Java User Groups International Map
With the help of several other JUG Leaders, I have put together a world map of Java User Group (JUG) locations. It is setup as a KML map file that can be loaded into Google Maps or Google Earth. With my help, Aaron Houston put together a similar world map for Java Champion locations. Through the beauty of KML Network Links, we were able to easily combine the two maps with no duplication of map data. Aaron and I made a presentation on these two map projects during a Quickie session at the recent JavaPolis conference. Here is an embedded version of our slides from that session:
Either map works quite well in Google Maps. You can zoom in on them by continent and/or by country using the navigation structure of nested folders defined for each map. For the combined map, I highly recommend loading the main KML file into Google Earth. Last time I checked, Google Maps is still unable to process all the data of the combined map properly. It only partially loads the combined map. Google Earth has no such problems and the interactive support for zooming and viewing overlapping locations works really well in Google Earth. Besides, Google Earth is just way more fun to explore with this data (see 240K full size screen capture)
I'll end with a plea to get more JUGs onto the map. The bulk of the JUGs on the current map represent JUGs with Leaders that are active on the JUG Leaders mailing list. That list has been the main communication vehicle to get the word out about the map and to get the data back for new JUGs to add to the map. Although I highly recommend it, it is not a requirement to participate on the JUG Leaders mailing list in order to get your JUG onto the map. You will find instructions on what to submit and where to submit it on the JUGs wiki.
That's All Folks!