Apparently AIM, AOL’s instant messenger, has an open API allowing developers to develop interesting applications using anonymous chatter information. The AIM host team has developed a couple of interesting Google Earth files showing real-time information from AIM users.
The first is a network link which shows you the connections between chatters started during the last minute. NOTE: – the starting point for the chats is based on your current view, so try moving the Earth and pausing and it will reload chats started up based on that position. It’s very cool to see how people are linking up all over the world. Try zooming back to see where all the chats go to around the world. It would be neat if the lines changed color based on age and you could see it refresh with more and more data over time. The network link will automatically update every minute with the chatters who started up conversations. The Google Earth network link is probably one of the best “hidden” features of Google Earth.
[UPDATE 1520 ET: Wow…it looks like they are experimenting with my idea of aging lines based on time!]
The second network link shows the locations of the top AIM Fight users . I’m not a big AIM user, so I had to look this one up (see Wikipedia article) AIM Fight is apparently an application that calculates who is the most popular chatter based on their links to friends. This network link dynamically shows the result for your current view. Zoom in for more detail.
Found out about this via GoogleOperatingSystem blog.