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The results of the 'popular vote' 2016

 
 
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Author Colvin
Partaker
#16 | Posted: 9 Apr 2016 17:58 | Edited by: Colvin 
Solivagant:
It would be interesting to carry out an analysis by Country/Region

I've started on a breakdown of countries/regions for the Top 208 as chosen by popular vote. Here are the countries with 5 or more WHS in the Top 208*:

China (15 sites)
India (12 sites)
Italy (12 sites)
United Kingdom (10 sites)
France (9 sites)
United States (8 sites)
Greece (6 sites)
Mexico (6 sites)
Spain (6 sites)
Brazil (5 sites)
Egypt (5 sites)
Japan (5 sites)
Peru (5 sites)
Turkey (5 sites)

*The challenge for breaking out by country is that some multinational sites were on the list. When doing my count, I used a primary country (either with the original sites of inscription before expansion to other countries, or the country with the most sites or the most area inscribed). Accordingly, for Glacier Parks, I used Canada (based on Kluane National Park); for Frontiers of the Roman Empire, I used the United Kingdom (based on Hadrian's Wall); for Silk Roads I used China; for Qhapaq Nan I used Peru; and for Victoria Falls I used Zambia. If I were to have ascribed Frontiers of the Roman Empire to Germany rather than the United Kingdom, that would give Germany 5 sites on the list, too.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#17 | Posted: 9 Apr 2016 18:12 | Edited by: Colvin 
Here's a breakout by region for the Top 208 chosen by popular vote:

Europe
Italy (12); United Kingdom (10); France (9); Greece (6); Spain (6); Germany (4); Austria (3); Poland (3); Croatia (2); Netherlands (2); Russia (2 out of 4); Belgium (1); Czech Republic (1); Estonia (1); Holy See (1); Hungary (1); Iceland (1); Ireland (1); Malta (1); Norway (1); Portugal (1); Switzerland (1); Turkey (1 out of 5)

Asia
China (15); India (12); Japan (5); Indonesia (4); Syria (4); Turkey (4 out of 5); Iran (3); Jordan (2); Nepal (2); Russia (2 out of 4); Uzbekistan (2); Vietnam (2); Yemen (2); Cambodia (1); Israel (1); Laos (1); Lebanon (1); Palestine (1); Philippines (1); Sri Lanka (1); Thailand (1)

Africa
Egypt (5); Tanzania (4); Mali (3); Morocco (3); Ethiopia (2); Tunisia (2); Botswana (1); Democratic Republic of Congo (1); Kenya (1); Libya (1); Namibia (1); Seychelles (1); South Africa (1); Sudan (1); Zambia (1); Zimbabwe (1)

North America
United States (7 out of 8); Mexico (6); Canada (3); Cuba (1); Denmark (1 -- Greenland); Guatemala (1)

South America
Brazil (5); Peru (5); Argentina (2); Bolivia (1); Colombia (1); Ecuador (1)

Australia and Pacific
Australia (4); Chile (1 -- Rapa Nui); New Zealand (1); United States (1 out of 8 -- Hawaii)

Author Colvin
Partaker
#18 | Posted: 9 Apr 2016 18:41 
Here's how the 10 countries with the most inscribed World Heritage Sites fared when compared to this Top 208 list:

Italy: 12 of 51 sites selected; 24% of WHS selected for Top 208
China: 15 of 48 sites selected; 31% of WHS selected for Top 208
Spain: 6 of 44 sites selected; 14% of WHS selected for Top 208
France: 9 of 41 sites selected; 22% of WHS selected for Top 208
Germany: 4 of 40 sites selected; 10% of WHS selected for Top 208
Mexico: 6 of 33 sites selected; 18% of WHS selected for Top 208
India: 12 of 32 sites selected; 38% of WHS selected for Top 208
United Kingdom: 10 of 29 sites selected; 34% of WHS selected for Top 208
Russia: 4 of 26 sites selected; 15% of WHS selected for Top 208
United States: 8 of 23 sites selected; 35% of WHS selected for Top 208

What stands out to me is that members of this forum think highly of Indian World Heritage Sites, but don't necessarily think Germany has as many top quality WHS as the number inscribed would suggest.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#19 | Posted: 10 Apr 2016 01:52 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Colvin:
Here's how the 10 countries with the most inscribed World Heritage Sites fared

Thanks Colvin - just the analysis I was thinking of doing!!
Of course if every country took a straight "arithmetic hit" on its current Inscriptions it would expect to be reduced to c20% of them (208 of 1031).
So, of the 10 "top" countries by number of inscriptions, 6 actually did BETTER than average with Spain, Germany, Mexico and Russia doing worse!!
i.e The "popular" vote didn't do anything to reduce the preponderance of certain countries but actually increased it. It would be interesting to see whether the "Community" list did any better!!

"Reasons" for those which gained or didn't lose out could be
a. The nationalities of the voters led to "bias" - but a quick perusal of the voting list doesn't seem to show that any nationality is particularly "over-represented" (though "Europe/N America is as a group)
b. These "high number" countries have "well known" and "well visited" WHS and these are the ones which tend to get voted for
c. These countries actually DO have a lot of "high value" sites which have rightly been recognised by the vote e.g India and China

Reasons for those countries "losing out" could be
a. No one voting from their country (did we have anyone from Mexico?)
b. Difficult to get to and not well known (e.g Russia?)
c. They have some high value sites but have then continued to "pack" their list with mediocre or "duplicate" sites beyond their justifiable number. (I think of all those Spanish Monasteries, and German Palaces?).
d. The (perfectly reasonable) way in which Colvin has handled "Transnational" sites tends to "hide" those countries which have a high %age of them (Germany!)

I am a bit "defensive" about the UK's 10 out of 29 which I regard as a bit "high"!!!! I have checked and I " admit" to voting for 7 of its sites (only 2 for Germany I am afraid - and I have been to all of that Country's sites and enjoy visiting it!) - despite trying consciously not to be "Nationalistic"!! I may be biased, but I don't think that UK has previously entered the "Number of Inscriptions" race in the same way as certain other European countries which I could mention (!!) have - indeed it even wanted to "drop out" of nominating altogether. Despite this, It has I fear over-represented its Industrial heritage and seems now to be joining the "1 nomination pa club" - but there is of course also a "2 or 3 nominations pa club"!

Author Colvin
Partaker
#20 | Posted: 10 Apr 2016 22:07 
Solivagant:
"Reasons" for those which gained or didn't lose out could be

I'm not sure Mexico suffered from a lack of voters from Mexico so much as from the challenges of distinguishing what makes one Mayan or pre-Columbian site as or more impressive than another, particularly for those who haven't visited. The same would go for the mining cities north of Mexico City. In this case, it may just have been familiarity that led to the selections.

As for Russia, I'm not particularly surprised that only four sites were chosen, since I imagine it is just as challenging to determine which Russian Orthodox-related site or which Russian historical complex is the most worthy of the Top 200 list if someone either hasn't seen the sites or hasn't studied Russian history. I've been to some of the other sites that weren't chosen for the list, but I ultimately only chose the same four the community chose (my fifth choice would have been Kizhi Pogost, which was the next highest ranked Russian site, but it was one of my hard cuts to reach 200). If Russia had sites like the Trans-Siberian Railway or Mamayev Kurgan inscribed as World Heritage Sites, I'd have to think they would be competitive for the Top 200.

Incidentally, I realized I should probably have taken the transnational sites I did not ascribe to a country out of the total count for the country, which would mean that Germany instead would have 4 out of 39 sites (not counting Frontiers of the Roman Empire, which I ascribed to the UK), which would still be 10% of WHS selected for Top 208. Similarly, the US would have 8 out of 22 sites (not counting Glacier Parks, which I ascribed to Canada), which would be slightly higher at 36% of WHS selected for Top 208.

I wouldn't feel bad about voting for 7 sites from the UK; I ended up voting for 8 (7 of which made the Top 200), which was the most of any country I voted for in Europe. Sure, it probably came at the expense of a couple sites I could have chosen from France, Germany, Spain, or Italy, but I was ultimately happy with the choices I made. I was trying not to be nationalistic, too, but still ended up choosing 10 sites from the United States, after making some hard cuts for natural WHS. Thankfully one of the ones I cut did still make it into Top 200.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#21 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 03:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Colvin:
(not counting Glacier Parks, which I ascribed to Canada)

Hi Colvin. Out of interest - why did you assign Glacier Parks to Canada? I can't find an exact split of land area across the 2 countries but my impression is that the US section is larger - US has Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St Elias whilst Canada has Kluane and Tatsenshini. My general impression gained over the years from NG etc is that the US section is also more "important" and "iconic" for both volcanoes and glaciers??

Colvin:
I wouldn't feel bad about voting for 7 sites from the UK; I ended up voting for 8...... I was trying not to be too nationalistic, too, but ended up choosing 10 sites from the United States

Oh dear - I am afraid I only voted for 8 US sites including Glacier Parks (Yos/Yel/Red/S of L/G Can/Haw V/M Ver/Glac) And, across many years and visits, I have visited 47 of the 50 US states so there is certainly no "antipathy" involved - apart from being rather p....ed off that, once having visited Iran, I will never again be allowed in on Visa Waiver - which, in effect, means "never again EVER"!!!

Colvin:
the challenges of distinguishing what makes one Mayan or pre-Columbian site as or more impressive than another

Yes - a very good point. The result of this of course is to "split" the votes for a particular "type" of site across WHS on "personal" preference or mere randomness, so that no (or fewer) sites actually gain a number significant enough to "make the cut". As you point out the same applies to a number of "groups" of similar sites - I can think of Mayan, Misc Precolumb Mex, Mex Mining, misc S Am Non Inca pre-Columb, Russian Orthodox, Catholic monasteries, "Company towns", Viticulture, Volcanoes, etc etc.
I guess we could look at the results and see which (if any) "types" of sites missed out altogether because of this "vote splitting" where there were a number of similarly "valued" sites, at least ONE of which justified inclusion.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#22 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 06:54 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Just seen this now!

Will have to try and digest the bits now. That top 10 is pretty healthy looking, though like others the Vatican appearing above Rome is perhaps not what I would have predicted, perhaps running this over Easter has some effect.

One thing I did note is that if you combine the votes for Iguacu it would have 48 votes, thus making it joint 11th with the Acropolis and second highest natural site. To my mind, I think this is a fair way of treating this site, surprisingly the Argentine side received more than double the votes of the Brazilian side, I always associate it more with Brazil, but the votes could be down more to where in the voting list each occured. Els do you know if anyone voted for both?

If we do the same with the Sundarbans it would also creep into the top 200 with 17 votes.

And Colivin, yep it was with a heavy heart I didn't put down my tick for the Trinity Column in Olomouc, but at least that way I can say I was trying to not vote subjectively, though I did vote for a few more UK sites than I thought I would (I didn't remember ticking off Kew, but it seems like I did).

From looking at my own votes I had everything in the top 21, my weird outliers are mostly sub-Saharan African cultural sites, I guess that plays into the idea of voting for the most famous places.

Though I am exceptionally happy that two others joined me in voting for Grimeton radio station.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#23 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 08:23 
oops, I just noticed I didn't vote for Victoria Falls, that was a bit of an oversight.

Author pikkle
Partaker
#24 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 17:05 
Disappointed in the lack of German sites (I know I know), but it seems like with a bunch of these sites, the votes were spread around. A lot of medieval towns that I personally adore - Quedlinburg, Bamberg, Regensburg, Goslar - etc. Everyone has a favorite I'm sure. Some new sites that I'm sure everyone hasn't been able to see the OUV of yet (Speicherstadt, Bayreuth, Willemshöhe) Personally thought the Wartburg was a bit undervalued with only 6 votes. Not advocating for any of these sites, except perhaps Wartburg, but I think its sites are equal to some other higher% countries. I think Spain is undervalued also, so what do I know. :) It's a vote!

The most disappointing omission is the Plantin-Moretus House! Maybe it's just not visited enough!

Author Colvin
Partaker
#25 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 21:41 
Solivagant:
Out of interest - why did you assign Glacier Parks to Canada?

This was a bit arbitrary, but I based it on the initial inscription, which was for Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias. Kluane, in Canada, has the more significant icefield, even though Wrangell-St. Elias has more area. Additionally, Canada had already designated Kluane a national park at the time of inscription, while the US was still passing legislation to make it a national park (though it had already been designated a national monument). I took the view that at the time Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias became a WHS in 1979, Kluane was more important to the inscription. Incidentally, if I hadn't been using those guidelines, a good case could be made for attributing this to the US, since Glacier Bay National Park, a later addition to the WHS, is probably the most visited component of the WHS thanks to all the cruise ship visitors.

meltwaterfalls:
do you know if anyone voted for both?

I don't know if anyone voted for both Iguacu and Iguazu Falls, but I did see one instance of someone voting for both The Sundurbans and Sundurbans National Park. I too noticed that if Iguacu and Iguazu National Park were combined, it would have scored just outside of the Top 10. Incidentally, I just got back from both parks last month, and enjoyed them both. My rationale for choosing Iguazu National Park in Argentina was that you get much closer to the falls on the Argentine side, even getting to walk right to the edge of them. Iguacu does have the better overall views, and a great opportunity to see the Devil's Throat, but for me the Argentine side was more of the heart of the park. I still don't know why they both couldn't have been made a transnational WHS...

meltwaterfalls:
oops, I just noticed I didn't vote for Victoria Falls

No worries -- the voters had you covered. (though with your username, it is a bit surprising!) As for Grimeton, I gave serious thought to it because of its role in communication, but I couldn't find a way to get it into my Top 200. Glad it got some votes, though!

pikkle:
Disappointed in the lack of German sites

I suspect Germany suffered, like Mexico, from vote splitting. I actually voted for 6 German sites, including Wartburg Castle, of which three made the Top 208. One of my choices (Upper Middle Rhine Valley) was only two votes out from the Top 208. Overall I do think the four sites that made the Top 208 were good ones.

Like you, I was surprised to see only six sites from Spain, but the choices that were made look good. Spanish aficionados can take comfort that two additional sites were only one vote out from the Top 208 (Salamanca and Cordoba), while four additional sites were only two votes out (Teide National Park, Segovia, El Escurial, and the Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau).

Author pikkle
Partaker
#26 | Posted: 11 Apr 2016 22:52 
Colvin
Colvin:
I suspect Germany suffered, like Mexico, from vote splitting. I actually voted for 6 German sites, including Wartburg Castle, of which three made the Top 208. One of my choices (Upper Middle Rhine Valley) was only two votes out from the Top 208. Overall I do think the four sites that made the Top 208 were good ones.

Like you, I was surprised to see only six sites from Spain, but the choices that were made look good. Spanish aficionados can take comfort that two additional sites were only one vote out from the Top 208 (Salamanca and Cordoba), while four additional sites were only two votes out (Teide National Park, Segovia, El Escurial, and the Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau).

You're right, I mentioned that I was thinking how with so many sites, both Mexico and Germany (and also Spain) suffered from vote splitting/favorite sites. The representation is definitely good and I have noticed a plethora of sites in these countries with between about 6-12 votes, which lends credence to the splitting idea. Hard to believe Salamanca didn't make it as not only a beautiful city - but the best representation of a medieval / Renaissance university.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#27 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 00:14 | Edited by: winterkjm 
A couple surprises and comments. I only voted for 2 German sites, sorry Pikkle! I put my votes in bold.

Only MESA VERDE for Pre-Columbian cultures in North America!
Chaco Culture (11 votes)
Taos Pueblo (4 votes)

No representation of the Korean Peninsula!
Changdeokgung Palace Complex (11 votes)
Gyeongju (9 votes)
Jeju (9 votes)
Seokguram Grotto & Bulguksa Temple (5 votes)
Haeinsa Temple (5 votes)
Hwaseong Fortress (3 votes)
Royal Joseon Tombs (2 votes)
Jongmyo Shrine (2 votes)
Koguryeo Kingdom (2 votes)
Koguryeo Tombs (1 vote)
Gochang, Ganghwa, and Hwasun Dolmens (1 vote)
Namhansanseong (1 vote)
Baekje Historic Areas (1 vote)
Hahoe & Yangdong (0 votes)
Kaesong (0 votes)

Granted I'm a bit biased in regards to my experiences in Korea. That being said, generally I find the votes fairly accurate. Most of Korea's sites are great, but not world class (TOP 200), though I would have liked at least one included. Famous often wins in these kind of lists, Himeji-jo is ranked 94th by votes! Besides my interest in Native American and Korean cultural sites, most of my votes were spread pretty evenly both in regards to true world class sites and trying to make representative choices.

No recognition for Mexico's Desert gem!
El Pinacate (3 votes)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#28 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 02:41 | Edited by: Solivagant 
pikkle:
Disappointed in the lack of German sites (I know I know), but it seems like with a bunch of these sites, the votes were spread around. A lot of medieval towns that I personally adore - Quedlinburg, Bamberg, Regensburg, Goslar - etc. Everyone has a favorite I'm sure. Some new sites that I'm sure everyone hasn't been able to see the OUV of yet (Speicherstadt, Bayreuth, Willemshöhe

In fact Germany did rather better in the "Popular Vote" with 4 via the addition of Koln Cathedral and Potsdam, than it did in the "Community list" !!

Neither of those would have been my choice for additions if I had been told "go on - give Germany another site!" (I voted for the same 2 as the Community list - Aachen and MuseumInsel). I have visited every German WHS -that doesn't give me any "special" knowledge or judgement of course but it does mean that my opinion isn't hindered by knowing nothing about some of them.

The "Popular 200" list contains
a. Versailles, Schonbrunn and Potsdam plus of course all those Royal Palaces within the St Petersburg inscription. Fine as Potsdam is did the "Top" 200 really need that many European Royal Palaces? (in fact both Schonbrunn AND Potsdam got added in the "Popular" vote v the "Community" one)
b. Aachen, Chartres and Koln Cathedrals - plus several other Christian Cathedrals situated within wider sites. Again - fine as Koln Cathedral is, was it really needed, given the other sites which had to be excluded to fit it in. (In fact both Chartres AND Koln got added in the "Popular" vote v that of the "Community"
So - relatively (and probably unsurprisingly) Palaces and Cathedrals were more "popular" with the general vote than with the Community which undoubtedly tried hard to minimise (optimise?) the representation of these 2 categories.
Regarding others "missed out". A lot of them are very similar to others which perhaps have a better overall claim
a. The fountains etc of Willemshohe are very impressive - but do they add enough to those included within St Petersburg?
b. The various Mediaeval European towns such as Quedlingburg, Goslar, Regensburg and Bamburg (the latter or the Wartburg would probably have been my "next" German pick) have their general ambiance and styles covered within other larger/wider sites. I find all the "water management" aspects of Goslar a bit "forced" and its actual mining remains - including quite modern ones, are not really "important" enough.
c. How to choose between the Upper Middle Rhine and all those other Viticulture/River/Mediaeval town sites - particularly Wachau. For me it was almost a "toss up". I have travelled both by road and boat and perhaps Melk just won it for me over all those castles - but, on another day I might think differently. Certainly 1 of them is "needed"!!
d. The Margravial Opera house is a fine "niche" example of the genre but there are a lot of other opera houses within the other sites so, very difficult to pull it out as well
e. The Chilehaus is impressive but again a bit "niche" in "world architecture" terms. I also found the Warehouse aspect of Speicherstadt a bit underwhelming and well covered by e.g Liverpool (which I didn't vote for either!!)
f. The Wartburg is indeed a "hard call" - its location is magnificent and perhaps I undervalue its 19th C "reconstructed" aspects! But there are a lot of "genuine" Castles/Fortifications on the List! "Ah - but you voted for the Gwynedd Castles!" I hear someone saying to me (it may be my own sense of "fairness"). Was it "nationalism" that drove me so to do? Or did I kid myself that they, as group, represented something particularly authentic and novel in fortification design.........??

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#29 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 04:35 
I like winterkjm's technique of bolding the site he voted for in text so I'm going to attempt to do that as well.

Whilst I think Chaco culture is deserving of a place in the top 200 (I would comfortably put it in my top 20 visited sites) I also quite like the fact that it isn't as well known. It almost feels like a special secret just how impressive that site is.

Gah! I hadn't noticed Potsdam had so comfortably qualified for the top 200. People must like palaces I guess, I know in the UK big grand homes are perceived as the epitome of "Heritage" I guess that idea sticks.

Author clyde
Partaker
#30 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 06:53 
I agree with winterkjm. I was quite surprised that not even one Korean site made the top 200. I was also surprised to see Itsukushima Shrine and Nikko left out of the top 200 while Nara and Himeji got so many votes. However, on the whole, I think that the top 200 we have on the popular vote are a very good selection and the top 100 are quite close to my top 100 give and take. What I'll try to do in the next days, is to analyse whether there are any sites on the Community list top 200 that received no votes or a few votes on the popular list of top 200 WHS (and sites that were low ranking on the Community list but achieved a lot of support on the popular list.

What I also enjoyed doing was to calculate how many of the sites I visited (313) were on the top 200 and how many received very low support.

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 The results of the 'popular vote' 2016

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