Facebook App ‘Where Are My Friends?’ Finds Your Friends
By James Mulroy
Find yourself and your friends’ location on Google Maps Guestbook with the new Facebook app Where are my friends? The app was created by Luke Korth, a student at Cornell College studying Computer Science (and a personal friend of mine). Cornell College has an interesting block program where each class is 3.5 weeks long, which lets students devote their time to one subject. It took Luke only a little over a week to make this app.
Once you grant access to the app, it grabs your Facebook ID and picture, and puts it in a database. It also takes your IP address (but does not store it) to determine your location using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Other Google Maps-based guestbook apps don’t normally automatically detect your location–you usually have to enter it manually.
“Where are my friends?” uses an IP lookup database API called host IP to find your location, but due to the nature of GIS, it does not always get the location perfectly right for residential connections. When the map loads it color codes points on the on map: You are green, your Facebook friends are blue, and those who aren’t your friends are red.
Luke says that he wanted to do something with Google Maps for class: “I already had some experience with Google Maps and Facebook and I went from there.” He plans to implement layers on the map, possibly with distance and direction to your friends location. He also hopes to fix a couple bugs.
He’s not the man they think he is at home. Oh no no no James Mulroy is a rocket man….