On Stack Overflow Careers, I regularly do a search for candidates within 30 miles of London. I often get matches with candidates who have listed that they want to work in France, and expressly not listed London, England, Europe, or Earth (any of which would legitimately match the search). Please tell the Stack Overflow server that France is close by, but not within 30 miles, so it shouldn't show up in my searches.

Update: For an example of the search in question, I entered no keywords at all and just the single criterion "within 30 miles of London, England". Among other results, I got the candidate with ID 16102, whose list of desired workplaces includes France but no other European location.

  • 120
    Now you are just questioning French people's capacity to teleport. That's ridiculous.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 7:39
  • 7
    The tunnel connecting you to France is ;-)
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 7:52
  • 4
    the SO server is probably confusing London with Canterbury. i get them confused all the time. Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 7:55
  • 1
    @Ivo - That's actually right for UK in general, less than 30 miles, potentially (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel). Not directly to London, though, that would make 100 miles with the High Speed 1 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_1)
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 7:56
  • 13
    It's probably faster to get into London by Train from Lille than it is most days from Reading or Watford ;) I think the Careers engine is taking that into consideration.
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 9:11
  • 11
    I wouldn't want to hire them French people either, they have a funny accent and èvén use them when typing!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 9:41
  • 45
    So is retagging [I-see-London-I-see-France] [I-see-Careers'-underpants] appropriate here?
    – Gnome
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 13:32
  • @Pekka I think you seriously underestimate the average delays on Eurostar. Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 14:42
  • @DrJokepu true, my long-term experiences (commuting to London) are seven years old. Back then, Eurostar was bliss compared to London's urban and suburban traffic. Can have changed since then.
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 15:02
  • 4
    For the longest time I used to think that London was in France. :-) Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 16:16
  • 2
    @Brian - You realize that British person will give you the stink eye for even thinking that. Commented Apr 14, 2010 at 1:24
  • 38
    Aren't they a few inches apart from each other? They were the last time I looked at a map. Commented Apr 14, 2010 at 1:50
  • 1
    I mean, "I see London, I see France..." does necessitate that they be pretty close together. Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 18:16

4 Answers 4


Careers version 1 is using a free service for geolocation that is provided by yahoo via YQL which gives us a rough bounding box data for the geography that we use for search. There will be cases such as this one where more results will be returned for a given search area.

You can try this yourself:

These bounding boxes intersect as shown below (yellow box = London - green box = France): London and France boxes intersecting

Version 2.0 of careers will include more precise matching and will further enhance the geography data we use for search.

  • 2
    Thanks Geoff. The limitation is fine for now. It's just strange to see someone who is clearly only interested in French positions as a result of my London-based search! Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:29
  • 4
    Looks like the bounding box could usefully be reduced by 10% by your software. That would at least prevent all of Belgium and Switzerland being in France!
    – nb69307
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:32
  • 1
    The best solution is to enhance our geography to include better shape data for large regions such as countries (think polygons instead of a box). Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:37
  • 116
    No, the best soulution is to make it clear to polticians that all country borders need to be redrawn in rectangles.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 18:33
  • 6
    This si even better than free hand circles!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 19:33
  • 3
    @balpha @Geoff No, the best solution is to make every job telecommutable.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 14, 2010 at 1:17
  • @Neil Butterworth And all of Luxembourg, Monaco and Andorra. Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 10:05
  • 11
    Shouldn't France's bounding box extend, like, across the whole planet? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOM_TOM
    – Pekka
    Commented Jul 7, 2010 at 14:26

This confusion is almost certainly caused by one poet's account of a specific vantage point from which he could see both London and France.

I don't remember the specific location in question, but in one of the author's other works, he devotes a number of lines to a similar sounding locale in close proximity to a "hole in the wall" from which he made numerous observations.

That said, absent other evidence, I'd be concerned that his credibility as a source/cartographer is somewhat compromised by his interest in observing underpants.

  • 4
    You have me so curious as to who you are referring to.
    – user168476
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 4:28
  • 16
    @AshleyNunn - Unfortunately, the original author's name has been lost to time. Many variations of his or her original worked have popped up in different locales, with some tracing the original work to as early as the 1930's or earlier.
    – JDB
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 18:15

Perhaps the API was written during the reign of Henry V, as Chorus pointed out at the conclusion of Shakespeare's docu-soap on that king it wasn't until the reign of his son that the two kingdoms were parted:

Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story,
In little room confining mighty men,
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
Small time, but in that small most greatly lived
This star of England: Fortune made his sword;
By which the world's best Unicorn achieved,
And of it left his son imperial lord.
Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown'd King
Of France and England, did this king succeed;
Whose state so many had the managing,
That they lost France and made his England bleed:
Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,
In your fair minds let this acceptance take.

  • @Kop, I'll have to sort out the line breaks now!
    – amelvin
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 13:48
  • 4
    For shame thus did Pollyanna cheer, When he caused a horn'd horse to appear.
    – amelvin
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 15:52
  • 3
    The horn'd horse turneth 'round and said: Who called me, at this time o' night? T' appear on Meta, 'tis the gruesom'st plight. Why are you nicknam'd girly-like?
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:15
  • 1
    Entertaining but not really responsive Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:29
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    @Douglas - Welcome to Meta!
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 19:05
  • 1
    Love it! You can use all the first capital letters to write, "HOW TO TWIST IAMB". Here is the definition of the word, "Iamb" :D
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 7:29

Looks like the nearest point of France and the very edge of what might still be considered London are still 83 miles apart.

I understand they use a Yahoo mapping API for this, but I don't ever fiddle with it. Perhaps someone with experience with it can find out if this is an SO problem or Yahoo issue.

  • 1
    It's important to note that in metro areas, the search area is expanded, so perhaps when searching "London" it includes several areas in the larger metro area.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 13:44
  • 1
    Perhaps they are including Brighton, or "London by the sea", as it is sometimes known.
    – nb69307
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 17:13
  • s/London/Hampstead/
    – nb69307
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 18:29

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