Distance Calculator a UK based travel site is aiming to predict the most requested routes in the UK and USA for September 2011. Using historical data from site visitors they aim to predict where most people are seeking to go, and give a glimpse into what look to be some interesting twists and turns for their visitors in the future.
Rob Watts the site’s administrator said “We are always looking to improve things and add value – By looking at raw data, we thought it would be good to look at the numbers to see what if any correlations existed, for example we looked at visits for September to October 2010 and found that the top requested page for UK visitors was the Manchester to Leeds page and for USA visitors we found it to be the Sioux Falls to Branson Missouri”
Data from August 2011 was also compared with August 2010. Consistent patterns of site usage were sought; aspects like the most requested pages, similar queries and the like. Site visits were segmented into UK and US visitors overlain against what people searched for and viewed. Adjusting for general site popularity it was found that people from the US were generally looking for the same places in volume YOY. Miami, New York, Pittsburgh all featured highly in similar percentages. For the UK places requested were London, Manchester, Leeds, Dover, Paris and Calais.
“We’d expect to see the most populated places feature high, it’s no surprise there, neither is the fact that popular routes and distances featured high either. Some are plain to see, routes like London to Dover for instance, or Manchester to Leeds are all frequently travelled routes by people in numbers. We think there’s a story in the data and are looking to see how we can cross reference user visits with other data sources out there in the public domain, Twitter and Facebook for instance, events that kind of thing, through looking at these patterns we can improve the way we do things. Our aim is to pull in real time data signals that supplement the user experience. Through looking at the past we can hopefully get a better handle on what might happen in the future”.