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The results of the 'popular vote' 2016

 
 
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Author Solivagant
Partaker
#31 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 07:08 | Edited by: Solivagant 
(Dis)Connection between "Voted for" and "frequency visited" numbers.
I have looked at the Top 25 visited sites and compared them with their position in the popular vote. As one might expect/hope, there are some sites which are VERY highly visited but which haven't come out that highly in "importance"
The top 25 "visited" sites by this Community - in descending sequence of visitors. Followed by position in voting and number of votes (I have used Els's sequence in which sites receiving exactly the same number of votes are not shown as "equals" but this doesn't make much difference!)
1. Paris, Banks of the Seine - 571 / 37th with 38 votes
2. Tower of London - 529 / 198th with 15 votes
3. Westminster - 528/ 49th with 35 votes
4. Rome - 503/ 12th 46 votes
5. Venice and its Lagoon - 466/ 7th with 50 votes
6. Vatican City - 437/ 1st with 53 votes
7. Florence - 435/ 25th with 41 votes
8. Prague - 424/65th with 32 votes
9. Vienna - 419/35th with 38 votes
10. Versailles - 414/18th with 44 votes
11. Statue of Liberty - 406/78th with 29 votes
12. Grand Place, Brussels - 405/242nd with 13 votes (not in Top 200)
13. Amsterdam Canal Ring - 391/72nd with 31 votes
14. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa) - 386/73rd with 31 votes
15. Works of Antoni Gaudí - 378/30th with 39 votes
16. Budapest - 365/62nd with 33 votes
17. Brugge - 358/29th with 39 votes
18. Istanbul - 347/15th with 44 votes
19. Cologne Cathedral - 339/173rd with 17 votes
20. Salzburg - 325/202nd with 15 votes
21. Schönbrunn - 325/163rd with 18 votes
22. Edinburgh - 321/132nd with 22 votes
23. City of Luxembourg - 320/354th with 8 votes (not in Top 200)
24. Acropolis - 317/11th with 48 votes
25. Stonehenge - 306/8th with 49 votes

So - the "Most Visited" sites certainly haven't monopolised the Votes! Indeed there are only 3 of the Top 25 visited sites which appear in the Top 10 in the popular vote (Vatican, Venice and Stonehenge). And there are a few "surprises" or at least "noteworthies" whereby a few "highly visited" sites are not thought to be that "important" at all - Paris, Tower of London, Grand Place, Luxemburg for instance.

It might be interesting to see which sites are "highly regarded" but which have fewer visits. My initial impression is that most of the "highly regarded" which are not also among the most "highly visited" are still what I might call "medium" in terms of site visits. There are very few really "difficult to visit sites" which have made it to the top of the voting list. Virunga at 76th on the top 200 list is the first which I might count as "difficult" to visit. Sanaa at 103rd, Illulisaat at 106th, Socotra at 188th are also in that category. Leaving aside a few sites which have recently become "no go" areas because of war/terrorism etc most of the Top 200 are reasonably "doable" by anyone who wanted to, has no particular "personal"/family ties and a reasonable "developed country income" - they are not that expensive in world travel terms. It could be that their position in the vote reflects people's potentially achievable "hope" to visit them whereas the really most difficult sites are also the most "unknown" and "unvoted". E.g Wrangel and Sub Antarctic Islands etc??

Author Colvin
Partaker
#32 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 20:16 
winterkjm:
Only MESA VERDE for Pre-Columbian cultures in North America!

I'm assuming you're referring to just the US and Canada here, but yes, it is unfortunate. I cast votes for SGang Gwaay (6) and Cahokia Mounds (4) in addition to Mesa Verde, but I'm not particularly surprised they aren't well known outside WHS enthusiasts interested in pre-Columbian sites (SGang Gwaay and Cahokia Mounds aren't even well known to most Americans or Canadians, and the same goes for Chaco Culture, as meltwaterfalls pointed out. I'd guess at least a good percentage of Americans have heard of Taos, though).

winterkjm:
No recognition for Mexico's Desert gem!

That's OK -- you, Assif, and I can at least enjoy the North American desert in relative peace and quiet, free from crowds!

Solivagant:
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.

That sounds like a pretty reasonable theory. I know that's something I kept in mind -- hence, I chose to cut Cologne Cathedral and Schonbrunn Palace, even though both are pretty remarkable.

meltwaterfalls:
I hadn't noticed Potsdam had so comfortably qualified for the top 200.

I'm not sure what rationale others had, but Potsdam made it into my Top 200 because of gardens, palace, and Cold War history (see Glienicke Bridge).

pikkle:
Hard to believe Salamanca didn't make it as not only a beautiful city

That was one of my hard cuts, so I might have inadvertently kept it from the Top 208 (or 209). Sorry about that. I did my part for Cordoba, though.

clyde:
What I'll try to do in the next days, is to analyse

I look forward to the findings.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#33 | Posted: 12 Apr 2016 22:35 | Edited by: winterkjm 
clyde:
I agree with winterkjm. I was quite surprised that not even one Korean site made the top 200.

Honestly, I think it comes down to, which site stands out above the other Korean WHS? Seemingly, none of the 15 inscribed sites stand above the other as a better representative of Korean culture. Therefore, most of the votes were split between Changdeokgung (11 votes), Jeju (9 votes), and Gyeongju (9 votes). If one site was seen as more exceptional and representative of Korean culture, it probably would have made the Top 200.

Author pikkle
Partaker
#34 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 01:05 | Edited by: pikkle 
Solivagant:
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)

I cut Schönbrunn and went with Potsdam because of the more extensive continuous history and unique aspect of the town and palaces representing Prussian and later the German Empire over a longer period of time. It also has a more encompassing representation of the Age of Enlightenment and also Absolutism with the "Holländisches Viertel" for Dutch and Flemish artisans invited by the Prussian ruler. Later, the Russian colony from the 1820s which shows the orientation of Prussia towards the West and East. As well as the Cold War era history (We even had a film this year about the "Bridge of Spies"!). As an architectural historian, it was tough to cut Schönbrunn, especially as a "fan" of Fischer von Erlach. But Vienna has enough to represent most of the great Central European Baroque architects of the era and has the Belvedere, Karlskirche, parts of the Hofburg (Austrian National Library) so that I don't really find Schönbrunn alone worthy of the top 200.

Solivagant:
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"

I do think you have a good point. There are many cathedrals included in Historic Centres, etc. I'll have to go back and see if I voted for all three. If I did, it would be for very different reasons. Aachen for its Carolingian aspects. Are there any other Carolingian sites in the top 200? I really don't see how St. Michael's in Fulda is a non-entity while Lorsch Abbey (a gateway) is on the WH List. In the words of one scholar, "St. Michael's is a place where one feels as if you have gone back to the beginning."

Chartres for its glass, its importance in preserving intellectual and academic pursuits before the High Middle Ages, and for the quality of its sculpture and as the prototypical Gothic cathedral.

Köln and Strasbourg were without a doubt the two most important cathedral stonemason lodges where the best masons were trained in the Holy Roman Empire - and I actually prefer Strasbourg Cathedral - but Köln is iconic and I think its OUV is apparent from visiting it but also when one takes a look at almost any Gothic church in the former HRE before Peter Parler built his masterpiece in Prague and changed the game in many ways. In the case of this one I think perhaps my looking through the architectural lens may skew my vision of its importance. Its choir is unrivaled.

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

I can't believe these were both left off!

If I didn't vote for Jeju, that was a mistake (I think I did). One of the most special places on the planet.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#35 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 05:05 
winterkjm:
Honestly, I think it comes down to, which site stands out above the other Korean WHS? Seemingly, none of the 15 inscribed sites stand above the other as a better representative of Korean culture. Therefore, most of the votes were split between Changdeokgung (11 votes), Jeju (9 votes), and Gyeongju (9 votes). If one site was seen as more exceptional and representative of Korean culture, it probably would have made the Top 200.

I would actually put Haeinsa as best site in Korea. But that's my preference.

In any case, Korea is a great trip, but nothing stands out, at least not on the inscribed sites. DMZ and Seoraksan to me should have made it.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#36 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 06:38 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
nfmungard:
I would actually put Haeinsa as best site in Korea. But that's my preference.
In any case, Korea is a great trip, but nothing stands out, at least not on the inscribed sites.

I think that is my thoughts on Korea as well. Perhaps if there was only one or two main sites it may have focused votes and one could have made the top 200.

solivagant:
Aachen, Chartres and Koln Cathedrals

Whilst all of those cathedrals mentioned have their merits, I think it reflects our Western European bias. It is certainly surprising that there are three cathedrals from within a geographically limited area, but a site as important as Kiev (an orthodox Cathedral and Monastery) has fallen short of the top 200.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#37 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 08:51 
meltwaterfalls:
solivagant:
Aachen, Chartres and Koln Cathedrals

Whilst all of those cathedrals mentioned have their merits, I think it reflects our Western European bias. It is certainly surprising that there are three cathedrals from within a geographically limited area, but a site as important as Kiev (an orthodox Cathedral and Monastery) has fallen short of the top 200.

I do think Aachen belongs on the list. There aren't that many Carolingian buildings left.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#38 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 09:08 
In fairness, yep I voted for Aachen and think it is deserving. Though having a representation of Carolingian architecture is neither here nor there with me, there are plenty historical periods/ cultures not represented.

Author echwel
Partaker
#39 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 12:15 | Edited by: echwel 
Was I the only one who had difficulties to mark 200 sites as TOP?

In my initial list I was only able to fit in just over a 100. Those were the obvious ones plus some of my favourites I knew of because I had visited or read enough about them. I think I included a bit too much European and megalithic theme sites but haven't we all have our special interests? (Yes it was I who chose the Korean dolmen site...)

To choose the rest I had to do some serious studying because my knowledge about many sites isn't enough to make a educated choice. How to choose one out of ie. all pre-Columbian sites? How to choose one out of the sites where ancient hominides were found, and are they important enough to show those aliens since there isn't much to see in the first place? What is the most important Hindu or Buddha site or whatever? I just don't know.

I wanted to make an independent selection and therefore I decided I can't use the judgements other people made before. So after the first 100 I started on top of the list and slowly made my way down and started reading and surfing the net. After a while I thought it took me too long so I decided to finish the most important countries first. But there are quite a lot of them too...and than I had to travel a bit...and mrs ech wel wanted some attention and in the end I just gave up. It was too much of a mission impossible for me. Made it to about 150 or so...

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#40 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 12:59 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
echwel:
Was I the only one who had difficulties to mark 200 sites as TOP?

I did find it tough as well, but I was the other way around I first voted by gut instinct having engaged a little with the forum discussion, but I overshot a fair bit and then had to whittle them down.

Not too successfully as it seems, I didn't vote for Victoria Falls, but did manage to cast one of three votes for Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka which wasn't really my intention! Oh well.

Though I understand your point about having to fit it in around everything else, but I think Mrs Meltwaterfalls was happy to see me being kept out of mischief.

Author pikkle
Partaker
#41 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 16:31 
meltwaterfalls

Agreed on Kiev, a truly major city in the cultures of several modern nations and the Eastern Orthodox church. Looking back at my list I thought I was being balanced at the time - but there's clearly a Western European bias in there. I'm gonna blame it on doing the vote after an 8 hour flight and then a 4 hour train ride. I did really have a hard time getting to 200. I think my first vote was somewhere upwards of 400. There are so many sites that I really value and find incredibly important in their different ways. That's not to say that I'm a relativist. I just value preservation and conservation so strongly - and I think all of us here do. There are only a handful of sites that I don't think belong on the list - and even if they are only regionally important - I'm glad they are being represented and preserved.

Coming clean here - I forgot the Mausoleum of the Qin Emperor but I luckily went back and fixed in time for the final tally. Would have been pretty upset with myself if I had left it off.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#42 | Posted: 13 Apr 2016 19:47 
Since there had been some questions earlier about how well Natural and Mixed Sites did in the Top 208, here is a little more analysis.

Here are the top countries with number of Natural WHS selected for the Top 208:

United States (6); China (3); Argentina (2*); Brazil (2*); Canada (2**); Indonesia (2); Mexico (2); Russia (2); Tanzania (2)
*Includes Iguazu National Park for Argentina and Iguacu National Park for Brazil; two sides of the same coin
**This is one where I attributed Glacier parks to Canada (see note above) rather than the US

After that we have a number of countries with just one Natural WHS selected, including Australia, Botswana, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, India, Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia.

For Mixed WHS selected for the Top 208, we have three countries with more than one vote: Australia (2), Greece (2), and Turkey (2). After that we have several countries with one Mixed WHS selected, including China, Guatemala, Jordan, Mali, Peru, and Tanzania.

The United States did very well when it came to Natural WHS selected for the Top 208; 75% of the selected sites (6 out of 8) were Natural WHS, including stalwarts such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Australia did the best for Mixed WHS; 50% of the selected sites (2 of 4) were Mixed WHS, including Uluru and the Tasmanian Wilderness.

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 The results of the 'popular vote' 2016

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