Geographic Location of the RM Community - Local Groups
Many communities, such as this one, have communities within the community: local groups of users who might want to meet-up in person to share experiences, rather than always communicate on-line. But as the RM Community has grown organically over the last 10 years, it left us with the question: where are you all?
While we give you the option to tell us your location in your User Profile, very few of you (understandably) do. That left us with the last IP Address from where you lgged on, assuming that your network allowed us to see it. While IP addresses are far from perfect in identifying individual users they can give accuracies of 80-95% for location .
So task 1 was to get geolocation from an IP Address. There are a number of free databases out there you can download, such as FreeGeoIp, but I'm not very techy, so I wanted RapidMiner to do the work for me. With some help from @bhupendra_patil we read the data downloaded from this community into RM Studio, and used the Enrich Data by Web Service operator to call out to the Ipinfodb API. This is a free service, but you have to wait 10 minutes between calls or it gets annoyed. Next I used the Split operator to make nice neat columns, and hey presto I had countries, regions and cities.
A simpler RM Process was never written, I'm guessing!
Looking at the output as a heatmap was interesting, but ultimately you want to see this type of info as a map. This last step to about 5 minutes with the help of Peter Lee (our CEO, who was coincidentally sat next to me). He suggested Carto. I set up an account, read in the data and then we spent the remaining 4 of our 5 minutes selecting the right map background. There are lots of options to choose.
So what did we Learn?
Actually, this simple process threw up a few surprises. Firstly, the greatest density of RapidMiners is in London. I would have put money on Dortmund or Boston.
Secondly, there are significant hot patches of users in Schleswig-Holstein, Singapore and Santiago, also in Bangalore, Dublin and Milan.
All of this should help with setting up self-run local user groups here in this Community. Look out for more news on these soon as they go live. If you would like to run a local group of RapidMiners yourself, please let me know by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Private Mesage me here.d