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Site Ratings

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Author nfmungard
Registered
#1 | Posted: 27 Jan 2018 07:12 | Edited by: nfmungard 
We added a new feature and you can rate each site on a scale from 0.5 to 5. 5 should be reserved for the truly great. 0.5 for the undeserving ones. I think we will get to a common understanding over time and Els will probably also have some ideas on the scales.

To make the ratings useful, please rate!

This applies only to registered users. Preferably, you only rate those sites you have actually been to.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#2 | Posted: 27 Jan 2018 11:10 
An overview is found in top lists:
https://www.worldheritagesite.org/ranking/community

Author jeanbon
Registered
#3 | Posted: 28 Jan 2018 10:52 
Interesting, but how do you judge a site? I see rates like 1/5 for the aflaj of Oman or Tlacotalpan, why? If it corresponds to the Unesco criteria or if you only enjoy the place? What could mean a medium rate?

Author Assif
Registered
#4 | Posted: 28 Jan 2018 12:19 
Thanks, nfmungard and Els for the new feature. I find it surprisingly convincing in its simplicity. I guess it's a combination of how much you enjoy the site and appreciate it, jeanbon, but it's up to you to decide how to rate.

There is a bug in the rating system - for most sites I keep getting the general rating as mine (the same figure for both community and individual ratings). If I change my rating and refresh the page I still get the community figure displayed as mine.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#5 | Posted: 28 Jan 2018 12:59 
jeanbon:
Tlacotalpan

That is my rating. And I stand by it. Obviously, with only one rating not very representative. Still, Mexico has loads of colonial WHS and this was by far the worst.

jeanbon:
What could mean a medium rate?

For me, 3 stars means as expected. These are WHS and they should be nicer than average.

Assif:
There is a bug in the rating system - for most sites I keep getting the general rating as mine (the same figure for both community and individual ratings). If I change my rating and refresh the page I still get the community figure displayed as mine.

What site are you referring to? Please note you need to refresh the cache (button at the bottom).

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 28 Jan 2018 13:38 
nfmungard:
Assif:
There is a bug in the rating system - for most sites I keep getting the general rating as mine (the same figure for both community and individual ratings). If I change my rating and refresh the page I still get the community figure displayed as mine.

What site are you referring to? Please note you need to refresh the cache (button at the bottom).

I have the same issue now (was OK before): all WHS that I voted for show the average instead of mine

Author nfmungard
Registered
#7 | Posted: 28 Jan 2018 16:21 | Edited by: nfmungard 
elsslots:
I have the same issue now (was OK before): all WHS that I voted for show the average instead of mine

The user rating gets sent properly but is not applied properly. Should work in the updated release..

Author jeanbon
Registered
#8 | Posted: 29 Jan 2018 03:46 
I rated my WHS, not easy. I was generous compared with you lol... i think some of you are harsh with WHS :)

Author Solivagant
Registered
#9 | Posted: 29 Jan 2018 03:57 | Edited by: Solivagant 
jeanbon:
I was generous compared with you lol... i think some of you are harsh with WHS

Els/Nan - it might be interesting to calculate/show the "Average Rating" across all rated sites for individuals on their home pages. Easy enough?? "Sum of ratings/number of sites rated"??? Could also show the "average rating for ALL raters/sites" on the Web site home page - each of us will thus see how we "fit" in the "hard/easy to please" spectrum!!! I might expect those who have seen the most WHS to be the "hardest to please" both because they have a wider "comparison library" to inform their ratings and because they are likely to have seen more "dull" sites in pursuit of the ticks (conversely of course they might have managed to get to more of the remote top class sites and/or be so enthusiastic about WHS that every site is considered a "winner"!). The figures would at least give "context" to our individual ratings.

Another (minor) design point. The star system is great for doing the rating and for showing the general level at a glance but am I right in thinking that it is also trying to show the average to several "decimal points" - I look at Tlacotalpan and the star seems to be filled to about 1.7 (???). Is that indeed the case or is it just how it appears on my screen? If the star is being used to show other than whole numbers and ".5" (as with the marking) I would suggest that the figure also be shown "1.67 based on 3 Votes"

Author nfmungard
Registered
#10 | Posted: 29 Jan 2018 06:13 | Edited by: nfmungard 
jeanbon:
i think some of you are harsh with WHS :)

will show with the next release currently with els for testing. then you can see who votes how. i don't think i am that harsh.

Solivagant:
it might be interesting to calculate/show the "Average Rating" across all rated sites for individuals on their home pages. Easy enough??

we can calculate everything ;) still, not sure this is really a meaningful information i want to show on my profile page. let's rather make this a separate ranking page, also allowing you to compare all participants.

Solivagant:
If the star is being used to show other than whole numbers and ".5" (as with the marking) I would suggest that the figure also be shown "1.67 based on 3 Votes"

Point taken. Will round to two decimals and show the rating as number with the votes.

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#11 | Posted: 29 Jan 2018 13:17 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I think I have 99%+ of my sites scored now, my take aways:

1. I feel like I am scoring the majority of sites lower than the current average, may not actually be the case, may also be skewed by the current low numbers of ratings collected.
2. I handed out seven 5 star reviews (2% of my visited sites), and six ½ star reviews.
3. It is interesting to see some scores being much higher than I would've anticipated for sites, but that diversity of opinion is really interesting and what makes this experience worthwhile.
having said that
4. Everyone else is wrong about both the Bauhaus and Varberg Radio Station. They are much better sites than you think.
[Puts on stern Teachers voice:] Now all go away, have a long hard think about what you scored it and come back and improve them :)

It will be really interesting to have a swim around in the numbers once we get a sizeable chunk of them in. I wonder how different the outcomes will be from the top sites we did a few years back, ostensibly measuring the same things, just with different methodologies.

Author hubert
Registered
#12 | Posted: 30 Jan 2018 09:22 
I'm still working on my voting, I'm thinking about my personal rules of rating/ranking and try to make it as "objective" as possible without paying attention to the average votes.

A few thoughts:
1. I do not rate sites where I feel that I've missed a substantial part or for serial sites where I only visited a minority of subsites. Examples: I do not rate Struve (only 1 of 34) or Beech Forests (4/78), and I do not vote for Roman Frontiers because I only visited the German part so far. But I vote for Vauban (7/12) or Longobards (3/7). Inconsequent? Maybe.
2. I do not rate sites that are very familiar to me: Graz (the city where I live) and Vienna.
3. Of course, the rating cannot be really objective. Meltwaterfalls has distinguished in his previous ratings between "site" and "experience", that's the point. In a rating without additional comments I try to put more emphasis on "site": what is to see, what is the significance of the site, how is it presented (e.g. quality of guided tours, accessibility) etc.
Having said that I must admit that "experience" mainly leads to my median rating for the Pile Dwellings. Another example is Olomouc. It's one of my favorite small towns in Central Europe, but only the Plague Column is inscribed. However, the great experience of my visit contributes to my relative high rating compared to other sites. Inconsequent? Sure.
4. Too harsh with low rated sites? All sites got an inscription, thus there have to be a certain value - a good point, I agree. That's the reason for a 0.5 rating. An upgrade to a full star requires additional significance/value/experience. For me, that was true for Holasovice (1 star), but not for Tokaj and Hortobagy. Too harsh? Maybe.

meltwaterfalls:
Everyone else is wrong about both the Bauhaus

Totally agree! My point 1 above may contribute to that skewed rating. If one only visited Weimar but skipped Dessau the site could be underrated.
Just to support the "teacher's voice": The Bauhaus buildings are almost 100 years old but we still call them "modern architecture"!
Meltwaterfalls: Don't give up - my 4.5 rating is coming soon.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#13 | Posted: 30 Jan 2018 09:33 
meltwaterfalls:
4. Everyone else is wrong about both the Bauhaus and Varberg Radio Station. They are much better sites than you think.

I did rate Fagus and Tugendhat higher than the Bauhaus buildings. At least I think so, need to wait for the next release ;)

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#14 | Posted: 31 Jan 2018 06:30 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
hubert:
Don't give up - my 4.5 rating is coming soon.

That's the spirit!!

I did enjoy reading your thoughts Hubert (as ever). I remember revising my own scores after about five years of active WHS Bagging, mostly revising them down a little. If I remember right it was partially prompted by something Solivagant wrote about these already being WHS so perhaps should be marked at University rather than High School level.
Of course everyone is entitled to mark them as they see fit, but I'm just trying to put across my ideas.

When looking at the distribution of my scores, I feel pretty satisfied, with the vast majority being in the middle (2-3 stars) and only a few at either ends.


I understand people being hesitant to score sites they are close to, I personally do score them, feeling perhaps foolishly that I can be objective, and mostly I seemed to be scoring them lower than the average when I put my scores on, perhaps familiarity breeds contempt? The only local site I feel like I ranked higher than standard was Greenwich, which surprisingly didn't seem to be that popular.

I guess the real issue is if (as it seems is the case) people just score all the sites in their own (country/ region/ language sphere...) as Five stars. It may skew the totals.

I know Els has had issues in the past of certain sites attracting an array of skewed glowing reviews for various reasons. Whilst it may seem anomalous to the majority of us, how are we to say that someone doesn't genuinely think that everything within the borders of Country A are unmatched anywhere else in the world?

Perhaps we just let them play out, the skew will be evident to anyone that looks at the data, and from then on treats the scores of sites in Country A as skewed. Or maybe if we do notice significant outliers we can italicise (or similar) the result?

Author Solivagant
Registered
#15 | Posted: 31 Jan 2018 10:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
meltwaterfalls:
Of course everyone is entitled to mark them as they see fit, but I'm just trying to put across my ideas.

Whilst agreeing totally with that comment I might as well put forward "my 2 bits".

I have determined that an "average" WHS deserves 2.5, initially assigned that to all my 767 visited sites and then considered each of them individually, to assess which are a bit "special" and deserve more points or were "under par" and should lose against the "norm" for a WHS. I could have chosen 3 as "standard" but 2.5 allows slightly more differentiation (5 points) for "above average" sites than "below" (4 points) - hopefully there should be fewer sub-standard sites than "stars". A rating of 2.5 means that the site delivers what I would expect of a WORLD Heritage Site - i.e it offers something "worthwhile" in that "company" and, to my unavoidably partly subjective, eye provides to its visitors the "O", the "U" and the "V" they would have hoped for - even if it doesn't necessarily cover a domain I am (or they are) personally greatly interested in! In short, I would recommend anyone interested in travel (i.e not necessarily a "WHS traveller") to "go see" a site at this rating level if they were in the area. As would be expected - the majority of WHS achieve at least this rating.

I have given additional ratings where I regard the site as having something "extra" for the non-expert but generally "interested"/"aware" traveller (ie. avoiding what I call the "Salamander Syndrome" by which the Smokies are the best place in the World to go to if you want to see species of Salamander - but does that justify increasing its rating from 2.5 to 5.0? I guess it could if you are a Herpetologist!!) This "extra" could well have endowed such a site with a widely appreciated "iconic status" whether for its location, scenery, megafauna, architecture, history etc which would provide most intelligent people (not just "herpetologists" etc!) with a degree of "wow factor" when they visit and would justify extra effort, cost etc in making such a visit. Finally, of course, I can't avoid incorporating my own personal interests (e.g I don't particularly like large cities but do like archaeological sites!) which will inevitably make an additional rating difference - but, hopefully by not too much!

On the other hand, sites lose ratings against my average if I feel that they are just another (and not so "good") representative within an already well represented category or if their OUV is somewhat "dubious". We all know that, despite the "theory" that objective assessment by a neutral AB is a prerequisite for inscription, WHS do get inscribed via "political" decisions!! Sites whose main OUV is very esoteric (at the "Salamander" level for instance) or virtually impossible for the average visitor to see would also get marked down - but I DO allow (without marking down) such OUV to be presented in an on site museum or replica which requires a visit to the site to obtain - you would still want to visit in order to see this "added value" and the site's general environs. In general I would NOT feel able to recommend non "WHS travellers" to go out of their way to visit such low rated sites without caveats or even (at the lowest levels) "at all"! (knowing of course that "real" WHS travellers will happily travel hundreds of kilometers to look at nothing more than a cave entrance, a flat expanse of water or a forest with a pole in it!)

The issue has been raised above, of what to do if one hasn't seen "much" of a WHS - e.g only one of its "locations". I am happy to "use" what I did see plus my background knowledge of the other locations to assign a rating. In most cases one will have seen one of the more important locations anyway (or, as in the case of Struve Arc, one which is as "good" as any other!). The same applies if e.g I have only been on 1 "tour" of a palace and thus haven't seen "all" of its rooms! Similarly for flora/fauna-related "Natural sites" where I haven't had great views of that particular significant Flora/Fauna. I have assessed what was generally on view and what one might hope/expect to see even if I personally wasn't completely "lucky" on my visit!! Similarly regarding other chance-based "visit experience" aspects ("rainy day", "received explanations from the director", "had the best view of tiger I have ever had", "the flowers weren't out at that time" etc etc). It is the site which is being rated and I have tried to discount the particularities of my visit and mood at the time!

I have also considered how to handle the issue of the value of the "journey" in rating a WHS. For many WHS travellers the excitement and difficulty of getting there increases the perceived "value" of what is there. Tips on logistics are always worthwhile but just read some of our reviews which seem primarily to be about the journey "there" and sometimes leave me asking myself "yes but what was there when you got there!!". I have decided not to assign any "value" to remoteness or danger etc etc. whilst recognising that facing these might well be a major factor in some (WHS) travellers choosing to visit some sites.

My personal %ages of visited sites by rating currently stand as follows (but will no doubt change before I record them via the to-be-delivered bulk update feature!). Not a perfect, but a reasonable, bell curve, skewed slightly towards "excellent" rather than "poor" sites but still, correctly I feel, recognising that most WHS are as "good" as each other to the "aware traveller". (I have just checked for the "Nationalism bias" issue raised above by Meltwaterfalls - my 28 visited UK WHS have an average rating of 2.62 as against 2.74 for my entire "visited" population. Some might say that even this is a bit high for UK but I don't think a charge of excessive nationalism would stick!)
5.0 - 5.1%
4.5 - 2.6%
4.0 - 6.0%
3.5 - 4.9%
3.0 - 9.6%
2.5 - 51.6%
2.0 - 17.2%
1.5 - 1.4%
1.0 - 0.8%
0.5 - 0.8%

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