors" - I changed the URL at the last minute 'cause I almost posted it with one of my sites and I know that's a no-no... Maybe MeFi wasn't in the database and confused it?
posted by pzarquon at 9:23 AM on January 8, 2003

Damn. Was just about to post this as an FPP.

Great idea, eh?

And BTW, the site seems to be working just fine, now.
posted by silusGROK at 3:49 PM on February 7, 2003

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