Just for the geeky / nerdy / techie / cone heads among us some wonderful websites allow a simple installation of free website maps. This little bits of fluff show the location of visitors to the website from all over the globe. It’s one of those self gratifying things that makes you think “oooh, someone from the Antarctic has just read my blog”
I’ve narrowed it down to 2 favourites and will be running one or the other over the next few weeks until I decide which one I like the best.
The first is:
ClustrMaps is a free thumbnail hit counter map that shows the locations of all visitors to your site, even when the numbers are enormous! Visitors don’t need to click on anything: just viewing your page is sufficient.
One thumbnail map on your site shows it all: the HTML that gives you a thumbnail map, like the one below the menu on the left. When it loads, it increments a counter and shows the locations of all the visitors to this page, cumulatively (even for huge numbers). Clicking on it zooms in to a big world map, and (optionally) lets you zoom in to the continents. Visit the main ClustrMaps site for details, or go directly to the ‘Get one!’ page to sign up for your free account.
A reduced-size sample is shown below:
These guys provide a Flash based map widget that also shows the physical location of website visitors. See it at maps.amung.us. Not only do they tell you the number of people online, but we also show you the pages people are reading and where in the world they’re coming from. This one needs no registration just copy/paste a little snippet of code and viola the maps appear. Like this:
After running both for a week or so CLUSTRMAPS has finally edged AMUNG slightly. I like the Clustmap visual layout more and even though AMUNG is slightly quicker to setup (since it requires no registration; simply a copy/paste of some code) it did feel slighly slower when refreshing. Clustrmaps is also just a bit sharper looking and I like the map selections.
Try them out yourselves – if gives strange little thrill to log on each day and see you’ve had a website visitor from some obscure country somewhere…