Monday, February 03, 2020

Where's Null Island?



Yesterday Donald Trump congratulated the Kansas City Chiefs for representing the 'Great State of Kansas'. The only problem for the president is that the Chiefs' stadium is located in Kansas City, MISSOURI and not in the state of Kansas.

This isn't the only time that Trump has revealed that he has a very poor grasp of geography. During the last three years there has been a distinct rise in the number of map surveys asking people to point out locations on maps. It isn't true that Trump has always been responsible for these maps. In fact a little over a week ago the Can you point to Ukraine? interactive map was released in response to the ridiculous actions of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

What is true is that while an idiot remains in the White House there is going to be a big audience for these type of interactive map surveys. That is why I have created a Where's Null Island map in Glitch. My map asks you to point to Null Island on an interactive map and then adds your answer to a database.

The map itself has been kept very simple. In fact it is a very simple adaption of Glitch's 'hello-sqlite' starter application with a database. Glitch's demo map has a simple input text-field for users to submit words which are then saved to a database. I've replaced the text-field with a map. Now when you click on the map the latitude and longitude of that location is saved to the database.

If you want to adapt my application you can just click on the 'Remix on Glitch' button on Where's Null Island. This will allow you create your very own simple map survey. For example you could ask people if they know where Missouri is. I've kept my map as simple as possible so that it can easily be adapted. You could extend the map so that after users submit a location all the locations submitted so far are shown on the map.

I have created a separate map of the answers people gave on my Where's Null Island map. This Null Island map shows all the answers given up to 1 hour ago. The 0,0 location of Null Island is shown on the map with a yellow circle.

The 76 answers submitted to the map are shown with red circles. A lot of people managed to point to locations very close to Null Island. 7 answers got the location of Null Island exactly right, however those answers were all from people who cheated (which I know because it is practically impossible to click on the map and return '0.00000000000000000000, 0.00000000000000000000' as your answer).

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