Have you ever wondered where in the world (literally) your torrent downloads are coming from? Whether you are downloading from people in adjacent states or countries or whether your file is being delivered from across the globe?
If you use uTorrent (and by all means you should be), you could use an add-on (or “App”, as it is appropriately referred to in a post iPhone world) called uMap that can display your download sources/peers on a scrollable Google map. You could scroll the map across your screen and hover over the different sources marked on the map to see exactly what files you are downloading from which location. The net effect is really very cool.
To get this set up, follow the following instructions:
1. Make sure you are using uTorrent for your torrent downloads. Note that the uTorrent installer will ask you whether you want to install a toolbar to your browser and set your browser homepage as uTorrent search, so make sure to approve or not approve this appropriately.
2. Launch uTorrent, then click on the “Apps” section in the sidebar
3. Next, scroll down until you find the uMap app and click “install”. Go through the prompts (and give it access to your torrent downloads) until it is finished installing.
4. Now add some torrent downloads, then click on “uMap” in the sidebar to see your download sources plotted on the map. You now can:
- See yourself plotted on the map: represented by a pinkish blob
- Scroll across the map: by “grabbing” it and moving it about
- Hover over any peer: to see exactly what file you are downloading from them
- Identify your peers’ torrent clients: assuming you are viewing by client (default), each “dot” on the map will indicate the torrent client being used. Note that you can actually filter to hone in on a specific torrent client, if that is something you want.
- Filter by client, swarm, or country: from the top right. Makes for some nice experiments.
- See some other stats: below.
Not sure about you, but I get really excited about this sort of thing. E.g. “check it out, The Daily Show with John Stewart” is being downloaded heavily in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Who would have thunk it!”.