It does look better
It seems to me the Member Map could do with a bit of an overhaul. Whenever there are two users in close proximity, it becomes rather difficult to distinguish them. If we switched to a zoomable slippy map like OpenLayers, this problem would be solved.
All it would really take is to switch the script that produces positioned marker images to one that produces GeoJSON, KML, GML, or whatever.
I slapped together a quick mockup using OpenLayers and OpenStreetMap.
I did one a while back with a static dump using googlemaps:
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I've extracted the coordinates from the original map and converted them to GeoJSON. No avatars this time as I don't know of an easy way to figure out avatar URIs from usernames. http://draconic.ca/foo4.html
I don't know if it holds for others but my coordinates on this are off by about 75 miles south, putting me in the middle of some farmland west of Farmington.
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Of course if the current map script stores the pixel coordinates and not the geographic ones, it'd pretty much mean starting over.
The current map does have a few zooms. There is Europe and UK as well as US and Washington area. The idea was that we were going to add more as we get hot spots. The zoomable map and open layers thing is a great idea but its not working very well for me. I zoom in and the page turns all white after a few zooms. But then thats more zoom than the current map. Can you make the markers for the zoomed out very small so that the map isn't all yellow to start with.
We have the members locations stored as decimal degrees to whatever accuracy the user entered it and the pixel coords are derived from the map extents using a script. So in theory if you get it all working then it could be made accurate.
As for the white out, my first thought is you might have been using it while the OSM map server was overloaded. Is it working now? Were the points still visible? If it's still happening, does the same thing happen at http://www.openstreetmap.org/