I signed up for the TripAdvisor app on Facebook years ago. I just went there to see if I could find some kind of sign-up date or something, to no avail.
At any rate, since my stated travel goal is to go “everywhere,” I figure that this would be a pretty good way to track. I count a place as somewhere I’ve been if I’ve stayed overnight there, or if I’ve visited someone who lived there, or if I visited some kind of local attraction there. There may be other criteria, but those are the main ones.
I just thought of another reason a place might be on the map. If I was going somewhere else but wandered around that city/town/village on my way there, I give myself points for having been there. That’s why Hilo is on my list of visited places — the phone I had in 2012 was so old that its version of Google Maps was no longer supported. As a result, we had to wander around for a while to find a gas station where I could get a map that would show us where the entrance to the Saddle Road was. And even then, it was something of a challenge. My son was 12 and hadn’t had a lot of experience with reading maps at that point in his life. Prior to his dad and my divorce, I had been the navigator for our trips. After the divorce, we did most of our travel in South Texas, which I know pretty well. Additionally, our two vacations prior to Hawaii were to Chicago, which I also know really well and don’t need a map for, and the Smithsonian Institution, which meant that, except for one afternoon visit to the National Zoo, we basically never left the National Mall. So this trip might actually have been his first real-world experience with having control of the map.
Back to my point. I now have 150 places listed on my TripAdvisor map and the map says that is 7% of the world. I passed the 7% mark around location number 140. I’m not sure I believe that’s really 7% of the world. So far I have found every place that I’ve looked for, so it is likely that I could just sit and list Chicago suburbs all day and probably boost my numbers to close to 20% (I have no intention of doing this, but I could). According to my digging around for statistics, it looks like there are in the neighborhood of three million named places in the world. If 20 of them is 1% on this map, the upper bound should be 150,000%. I think.
So I guess as I go through our old vacation photographs and find more places I’ve visited in the past, and as I visit more places in the future, I will get closer and closer to that 150,000 percent mark. I look forward to seeing it when I get there.
UPDATE (July 27, 2015): I have to revise my numbers. I’ve been adding places as I go through my old photo albums and I’m now at 169 places. I’m still at 7%. So it looks like 100% is at least 2,500 places. So if my math is right (and I cannot guarantee that it is), it looks like absolutely everywhere might be somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000%. Alternatively, maybe I’ve marked so many places that I broke the app.
UPDATE 2 (also July 27, 2015): I finally hit 8% with my 174th place, so at the moment, it looks like 100% is 2,175 places. Therefore, all three million named places must be 137,931%.
(originally posted on May 31, 2015)