Have you ever wondered which areas of your region(s) get the most traffic?

Heatmaps are the answer!

If you have read our Technology page then you will know that inIW.net uses two databases. In addition to the big main Mongo database, we use a lightning-fast database called Redis that actually runs in memory. It’s a powerful tool but it turns data storage on its head and thus has a big learning curve. Rather than delay the marketplace by making mistakes with this database, I’ve used it to develop a neat little heatmap service that I have had in mind for a while.

So what is this heatmap service? Simply put, it shows traffic on your region as a pattern of color over a picture of your region . Blue areas are less busy and red is most busy. It’s a very intuitive way of seeing what areas on your regions get the most visits. Have a look at the image below as an example from testing Teal’s and my regions for the last few days.

heatmap

I’ve added options for different time periods and support for different altitudes so that we can tell ground traffic from stores on platforms, and a unique visitor count after the region names, as well as a way to compare traffic across all regions, or map each region individually. It’s dead easy to add security and region performance monitoring, then sometime soon I will offer it as a service, but for now it has achieved the task of getting me very familiar with the Redis database technology.

So now I know how to implement parts of the marketplace (and other services) on there. It will make deliveries much faster, for example, as well as forming much of the basis for other services like the networked teleport service and poster system. This all has the added benefit of removing much of the ongoing load from the large database, speeding up the heavy-duty work (like marketplace searches and admin) that those main servers are designed for!