Saturday, May 10, 2008

By the Numbers

Because I'm a complete dork, when it comes to reflecting on our trip, I try to capture things in terms of numbers. Because, to me, numbers make sense. Even though one of the things that I discovered on the trip is that I like people too. So, yeah, people and numbers, they are what makes me happy. We've writing so far about the people, but I can't let that go unabated any longer without paying my own homage to the actuarial side of our adventure. Here is a glimpse of our trip broken down by the numbers.

Days: 108 days
Time zones encountered: 4
Longest lag (difference between current time zone and Eastern Time): 13 hours (Hong Kong, Dec 2007)
Shortest lag: 9.5 hours (India, Feb-Mar 2008)

Countries Visited: 8
Hotels/Guesthouses/Home Stays: 37 (that's a new place to call home every 2.92 days)
Total Distance Covered (includes one-way, long-haul travel, not local tuk-tuks, taxis, trains, subways, or buses): 28,306.76 miles (262.1 miles per day or about 1.14 times around the Earth)
Air Miles: 24,876.98 miles
Land Miles: 3,210.79 miles
Sea Miles: 218.99 miles

Number of Cameras Taken: 2
Total Number of Photos: 5,491 (that's 51 photos per day, folks! It's also the red line on the graph below)

I came up with a little metric that I like to call "geophotodensity," and it's defined as the number of photos taken in each country. Nifty, huh? We took the most pictures in India, almost 2,000 (a whopping 1,985 to be exact). The least number of photos came from the US the day before we left (we took 9 snaps then). But if you don't count those few shots, then China (only Hong Kong, really) is the biggest loser with only 61 photos taken.

Clearly there's a correlation between the number of photos taken and the number of days we spent in a particular country. If you're interested (I know I was), the correlation factor between those two data sets is 0.99. In other words, the longer we stayed, the more pictures we took. I used Excel, but I think a 4-year-old could have reasoned through that bit of intuition.

I normalized the number of photos taken in each country by the number of days we spent in the country to achieve some measure of how interesting we found each country. Although we took the most pictures in India, by this measure we thought Cambodia was far more interesting. Hm.

There's more analysis to do, particularly on the financial side. I'm really curious to see exactly how close we came to our budget. But this reflection took almost a month to collect the data and get the graphs just right, so we'll see when/if that bit of reflection ever sees the light of day. For now, enjoy the graphs and pie charts.


Katy. said...

This is my type of blog post!! I'm glad you kept tallies of stuff like this, especially geophotodensity. Super cool. Oh, and way to rock the the google charts api. :)

Matt said...

Glad you like it. I'm especially happy with "geophotodensity". I should probably trademark it so flickr doesn't steal it ;) Oh, and the Google Charts API is a pain to use plus it doesn't allow you to do cool things like mix column and line charts. I see a feature request in the near future :)

Allen said...

Oh, man. These are good materials for your end of trip presentation. Very good job! I will give you A+. ;o)

Steffers said...

Good stuff. Although I understand the people posts much better than posts with numbers and graph and charts and......ohmigod. ;) It's neat to look at!

Jamie said...

king of the nerds indeed.

cris (masquerading as jamie seibert)

Amanda said...

This, Matt, is why we all love you!

Jason said...

very cool. bring on more numbers!

Anonymous said...

I check every day to fing out what you are doing now... please post!! Or send an email and I will update you on our family doings.