187 Countries And Trying For More!

February 19, 2009 on 4:59 pm | In ThereArePlaces.com, travel, web publishing | Comments Off

ThereArePlaces will celebrate its fifth anniversary in October of this year and we have been pleased with how visits to our site have increased each year.  Growth has been slow, but sure and we are very pleased to be able to provide information on Things Travelers Need To Know to an ever increasing audience.

We spend a great deal of time looking through analytics – reports that help us understand more about our user base and what they might find interesting about ThereArePlaces.  The information we see is aggregated over weeks or months and anonymous, that means that we do not see data for individuals.
We hope this does not sound cavalier, but we are not interested in data at the microscopic level.  Instead, we are looking for broad audience, viewing trends over lengthy periods (say a month or a quarter).  We do this to find out which pages on our site attract the most visitors, how long visitors stay on site, what pages they look at, what they ignore and how often they get to us and immediately leave (Ouch).
Looking at this information is often humbling, especially when a section you think is great doesn’t get much traffic and one you think needs improvement is one of your most popular pages.  Looking at these data, for us, is like taking ThereArePlaces’ temperature.  We want to find out how to serve your needs better than we do now.  So, once we have looked over the reports, we design a remedy for the things we think need “fixing”.

One of the items we rarely look at popped out of a report we generated for January 2009.  The analytics package we use to munge our data will create a map of the spatial distribution website visitors, in this case over the last month.   To be honest, the results were well beyond our expectations and we decided to share it with you.  The map is shown below. 

We had visitors from all of the countries shown in shades of green (darker = more visitors and the pale shades = less visitors).  The countries shown in pale yellow did not generate any visit to ThereArePlaces.


Distribution of ThereArePlaces users around the world

The only important observation to be gleaned from this map is that we had visitors to ThereArePlaces from 187 countries around the world. 

In case you are wondering, the tool we use allows us to see the distribution of users by country for the entire world and, if we choose, by state for the United States, so this is a very generalized report.  However, it’s nice to know that we may be helping people from around the world on the way to their best vacations ever.

By the way, this is one of those map projections that extends the northern and southern hemispheres to an exaggerated size (bet you did not realize that Greenland was so large).  So, don’t let the darker shades of greens in the US and Canada overly impress you, about half of our traffic comes from outside of North America.  In addition, map data was not adjusted for population differences between countries so you can’t draw any inferences about how popular we are here and there.  The map is really just binary – people here looked, people there did not.  However, we celebrate the little victories in life and for us, this was worth celebrating.

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