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Map styles | Estilo de mapa | Стиль карты June 18, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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Over the next two days we will be rolling out new map styles. These can be set by going to your normal Admin page at http://www.clustrmaps.com/admin/action.php, where you will (within the next few days) see a ‘Map styles’ tab on the right.

1. Regular (free) ClustrMaps users will be able to modify the look of their thumbnail map, including the language of the title. Here are just a few examples:

Sample thumbnail styles

2. The large world map takes on a clearer look

3. The red-dot rendering algorithm produces clearer, rounder, and slightly smaller dots to avoid the ‘cluttered’ look.

4. Premium ClustrMaps+ users will be able to select from a much larger palette of styles, of which just a few examples are shown here:

eg1 eg2eg3 eg5

5. Premium ClustrMaps+ users will also be able to choose from a range of dot colours for their thumbnail maps (see a representative subset of some more examples here).

The screen snapshot below shows the page for Map styles | Estilo de mapa | Стиль карты for free (ClustrMaps) users:



Two glitches, fixed June 11, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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During 6th-10th June we experienced two separate minor problems, both now fixed:

1. “Previous 24hrs: 0 visits.” Some users (with ‘www2’ at the beginning of their map URLs) experienced a count of 0 visits for a few days this week. We had a problem unique to one server, with a small knock-on effect on the overnight runs which would have resulted in reporting a total of 0 visits for some users. The good news is that the larger counts (total visits) are still correctly stored in our log files, and as soon as we complete the next few series of overnight batch runs, the cumulative effect of this error will be nullified over time since the log files ultimately have the correct totals.

2. Large map not shown or inability to login to Admin page: this occurred for a few hours after 23:55 GMT on 9th June, and was a side-effect of our work on fixing bug [1] above, wherein the URL for your large map (or login to Admin) was not recognized because of adjustments to our database. THIS HAD NO EFFECT ON VISIT COUNTS OR MAP UPDATES, because all the visits are continuously stored in our log files based on your thumbnail maps, which were unaffected, even during these few hours.

We want to apologise for these glitches – as longtime useers will know, such glitches are increasingly rare, and we invite users to get in touch with us directly if things do not look healthy again within the next two days (i.e. after the next two overnight map updates).

Many thanks for your patience – the enthusiasm and support of our users is of utmost importance to us, and we always strive to deliver the fastest and most scalable geographical visit counter on the Internet, combined
with the best user support, even for free users (and no-questions-asked reimbursement for paying ClustrMaps+ users should they so wish)!

Представляем ClustrMaps на русском языке | ClustrMaps in Russian! April 23, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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Мы рады объявить о запуске русскоязычной версии ClustrMaps. Чтобы переключиться на русский язык, выберите его в раскрывающемся списке справа вверху на любой странице сайта либо откройте главную страницу на русском языке по адресу http://www.clustrmaps.com/ru/index.htm

Благодарим Дмитрия Уланова (http://ulanov-dmitriy.moikrug.ru) за выполнение полного цикла работ по переводу сайта и с радостью приглашаем всех наших русскоязычных пользователей!

We are delighted to announce the release of our Russian-language version of ClustrMaps. You can find it via the top-right menu on any of our pages, including all our maps, or directly at http://www.clustrmaps.com/ru/index.htm

We would like to thank Dmitry Ulanov (http://www.linkedin.com/in/dmitryulanov) for undertaking the translation of the entire site, and are especially pleased to welcome all our Russian-speaking users!

5 Billion and Counting April 6, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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As in past entries we like telling you about big milestones. Not only did we just experience two recession-busting quarters of unprecedented growth, but we’ve also surpassed 5,000,000,000 thumbnail maps served. We’re still the fastest, most scalable, and simplest ‘quick gestalt overview’ hit counter map widget that gives you public bragging rights directly in your home page or sidebar. Thanks once again to all our loyal users!

Proposed privacy/cookies new wording [Privacidad/Cookies, nueva redacción propuesta] March 27, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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[UPDATE/ACTUALIZACIÓN: see Spanish version below – véase versión en español a continuación.]

Further to our recent posting about cookies and privacy, this posting is a ‘heads-up’ advance notification about a clarification and modification we want to introduce next week to the Privacy Statement on our Legal and Terms of Service page (to take effect 4th April 2008 2009), specifically in the final section where the heading now says: Cookies. First we display the current wording that is affected, and below that we display the (rather long) substitution for that wording. Finally, at the very end we conclude with a brief comment explaining our approach.

Current wording affected:


A cookie is a piece of information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive by your web browser. We do not use cookies on any of the ClustrMaps sites.

Proposed new wording to replace the above small section [long]:

Cookies and third-party advertising

Summary: Our thumbnail (‘widget’) maps do not use cookies in any way, either directly (‘first party’) or indirectly (‘third party’). Our large map pages and other pages on our main site may have content such as advertising which results in ‘third-party’ cookies being used, for which you can opt out, as explained below, and in any case personally identifiable information is never stored by such cookies. We may also deploy first-party cookies (on our large map pages) for affiliate rewards, as explained below.


A cookie is a piece of information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive by your web browser, typically to provide historical information (e.g. so you do not have to re-set preferences when you re-visit a site, or to enable an electronic ‘shopping cart’ to remember which items you have selected when you move to a new page on a site).  To understand the possible usage of cookies on ClustrMaps pages, it is important to distinguish between two kinds of ClustrMaps items (thumbnail (‘widget’) maps vs full web pages, and two kinds of cookies: (a) ‘first-party’ cookies (in our case, that means cookies provided by ClustrMaps and originating from our servers at clustrmaps.com) vs (b) ‘third-party’ cookies (provided by others such as advertisers that you may see on certain pages on the ClustrMaps site, particularly those pages displaying large maps).  The two kinds of ClustrMaps items are shown as rows (1) and (2) in the table below, and the two kinds of cookies are shown as columns (A) and (B).  The four main cells of the table (A1, B1, A2, B2) therefore describe all of the relevant cases.


(Column A)
First-party cookies
(from clustrmaps.com)

(Column B)
Third-party cookies
(from advertisers)

(Row 1) Thumbnail (‘widget’) map

(Cell A1) NO: We do NOT use cookies from clustrmaps.com on our thumbnail maps.

(Cell B1) NO: We do NOT allow cookies from anyone else to be used on our thumbnail maps.

(Row 2) Full pages (e.g. large map pages, and the ClustrMaps site generally).

(Cell A2) First-party cookies may be used, but only for clustrmaps.com affiliate reward schemes (see below).

(Cell B2) Third-party cookies may be used by third-party advertisers and advertising networks to help provide ads about goods and services of interest to you. Personally identifiable information is never stored.

Table 1: Two kinds of ClustrMaps items vs. two kinds of cookies: the four possible cases of interest.

The top row (1) of the preceding table is very easy: Our thumbnail (‘widget’) maps do not use cookies in any way, either directly (‘first party’) or indirectly (‘third party’).  In fact, the thumbnail map is designed to be displayed very rapidly, and to cause minimal disruption to the browsing experience of your own site’s readership.

For the second row of the table (2), the distinction between first-party and third-party cookies is crucial.

Regarding ‘first-party’ cookies (cell A2): as of 20th March 2009, we have never used ‘first-party’ cookies on any of the ClustrMaps sites, but reserve the right to do so in the future, primarily, but not exclusively, for the purpose of providing Affiliate participation history. For example, if X purchases a ClustrMaps+ subscription after looking at Affiliate Y’s big map, then Y would get credit, so we need to store the fact that Y’s site was the originating site.

Regarding ‘third-party’ cookies (cell B2): We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information about your visits to this and other websites in an anonymized, aggregated form in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. This does not include any personally identifiable information, for example name, address, email address, or telephone number. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, please visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp. The most relevant and high-profile situation pertinent to ClustrMaps users may be obtained by visiting the Google ‘Privacy policy for Google ads and the Google Content Network’ page at http://www.google.com/privacy_cookies.html , and the Google Privacy Center Advertising and Privacy page page at http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html

Web browsers are typically set up to accept cookies by default, but you can easily reset your own browser to reject cookies or to let you know when a cookie is being sent. Further information about privacy and third-party cookies, including how to block them, may be obtained from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#Privacy_and_third-party_cookies


[end of proposed wording change]


As mentioned in our previous posting, the use of innovative policies by 3rd-party advertisers requires us to be much clearer about our use of cookies, and our new wording reflects this. In particular, we distinguish much more clearly between 1st-pary (our own) and 3rd-party (advertiser or ad network) cookies, and what happens on our thumbnail maps (no cookies of any kind) vs our large map and other pages of ours (3rd-party cookies may appear, and even 1st-party cookies may appear but typically this would only be for crediting affiliates properly, and in any event no personally identifiable information is stored or forwarded). Our generic policy of ‘No spyware, no cookies’ is, we feel, still valid and still supported by our new policy, because no cookies of any kind are used by our thumbnail map, which is the one that would affect most users (and their onward readership). For those who click through to our big maps and related pages, our reliance on advertising revenue means that 3rd-party cookies are a fact of life, but can still be avoided or ‘opted out of’ as required or preferred, as explained in the statement above.

Privacidad/Cookies, nueva redacción propuesta

Siguiendo con nuestra reciente publicación sobre cookies y privacidad, esta notificación es una ‘alerta’ sobre una clarificación y modificación que queremos introducir la semana siguiente a la Declaración de Privacidad en nuestra página Legal y Términos del Servicio (para entrar en efecto en Abril 4, 2009), especialmente en la sección final donde el encabezado dice ahora: Cookies. Primero mostramos el texto actual que va a ser afectado, y debajo de esto mostramos la sustitución final (un poco larga) de este texto. Finalmente, en la última parte concluimos con un breve comentario, explicando nuestro acercamiento.

Texto actual afectado:

Los cookies son piezas de información que tu navegador guarda en el disco duro de tu computador. Nosotros no utilizamos cookies en ninguna de nuestras paginas ClustrMaps.

Nuevo texto propuesto para reemplazar la pequeña sección de arriba [largo]:

Cookies y publicidad de terceros

Resumen: Nuestros mapas en miniatura (‘widget’) no usan cookies de ninguna manera, ni directamente (cookies de origen) o indirectamente (cookies de terceros). Nuestras páginas con los mapas grandes y otras páginas en nuestro sitio web pueden tener contenido tal como el publicitario que resultan utilizando cookies de terceros, para los cuales puedes optar por rehusar, como es explicado abajo. En todo caso, información personal identificable nunca es guardada por estos cookies. También podemos implantar cookies de origen (en nuestros mapas grandes) para recompensar a afiliados, como es explicado abajo.


Los cookies son piezas de información que tu navegador guarda en el disco duro de tu computador, normalmente para proporcionar información histórica (p.ej. para que no tengas que restaurar tus preferencias cuando regresas a un sitio web, para permitir que un ‘carro de compras’ electrónico pueda recordar que artículos haz seleccionado cuando pasas a una nueva pagina en el sitio web). Para poder entender los posibles usos de los cookies en las paginas ClustrMaps, es importante distinguir entre los dos tipos de clases de ClustrMaps: mapas miniatura (‘widget’) vs. paginas web completas; y los dos tipos de cookies: (a) cookies de origen (en nuestro caso, eso significa cookies proporcionados por ClustrMaps y originado por nuestros servidores en clustermaps.com) vs. (b) cookies de terceros (proporcionados por otros tales como anunciantes que puedes ver en ciertas páginas del sitio web de ClustrMaps, particularmente en las que muestran mapas grandes). Los dos tipos de clases de ClustrMaps se pueden ver en las filas (1) y (2) en la tabla de abajo, y los dos tipos de cookies se pueden ver en las columnas (A) y (B). Las cuatros celdas principales de la tabla (A1, B1, A2, B2) describen todos los casos relevantes.


(Columna A)
Cookies de origen
(de clustrmaps.com)

(Columna B)
Cookies de terceros
(de anunciantes)

(Fila 1) Mapa miniatura (‘widget’)

(Celda A1) NO: Nosotros NO usamos cookies de clustrmaps.com en nuestros mapas miniatura.

(Celda B1) NO: Nosotros NO permitimos cookies de ninguna parte para ser usados en nuestros mapas miniatura.

(Fila 2) Páginas completas (p.ej. paginas con mapas grandes, y el sitio ClustrMaps en general).

(Celda A2) Cookies de origen pueden ser usados, pero solo para esquemas de recompensa a afiliados a clustrmaps.com (ver abajo).

(Celda B2) Cookies de terceros pueden ser utilizados por anunciantes y redes de publicidad para ayudar a proveer anuncios sobre productos y servicios de tu interés. Información personal identificable nunca es guardada.

Tabla 1: Dos tipos de ClustrMaps vs. Dos tipos de cookies: cuatro casos posibles de interés.

La fila de arriba (1) de la tabla precedente es muy sencilla: Nuestros mapas miniatura (‘wiget’) no utilizan cookies de ninguna manera, ni directamente (cookies de origen) o indirectamente (cookies de terceros). De hecho, el mapa miniatura esta diseñado para ser desplegado muy rápido, y causar la mínima interrupción en la experiencia de navegación en la lectura de tu propio sitio web.

Para la segunda fila de la tabla (2), la distinción entre cookies de origen y cookies de terceros es crucial.

En lo que respecta a los cookies de origen (Celda A1): desde el 20 de Marzo del 2009, nosotros jamás hemos usado cookies de origen en ninguno de nuestros sitios Clustrmaps, pero nos reservamos el derecho de hacerlo en el futuro, principalmente, pero no exclusivamente, con el propósito de proveer historial de participación de los afiliados. Por ejemplo, si X adquiere una suscripción ClustrMaps+ después de haber mirado el mapa grande del Afiliado Y, entonces Y podrá obtener crédito. Por eso tenemos que guardar el hecho de que el sitio de Y fue el sitio originador.

En lo que respecta a los cookies de terceros (Celda B2): Nosotros usamos terceros como agencias de publicidad para proveer anuncios cuando visitas nuestro sitio web. Estas compañías pueden usar información sobre tus visitas a este y otros sitios web de una forma agregada y anónima, para poder proveer anuncios sobre productos y servicios de tu interés. Esto no incluye ninguna información personal identificable, como por ejemplo dirección, correo electrónico, o numero telefónico. Si deseas tener mayor información sobre esta practica y saber cuales son las posibilidades sobre como hacer para que esta información no sea usada por estas compañías, por favor visita http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp.
La situación más relevante y de alto perfil pertinente a usuarios de ClustrMaps puede ser obtenida visitando la página ‘Póliza de privacidad para anuncios Google y la Red de Contenido Google’ en http://www.google.com/privacy_cookies.html y la página Centro de Privacidad Google Publicidad y Privacidad en http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html

Los navegadores normalmente están predeterminados para aceptar cookies, pero fácilmente puedes configurar tu navegador para que rechace cookies o para que te indique cuando un cookie va a ser enviado. Mayor información sobre privacidad y cookies de terceros, incluyendo como bloquearlos, puede ser obtenido en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie#Privacy_and_third-party_cookies

[fin de la propuesta del cambio de redacción]


Como es mencionado en nuestra publicación anterior, el uso de pólizas innovadoras por parte de la publicidad de terceros requiere que nosotros seamos mucho mas claros sobre nuestro uso de cookies, y nuestra nueva redacción refleja esto. En particular, distinguimos mucho más claro entre cookies de origen (los nuestros) y de terceros (anunciantes o redes de publicidad), y lo que pasa en nuestros mapas miniatura (ningún tipo de cookies) vs. nuestro mapa grande y otras páginas de nosotros (cookies de terceros pueden aparecer, e incluso cookies de origen pueden aparecer pero esto seria únicamente para acreditar a los afiliados adecuadamente, y en cualquier evento, ninguna información personal identificable es guardada o reenviada). Nuestra póliza genérica de ‘no programas espías, no cookies’ es, nosotros creemos, todavía valida y todavía sustentada por nuestra nueva póliza, porque cookies de ningún tipo son usados por nuestro mapa
miniatura, que es el que afectaría a la mayor cantidad de usuarios (y sus constantes lectores). Para aquellos que hacen click para acceder a nuestros mapas grandes y páginas relacionadas, nuestra dependencia en los ingresos publicitarios significa que cookies de terceros son un hecho, pero que pueden ser evitados o abolidos dependiendo en los requerimientos y preferencias que se tengan, como es explicado en la declaración anterior.

Privacy, ‘no cookies’, new Google ‘interest-based advertising’ (opt out) March 14, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.

[UPDATE: See posting of 27th March 2009 about new privacy/cookie wording]

SUMMARY: we have initially opted out of the new ‘interest-based advertising’ which means we can adhere to our ‘no cookies’ policy while we study the implications.


ClustrMaps deploys Google AdSense ads that you see (for free ClustrMaps accounts) near our big world maps – these are typically appropriate targeted ads, and great for helping us to pay our bills! We have a great relationship with the AdSense team, and just wanted to let our users know that we received an email from Google AdSense informing us about their new ‘interest-based advertising’ tools. Although we think this has great potential, we are studying the implications first, before we decide whether or not to deploy it.

The idea is that ads could be displayed based on user’s perceived interests (e.g. ‘gardening enthusiast’), which would require collection of anonymous information through the setting of cookies. Since we do not (by default) use cookies on any of our pages, we have decided to opt out of this while we study the policy and its implications, : in other words in our own account settings we have selected ‘Do not show ads based on user interest categories.’

We will be updating our privacy policy anyway over the next few weeks to be clearer about the use of advertising and possible cookies that may appear indirectly (e.g. if an ad is clicked upon), and in the meantime just wanted to let users know about the current state of our thinking.

So, in a nutshell, ‘no cookies, no spyware’ is still the default situation for all of our own pages and our thumbnail map/widget. If this ever changes, we will of course post the relevant information here on this news/blog and also on our privacy page.

See our earlier postings about ‘No cookies, no spyware: guaranteed!’ and ‘No popus either!’.

ClustrMaps user aims for Best Job in the World February 23, 2009

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kimler[UPDATE 27-Feb-2009: Scott was not shortlisted in the first round, so there is no longer any possibility of voting for him. Sorry to hear that, Scott: it was a good effort though!].

Long-time ClustrMaps enthusiast Scott Kimler has applied for the “Best Job in the World”.

Facing stiff competition, Scott took a moment in his video application to show off his ClustrMaps visitor map as evidence of his popularity.

As Kimler writes in a January blog posting,

If you haven’t heard about it on your local news (weather segment, most likely), Tourism Queensland is looking to hire someone to be “caretaker” of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s billed as “The Best Job in the World”. The successful candidate will live on Hamilton Island for six-months and must be willing to explore the other Great Barrier Reef Islands. The only catch: you must report back on your adventures to a global audience (via weekly blog updates, photo diaries and video snippets).

We wish Scott the best of luck, and hope that fellow ClustrMaps users will go and vote for Scott [the most effective way to vote is to give Scott’s video application a 5-star rating]. Click on the image below or go directly to Scott’s recent posting for more details.

Scott's Video Application - click for details!

Scott's Video Application - click for details!

[UPDATE 27-Feb-2009: Scott was not shortlisted in the first round, so there is no longer any possibility of voting for him. Sorry to hear that, Scott: it was a good effort though!]