OpenBenches - some stats

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~185 times.

For the last year-and-a-bit, Liz and I have been running OpenBenches.org. An open data website dedicated to memorial benches.

Here are some rough and ready numbers about how it has gone so far.

9,870 Benches

At the time of writing, we're a little shy of 10,000 benches. As you can see, we have photos from all around the world.

Map of the world. Markers mostly in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and America.

9,000 UK Benches

The majority of our benches are in the UK. Memorial benches seems like a peculiarly Anglosphere habit. I've spoken to people from all sorts of different countries, and they really are rare outside the English-speaking world.

UK map covered in thousands of markers.

110 Registered Users

That's over a hundred people signing in with Twitter. We've recently added Auth0 support, so people can sign in with Facebook and GitHub.

We also added a leaderboard so that our mate Jenny could see how many photos she added in Edinburgh.

A leaderboard. Jenny is in 4th position.

We still have lots of anonymous users.

21,840 Photographs

Most benches have two photos - one of the inscription, and then another of either the whole bench or a view from the bench.

We also have panoramic shots like this:

66GB of Photos

All that media is pretty weighty. Modern camera phones take high-res photos, and a typical shot is around 4MB.

At the moment, our hosting provider is holding up. Huge shout out to Krystal Hosting - use discount code EDENT for £5 off.

I am looking at using Cloudinary to speed up resizing and delivery. But at close to $100 a month, that's too much for a small hobby project.

Hundreds of Moo Cards


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261 Commits, and 8 GitHub contributors

The whole site is open source on GitHub - and it has been lovely using the issues tab to discuss where the site should go next.

Lots of Fun

But, most importantly, it has been a lot of fun. It's wonderful seeing people from around the planet contributing. Thank you to everyone who has submitted a bench, shared our links, or generally been supportive of this daft little endeavour.

Here are some of the benches which made us smile:

Higgins Greenhalgh 1986 - 2000 We hadn't the heart to tell him he was a dog.

In Loving Memory of Carol Nelmes
June 1960 - March 2016
She spent countless happy hours here with
our dogs, Harry, Molly, Ollie and Ellie.
Her smiles and laughter will never be forgotten.
As she used to sing 'Always look on the bright side of life.'
Her husband, Tim.

In Memoriam In fond memory of Miles Kington, who hated this spot, because there was never anywhere to sit down and enjoy it from. Miles Kington, humorist. 1941-2008

Memorial to the unknown husband Often imagined. Much desired. Never found

It was on this bench in 2007 that the notorious artist Tracey Emin surrendered all her art rebel credibility when she decided to become a member of the Royal Academy of Arts

“A good spot for a fine pint.” As enjoyed by Edward (Steve) Gunningham. Who would have enjoyed the view, were it not for that tree!

If I take one more step it will be the furthest away from home I've ever been  Samwise Gamgee  Proudly provided by Rover Tours Group

If you turn some species of shark upside down they will go into a trance-like state called tonic immobility lasting approximately fifteen minutes.

And, finally, Liz and her mum in New Zealand - sat on the bench dedicated to Liz's grandparents.
In loving memory Laura & David LAPSLEY.

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4 thoughts on “OpenBenches - some stats

  1. You overlooked a statistic:

    16 openbenches:id tags applied to objects representing benches, on OpenStreetMap:

    https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/openbenches:id#overview

    Clearly, this is very low, and we need to get the remaining 9,854 added, either to existing objects, or by creating new ones.

    1. @edent says:

      Good spot! We haven't done much with OSM data yet - but I hope to do more in the new year.

    2. @edent says:

      Good spot! We haven't done much with OSM data yet - but I hope to do more in the new year.

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