Drill Down by ZIP?

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Yavanius
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Message 78569 - Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 21:18:32 UTC

Just curious if there are any stat sites that offer a drill down by zip code? Wasn't seeing much on a Google Search.

TIA
~Y
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Message 78571 - Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 21:24:40 UTC - in response to Message 78569.  

How do you want to do that when BOINC doesn't collect that information?
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Message 78572 - Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 21:29:46 UTC - in response to Message 78571.  

It's an optional field under 'Account information' - in the UK called Postal code (well, near enough). I've filled mine in.
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Message 78576 - Posted: 3 Jun 2017, 23:14:38 UTC - in response to Message 78572.  
Last modified: 3 Jun 2017, 23:20:16 UTC

Okay, but is that then exported to the statistics sites?

edit: I have just downloaded the user statistics file from Seti@Home, there's no mention of postal code in it in all its 512MB (opened it with Lister). Not of Zip code either. So not, it isn't exported.
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Yavanius
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Message 78600 - Posted: 4 Jun 2017, 20:00:33 UTC - in response to Message 78576.  

edit: I have just downloaded the user statistics file from Seti@Home, there's no mention of postal code in it in all its 512MB (opened it with Lister). Not of Zip code either. So not, it isn't exported.


Okay, I was wondering if it was exported since I hadn't seen anyplace using it.

Arigato,

Yavanius
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Yavanius
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Message 78601 - Posted: 4 Jun 2017, 20:21:19 UTC - in response to Message 78572.  

You know, I got to thinking about the postal code... why do we even have a postal code field??

I looked at SETI, Einstein, and POGS Skynet... I don't see it listed anywhere, not even in the user profiles.

I want to say I've seen it displayed someplace somewhereonce upon a time... but I honestly don't remember either way.

If there's nothing being done with the field, why not just simply eliminate it? I suppose some folks will catch it... but, what's really to complain about the removal of a field that exists solely to exist? If we're going to keep it, then we should enable stats and export on it...

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Message 78619 - Posted: 5 Jun 2017, 9:38:50 UTC - in response to Message 78601.  

You know, I got to thinking about the postal code... why do we even have a postal code field??
That I don't know, so I asked the original developers.
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Message 78652 - Posted: 5 Jun 2017, 22:01:17 UTC

David Anderson wrote:
At one point we were interested in where (geographically) the computing power was coming from, within countries.
However, we never did anything with this info, and I think we should remove it from the signup form.


And from boinc_projects email list:
David Anderson wrote:
We were asking for postal code (optional) on registration.
The purpose was to let projects study the geographical distribution of their volunteers.
But AFAIK no one ever did this, and some volunteers have said (understandably, I think)
that asking for postal code seems like an invasion of privacy.

So I conditioned the postal-code code on a boolean constant POSTAL_CODE.
If you put define('POSTAL_CODE', true); in your html/project/project.inc, you'll get the old behavior.
Otherwise users won't see postal-code related stuff any more.

-- David

Jord
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Message 78653 - Posted: 5 Jun 2017, 22:35:05 UTC - in response to Message 78652.  

The usefulness probably varies from country to country. If the ZIPs are allocated in sequence across a country, you could generate a nice visualisation of where your computing power comes from.

But UK post codes are alphabetic, and are derived from the name of the nearest large (or sometimes not-so-large) town. Mine starts with a 'B', but I'm in the middle of the country, not tucked away in a corner. Getting a geographic location from a UK post code is possible, but it requires proprietary software and a licensed copy of the Postal Address File - neither easy nor cheap. I doubt any UK BOINC project would bother.
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Yavanius
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Message 78718 - Posted: 6 Jun 2017, 23:26:14 UTC - in response to Message 78653.  

The usefulness probably varies from country to country. If the ZIPs are allocated in sequence across a country, you could generate a nice visualisation of where your computing power comes from.

But UK post codes are alphabetic, and are derived from the name of the nearest large (or sometimes not-so-large) town. Mine starts with a 'B', but I'm in the middle of the country, not tucked away in a corner. Getting a geographic location from a UK post code is possible, but it requires proprietary software and a licensed copy of the Postal Address File - neither easy nor cheap. I doubt any UK BOINC project would bother.


I hadn't thought about a visualization actually, although that be a good idea. Even in the States, you still could only be in a general area as not every area has a unique zip code. You might have an area that goes by one name but Uncle Sam says you are suppose to use a certain name for the 'city.' So you could only plot the city listed with the postal service. Some suburban areas might take on the zip of the metro area (such as the L.A. area). Probably the best way would be some kind of color coding of the geopolitical boundaries of the area a zip covers to indicate density (in terms of # of BOINC users).

Some GIS firm, such as ESRI, could probably whip out something like that.

Also, projects only maintain the basic export info. It's really the stats sites that does these kind of drill-downs, although I don't recall seeing any site doing mapping... although that's not to say it's not out there. I'd imagine it be more about the power to serve up these maps. A quick search says there's approximately 43k zip codes in the U.S. There's probably some specialized zip codes, but I don't think they'd make much of a difference either way, but they might have to be tossed as there's no physical correspondence (such as for APO addresses and the such). At that point, your local country's postal code be a better choice. As there's no check between the country and postal codes, it doesn't really matter if you might be on say a military base in a foreign country. You could have Haiti with an Alaska ZIP code. ;)

~Y
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Message boards : Documentation : Drill Down by ZIP?

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