Development project to visualize the vitality of the developers community

Henrion Benjamin bh at
Tue May 15 21:14:27 UTC 2001

Olivier Berger <oberger at> [010515]:
> Hi folks.
> I'd like to submit one idea that we got recently of a system that could
> be used to visualize the vitality of the developers community in our
> areas, and could also serve as a tool to better know how to contact
> those of us who travel a lot for free software...
> Here is the little memo I wrote :
> (ideas for a name : World Almost Real-time Developpers Positioning
> System)
> This project aims at developing a system which would allow easy
> geographical representation of Free Software Developpers on the
> terrestrial globe maps. This would be a great way to represent the
> vitality of the Free Software community, as well as a contact tool
> which could help in joining people traveling alot.

A good example of such maps is on the debian website that uses Xplanet

> This project was discussed by members of the french chapter of the FSF
> Europe and myself, on the way back from Essen, where the general
> assembly of the FSF Europe was held. It started as a joke, when we
> thought how cool it would be to have real-time localization of the
> Free Software developers if they had some GPS with them.
> Even if we don't think that exact and real-time positioning is needed,
> it would still be cool to get some graphical representation (on a
> volontary based registration of the developpers when they arrive to a
> new location), and see those great migrations when community groups
> gather (GNU/Linux trade shows, GUADEC, Usenix, etc.).
> The system would ideally consist in a web site with a database of each
> developer's last known location (and status / ways he can be joined,
> etc.), and a graphical representation system. This system could be
> implemented by providing ways for developers to enter latitude and
> longitude coordinates in a form (which they could get from public web
> sites converting city to coordinates... any available ?). It would
> then give the user access to maps of earth/continent/countries,

Lists of coordinates exists, I've one in a series of Atlas on paper, but
not in text or db format. If someone knows (Bernard?)...

> etc. which would represent the people in those areas, and maybe the
> moves since last positions. This would draw trajectories and/or spots
> of variable width that could be rather cool (imagine that you see all
> these people arriving to the LSM for Debian Conference, then migrating
> to the LinuxTag, etc.).

It could be possible but the onliest problem is data! I belive all of
the tools exists (see



> Allright, I think my description is long enough.
> Any comments, suggestions of implementation, or known patent records
> that this project would infringe ? ;)
> Best regards.
> -- 
> Olivier BERGER - Secrétaire de l'association APRIL 
> APRIL ( - Vive python (
> PĂ©tition contre les brevets logiciels :
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