All right, I am sure I brought this up here before, but I can't recollect where (if) it was discussed openly, or whether it was possibly in direct convos with someone, so if anyone can recollect - or was on the receiving end of it - let me know or drop me a quick PM.* This is going back a few years now, so I am a little foggy about it. But I have always be interested in analysing demographics, and one thing I thought would maybe add an interesting element to the board is if we could incorporate some of that into the SB user base. Some things going on reminded me of that. With the new changes coming online with updated site, I thought this would be a great time to [re]bring it up. One thing in particular that I thought would be cool to see is a location map for the registered users. Ideally, it would be available on the main page for anyone interested, and would have each users registered location marked on a global map. This would be an interesting way to see (1) how many members are using the board, and (2) where the distribution [alas, largely US-centric, I know] of users across the world is. Something sort of like this, only less Google-mappy ideally, maybe more like one of these (but with located points), So, a couple of points to bring up with this. - firstly, I know a lot of people value/are concerned over privacy, so I would suggest that the actual user in each 'point' is anonymous, and would not link to any profile or be able to see who that person was; the markers would have to be general to a single city anyways, so in situations of multiple people in the same place, there would be one locator - further to the anonymity issue, I would suggest that it be linked to a separate field that you would enter during registration, i.e. not the 'location' entry currently used. This would allow more general locations to be input that the system could more easily recognise, and offers another layer of keeping your privacy, whether you choose to put something the the visible 'location' field connected to your forum profile or not - a problem I immediately foresee is that there are currently nearly 2500 members registered with the site, but I would conservatively estimate that only 10% of those are actually active. There are tons of legacy profiles, bot profiles, and outright spamming profiles that would need to be addressed. (that is another issue entirely I will leave for the moment) But, as I see it, since we would only be initiating this going forward, really only the active and new members would be adding the information to the site, so that would inherently limit the information to people regularly using the website [and, I might add, this would allow us to get a much better idea of how many people actually log in here and use SB regularly] - naturally this would be a voluntary change, but it would be more effective if it was 'semi-mandatory,' with new registrations at least. Something you had to enter to sign up, just like your age, to get activated on the site, but would never be displayed or used for public information. I would like to see everyone enter their location willingly, but if anyone has any reservations on it, they wouldn't have to (but please speak up!) I was thinking we might even be able to change something such as the colours of the 'pins' on the map to show online status, but then this might be a giveaway to the user identity. I know at one point I even spent a great deal of time trying to find appropriate software that we could add to the site to incorporate this into the forum. I was unsuccessful, but I do feel like it is probably out there, and if not, does not involve much actual legwork to get underway (the geo-locating on the other hand, is a much more difficult issue). As the code structure is changing now anyways, maybe something new will come up. So I don't know if it is even possible, or plausible, at this point, but anyone with more experience might be able to offer some insight. So what do you guys and gals think? Something you would care to see added, or just a big bother? Please express any concerns or suggestions you might have, as well as other stuff we might think about adding to improve the forum. This is a community after all, so let's all take part in it. * Or a helpful redirect to the appropriate thread too!