June 29, 2010 6:36 PM   Subscribe

I wrote an Internet toy/widget/app to pick out random population centres in the United States. Fun and educational!

I was very disappointed with the lack of random destination generators on the Internet. There is effectively no way to pick out a random population centre within the United States. This sounds like a niche desire, but if you've ever used Google Earth to wander the landscape, wondering what goes on in passing little towns in the middle of nowhere—face it, you've done this bored at work—then you might see some point in this too. I took the initiative and made an app to fill just this hole.

FleeMe is an interactive tool that produces such destinations using Google Maps. In addition, you can specify destination population size and how far from your current location you want to search. At minimum it's an awesome educational toy—destinations come with links to Wikipedia—and at best, it's a spontaneous way to plan a vacation. Suggestions on making this app better are appreciated!
posted by spamguy (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That was kind of fun, but I quickly got frustrated at having to reset the location menu from "Anywhere!" to my state each time. It should remember what you picked. I'd also love to see more choices for the location menu - 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, all-nighter. There's a big area between "an adjacent state" and "Anywhere!" It was fun, though - I could see playing with it to plan a vacation.
posted by booksherpa at 8:36 PM on June 29, 2010

You should note that the "From:" box is for zip codes. I tried to type my city name in there the first time around.
posted by nitsuj at 10:19 AM on June 30, 2010

Wow, if you don't think I'm afraid to show this to my boyfriend for fear that we will start using it for monthly/weekly road trips, you don't know us very well.

Okay, you don't know us at all, but still, thanks for this... I think.

(Pensacola, Florida
Evergreen, Colorado,
Manitowoc, Wisconsin,
here I come.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:02 PM on June 30, 2010

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