A long time ago (when running nodes at home was possible), I could get the network node count and add this information in a web page giving network statistics. I could even display a galaxy of stars representing all nodes in the XOR name space.
I relied on MessageContent::GetCloseGroup message to do that. This message was periodically sent to a set of uniformly distributed addresses and the corresponding responses gave the exact list of node ids in the network.
A new network is about to be launched and I see that this message has been removed. Could Maidsafe put back this message, so that this information can be computed again? (possibly with another name since groups have been renamed to sections)