At our last Quantified Self Toronto meetup, we heard from Jason Brown, who had driven all the way up from Detroit – a 5-hour drive on the best of days, plus border crossing and Friday rush hour traffic – because there were no other meetups closer to him. How did he find us? Well, quantifiedself.com has a list, and Meetup.com also has a visualization of meetup groups.
The map there isn’t particularly useful – you can zoom in, but you can’t pan, and clicking on the markers doesn’t do anything. Searching for your postal code does get you a nice list of meetups, though.
I wanted to do something about that map, and I also wanted to explore the Meetup API so that I could start tracking meta information about Quantified Self meetup. Which meetups were growing the fastest? What were meetups’ typical frequencies of events? Could we eventually plot those with active discussions or mailing lists, and figure out what’s going on? In addition to being curious about these questions, I also wanted to experiment with delegating data scraping and Rails development.
Here’s the result so far:
I like the fact that this uses Google Maps, so it’s much easier for me to explore the meetups in the region. I’m looking forward to the other improvements we’ll be making, such as visualizing the member growth history per week.
You can find this meetup map at http://quantifiedself.ca/map . Enjoy!