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[Developer Blog] Community Spotlight - DOTLAN

Discussion in 'EVE News' started by EVE News, Jun 27, 2012.

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    Apr 12, 2011
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    The EVE Universe, called New Eden, is big, really big! You may think that the main marketplace, that station in Jita at the fourth moon of Planet IV is big. After all it draws a lot of traffic to the Jita system which normally has more than 1500 pilots visiting at any given time, making three market transactions every second on average. But that´s nothing compared to the vastness of New Eden as a whole! The universe is comprised of approximately 7500 unique solar systems each hiding treasure, opportunity and danger. 36.000 ships destroyed every hour, 2060 ships jumping through stargates every minute, more than 80.000 active player corporations. Numbers, relationships, networks, you name it … New Eden is filled with an incredible amount of activity - brilliant, vibrant, creative, surprising, scary and almost overwhelmingly massive.
    Since the early days of EVE Online the brave pioneers of New Eden took it upon themselves to collect information about all this activity, condensing it into numbers and statistics which then were displayed in orderly fashion on fancy websites.
    Here we will introduce you to one of these websites, aimed at helping the EVE Community by providing accurate information and statistics. Let’s have a look at Wollari and his DOTLAN :: EveMaps!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    DOTLAN :: EveMaps logo Current portrait of Wollari
    DOTLAN :: EveMaps, or simply DOTLAN as it's most often referred to, is a famous (900k visitors per month), highly popular (10.000 page views per hour) and long running (since 2008) EVE Fansite dedicated to displaying a multitude of player driven events in the EVE Universe. The site was founded and is still maintained by the long term EVE player Wollari and rests on two main pillars:
    • Map based stats
      The map based stats include maps of New Eden in various formats (SVG, PDF etc.) that display available static information like planets, moon count etc. and live information like number of ship kills, jumps, NPC kills and more.
    • Social event driven numbers
      The social event driven numbers include detailed information about alliance/corporation statistics including rankings, changes in sovereignty, outpost lists and live stats. Such as...most violent solar systems and information about progress in Factional Warfare.
    Furthermore this site hosts several useful and popular tools like the route planner, jump planning, radar tracker and more.
    Early phase and further development

    The general public first heard about DOTLAN when Wollari announced his site on July 22, 2008, after almost a year of research into automated map generating and development of a SVG/Javascript editor. The first maps were plain sovereignty maps, optimized for being printed in the DIN A4 format. Even though many players at this time were used to the popular Ombey’s maps and their different layout, the DOTLAN project received early praise.
    Encouraged by this success Wollari continued to improve his site, adding several new features like lists, alliance rankings and the sovereignty database. Over time Wollari spent considerable effort and funds to keep DOTLAN up to date and to improve the service. More than 1700 changes of the source code are documented in Subversion (SVN) by now and to this day, he spends time improving his site.
    Wollari always listened to the EVE Community while developing DOTLAN, sometimes he received only minor requests, sometimes he was asked for completely new modules (which got implemented). He considers listening to the users, and actually using the application himself, an important part in the development process and advises new developers to use their own tools during development.
    Technical aspects

    The DOTLAN server currently runs in house on a quadcore Xeon E5620 with 16 GB memory after running on an Opteron processor until April 2011. DOTLAN itself runs as a virtual server under KVM.
    The daily traffic (up and down) usually amounts to 7 - 8 GB, but large scale wars can easily increase that volume. According to Google Analytics DOTLAN has in average 6 million page impressions per month. During the 2012 war in the Drone Regions for example that number shot up by 33% to 8 million page views. Wollari mentioned also that other historical events like large alliance disbands are easily noticeable in the amount of requests.
    DOTLAN receives most of its data from CCP’s static database dump and from the public API interfaces to collect the live data. This data is then further processed to create the various lists, maps and overviews and also to create the long term collection of historical data. In 2011 alone, DOTLAN recorded more than 900.000 changes in sovereignty, factional warfare, outpost ownership etc.
    Future plans

    Wolari currently has no plans for major projects, mainly because lack of time. But with DOTLAN being highly automated, the amount of work required for maintenance is luckily minimal and changes needed due to EVE updates can take place rather swiftly.

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