Site visitor tracking via Google Earth

More innovative uses of KML in this Google Earth Community thread. “PasiH” has created a web application that provides visitor tracking via Google Earth and called it Mazurka, in honor of a Polish folk dance in triple time with a usually moderate tempo, containing a heavy accent on the third or second beat.

Ogle Earth has generously agreed to act as a Guinea Pig to test this.

Here is the KMZ network link that tracks Ogle Earth’s site visitors. Feel free to download and find yourself on the map. It’s refreshed every 10 minutes.

To roll your own, all you need to do is go to the Mazurka page and enter the URL of the site you want tracked. In return you get a network link and an HTML snippet. You put the HTML snippet into the site files you want tracked. The snippet requests an image from the Mazurka server whenever a visitor’s browser renders the HTML, which is how Mazurka knows what the visitor’s IP address is. This IP address is then converted to a real location, and that location is then provided as an entry in the KML that the network link periodically requests.

It’s a lot simpler than that description makes it sound, really. The one rough edge that I could see is that unkown IPs tend to be mapped to near Equatorial Guinea (but that could probably be solved by adding a line of code that filters out those entries). Also, I have no idea what else is being done with Ogle Earth’s visitor tracking data once Mazurka has it, but this blog has no secrets. (And no shame.)

(The tracker is valid for URLs; I’m not sure if it tracks hits.)