Geohashing Day 2011 Extravaganza

From Geohashing

This page is the beginning of the planning for a Geohashing Day 2011 Extravaganza. This hopefully will be a massive meetup of geohashers from all around the globe, and also as a way to entice new people to become geohashers. Is there better time to start a tradition of huge global meetups than on the first Geohashing Day which also falls on Mouseover Day? We think not!


relet and aperfectring were talking one day in November 2010, and the topic of Journey to the End of the Night came up. That activity was started as a part of another internet game-type thing both of those users participate in, and has since become sort of an extravaganza which is held a couple of times a year in widely varied locations. Many people will travel from far and wide to go to this extravaganza, even people who don't normally participate in the activity in general. Relet thought it would be nice to have some kind of global geohashing extravaganza similar to that, and aperfectring suggested that a good time to start that up would be on Geohashing Day 2011, which is 2011-05-21, a Saturday.

Time and Location

When: May 21st. 4pm. see the planning below for more details as people are planning things out.
Where: Berlin, Germany


The current plan is to create some sort of poll for where we plan to converge. We should probably nail down the general location (within maybe 1-2 graticule radius at least) by the end of January 2011, so that people can buy airline/public transport tickets while they are still cheap. After we have a general location, we will rename this to GHD 2011:Location. Once the coordinates for GHD 2011 are announced, or maybe beforehand, we will decide on the graticule which we will all visit. At that point, we should move this page to the expedition page, and begin the planning for the expedition itself in earnest. Discussion should take place below.

Participants (who really plan to come)

Please add yourself in the list on the Expedition planning page.


Now that we know the general area, we should use this area to discuss what visitors can do while in the Berlin area, and also what kinds of stuff people might want to do on the day of the expedition, in addition to geohashing.

  • I propose a game of Calvinball somewhere in the vicinity of the decided hashpoint. Remember to bring your masks! --aperfectring 16:52, 15 February 2011 (EST)
    Support - And I think we can prepare masks for all of you. It'll be much more fun travelling while masked and inventing rules. ;) -- relet 12:29, 16 February 2011 (EST)
  • I suggest we roughly plan to meet at Berlin main station in the morning, to reach the geohash by 4pm. Make this the most epic Saturday meetup ever. :) There will definitively be more planning going on after the coordinates are posted on Friday. -- 12:29, 16 February 2011 (EST)

Obsolete discussion

Voting for a region

Voting takes place until 06 February 2011. Each wiki user can cast a vote. We're using the Schulze method for voting:

  • Rank the nominated locations in order of preference, you may give the same preference to more than one location and you may choose not to rank every location
  • Post your ranking below in the format of : [loc with rank 1] > [loc with rank 2] > ... --~~~~ and use the equality sign to indicate equal preference
  • You cannot change your vote, unless a new location is nominated after you have cast your vote
  • Please only vote for locations which you can attend. This is meant to determine the best location that large numbers of people can get to.
  • Unranked places are assumed to be equal, and lower than everything else. A > B is the same as A > B > C = D = ...


Below are listed the graticules which we are up for consideration for GHD 2011! We will designate a city in each that we will use for our "base of operations". The plan will be to all meet up on May 21, 2011 in the designated city by 11:00, at which point we will make our final decision on which hashpoint we will attend. The voting is for the general region centered around the graticule in question. These locations are in no particular order. See Proposed Locations below for pros and cons of each location.

Please vote below:

  • H > B = D > E > A -- lyx 04:59, 11 January 2011 (EST)
  • B = E > H > D > I > A -- dawidi 16:02, 11 January 2011 (EST)
  • B = E > I = A > H > D > C > F = G --mykaDragonBlue [- i have no sig -] 16:36, 11 January 2011 (EST)
  • I > A > D > B > E > C > H > F > G --Zb 16:32, 19 January 2011 (EST)
  • F > G -- Sara 09:53, 20 January 2011 (EST)
  • D > I = E = A > H --Ekorren 15:38, 25 January 2011 (EST)
  • E > A > D > I -- TheOneRing 17:22, 26 January 2011 (CET)
  • E> D > I -- ClementB 11:39, 28 January 2011 (EST)
  • C > F > G -- Jiml 19:08, 29 January 2011 (EST)
  • A --Fasanen 14:18, 30 January 2011 (EST)
  • I > A > D --The T-Man 03:59, 31 January 2011 (EST)
  • A > D > I > E > B -- Rincewind 16:18, 31 January 2011 (EST)
  • A > D > I > E > H > B --davidc 07:07, 1 February 2011 (EST)
  • A > H > I > E --Amuzulo 02:38, 2 February 2011 (EST)

Votes above this line could have been amended to include option J, except the result is now final.

  • B = H = E > J = D = A -- Phoenix 23:30, 11 January 2011 (UTC+1)
  • B > E > H > C > J > I = D > A > F > G -- relet 19:58, 10 January 2011 (EST) (extended 04:59, 2 February 2011 (EST))
  • A > D > I > E > B -- Mampfred 08:51, 13 January 2011 (EST) (moved 05:38, 2 February 2011 (EST))
  • A > J > D = E = I > B = H — Benjw  [talk] 05:39, 16 January 2011 (EST) / 09:13, 2 February 2011 (EST)
  • I > A > D --DerFlob 11:05, 2 February 2011 (EST)
  • I = E = B > D = H > J > A --aperfectring 11:29, 2 February 2011 (EST)
  • B > E > I > A > H --Mv 06:03, 4 February 2011 (EST)
  • A > H > I> J >B > D > E > C = F = G --mtu 17:31, 5 February 2011 (EST)
  • C > F = G > J > A --Juventas 16:07, 6 February 2011 (EST)
  • E > A > D = I = B = J > H --Crox 16:21, 6 February 2011 (EST)
  • D > I > A = E > B > J Koepfel talk 16:27, 6 February 2011 (EST)

The winner as of 2011-02-07 20:10 UTC is Berlin, Germany. This result is final. If you wish to confirm the result yourself, enter the votes above into this condorcet voting calculator or a similar website.

Proposed locations

Location Pros Cons
Berlin, Germany
  • Has the potential for getting a large number of people, since it is "in the middle" of a large concentration of active geohashers (especially in Germany, Sweden and Finland).
  • Is a large city, so is easy for people to get to. Particularly, most Europeans could attend without flying.
  • Seems quite likely to produce an accessible geohash in the vicinity.
  • Likely to be a rather uninteresting hashpoint.
  • Might not be enticing for new geohashers to join.
  • Might not make the global meetup interesting enough to convince the geohashing community to hold another for some time.
Italian Alps
  • Almost assuredly an interesting hashpoint.
  • Seems likely to convince new people to join, due to the sheer awesomeness.
  • Seems likely to convince geohashing community to keep holding massive pre-organized global meetups, and doing so in interesting places.
  • Likely to produce unreachable hashpoints.
  • Might convince many geohashers not to come, because of remoteness/difficulty.
  • Might discourage drag-alongs from joining, thus reducing the overall effectiveness of the recruitment aspect.
  • Almost assuredly an interesting hashpoint.
  • Very likely to break geohashing altitude record.
  • Possibility of being on Mt. Everest!
  • Would get to go geohashing with crampons and an ice axe.
  • Possible encounter with Yeti.
  • Likely to produce unreachable hashpoints. kill us all.
  • Yeti might eat all participants.
Vancouver, Canada
  • It's the *epic graticule*! =)
  • It's far away from Europe. :(
Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria, Germany
  • There are local geohashers
  • There's almost always a reachable hashpoint in the state
  • Reasonably well organized public transport
  • Cheap public transport daypasses allow to choose hashpoint from many graticules
  • Usually less boring hashpoints than Berlin
  • Rarely really epic hashpoints
  • Epic hashpoints
  • Amazingly well organized public transport
  • Affordable public transport daypasses for the whole country allow to choose hashpoint from several graticules
  • Certain risk that even if considering the whole country, no hashpoint is accessible
  • Physical fitness might be needed for some points
  • Ho(s)tel and restaurant prices will make you faint
Boston, Massachusetts
  • Large number of geohashers, past and present
  • Reasonable driving distance for Northeasters U.S.
  • Geohash could be in the "Big Dig".
  • Chance to meet Randall Munroe
  • Boston traffic
  • Geohash could be in Boston Harbor
Atlanta, Georgia
  • By far the easiest Graticule in the world to Geohash
  • Largest Airport in the world
  • Far more likely to generate a reachable Geohash
  • By far the graticule with the most drive to Geohashs and not even get out of your vehicle
  • Atlanta is a Convention City with plenty of hotels ready to accommodate large groups of people
  • Enterprise Rent a car here in Atlanta rents SUV's to accommodate large groups of people traveling by vehicle
  • In late May it will be a high temp of 85f(30c) during the day and a low temp of 60f(15.5c) during the night
  • The middle point in between the West coast USA/Canada and Europe
  • TSA Security
  • Anyone following the wikileaks tweets will probably not get past the border.
Ljubljana / Klagenfurt (Graticule)
  • Graticule spanning two countries
  • Certainty not to speak the local language / dialect.
  • Decently awesome mountains
  • Con list
Lisboa, Portugal
  • Nice weather during all months of the year
  • Fantastic locations to be discovered while travelling
  • Incredible good and cheap food everywhere
  • Easy to travel around, good network of roads etc
  • Cheap and excellent accommodations
  • Cheap to travel, train, bus, car
  • Probably the best location in the world if the algorithm is changed to not allow hashes on water
  • Divided by 4 graticules
  • 50% of hashes on water
  • High rate of unreachable hashes
  • May need to rent a good boat

Potential Participants

Please add yourself to the list above if you actually plan to join, since the list below is hopelessly out of date and thus worthless.

Person Planning on coming? Planning on bringing anyone? Other comments
APR Somewhat likely No I have a flight in on Friday, and one mid-day on Sunday to return.
Crox Yes Possibly What about a meetup in the Swiss Alps? More comments below.
dawidi Yes likely Count me in for a point anywhere in the alps.
Ekorren Likely if not too far Unlikely Depends on location and accommodation possibilities. Central, Northern or Eastern Europe preferred (this does not include Italy)
Fasanen Considering it Not unlikely Berlin currently looks like the only realistic option for me.
Llavids Afraid not Unlikely Berlin only realistic option.
HiroProtagonist Maybe, if in Canada / NE of US Maybe I would love to, but can't afford to travel far. As I'll probably be around Toronto at 2010-05-21, (east) Canada and north-east of the US would be the only possibilities for me...
declanmar maybe, if in Midwest US Probably I would love to, but have this thing called school and they frown upon leaving unannounced, but nearby would be cool.
Jevanyn Likely, if in Northeast US Yes I'd suggest the Newark, New Jersey graticule, but it's a backyard, a farm, or some other private property 95% of the time. Would also like to meet other geohashers, which is strikingly unlikely in NJ.
On a lighter note, I will gladly telephone the expeditionary group (in Berlin, apparently) from the Newark geohash.
Koepfel Probably Maybe
lyx Yes (if in Europe) Could be Would love to meet you!
Mampfred Very likely if in Europe Yes Date is marked and free, that's a good start
Meghan Probably not (unless it's in Edmonton) Unlikely Unless anyone wants to pitch in for airfare for myself and a wee one, I doubt I will make it :)
mtu Very likely if in Europe Unlikely Will most probably come by train.
myka Yes (to europe) probably not after all No Since I'm in the area anyway...
NeThuS not very likely No I already have plans for that day, but if they get cancelled, and if in Europe I'm willing to try.
Phyzome Maybe No If air travel required, depends on TSA procedures at the time. Willing to travel out-of-country. Also, must be after May or June of 2011.
relet Yes Yes If it happens near, I shall be able invite people. If not, I shall have room in a car or train or some such. :)
Rincewind Yes, if I can make it My gf, if (her) time allows it Only one of the German locations, if they survive planning stage.
thepiguy Unlikely Unlikely If anyone know a good way for me to make a lot of money in a very short time, I'm open to suggestions!
Vswe Probably not - I would love to though.
Phoenix Likely Rather Unlikely quite likely if the graticule happens to be a European one.
Benjw Yes I hope so Hope my wife will come too. Sadly, we can't spare the annual leave for trips to the Americas this year.
riskinhos very likely if in europe yes, at least 2 hopefully it will be somewhere in Europe
ClementB If not too far No If it's not too far from Geneva...
TheOneRing quite likely unlikely, but you never know... I'm looking foreward as long as it's somewhere in Central Europe.
Jim Maybe in North America Unlikely
The_T-Man very likely if in Germany unlikely will probably only be able to afford journey to locations in Germany / Central Europe
User:davidc Probably Maybe Not going to be able to fly outside Europe for it.
amuzulo Probably Only if in Berlin Will probably go if in Berlin or Ljubljana
DerFlob likely if in Germany No

General early discussion

This is the section for people to discuss about the timing, the merits of locations, and anything else related to this whole idea. We should keep the talk page clean for now, so that it is easier to move this page when that time comes. If this starts to become really large, we will move it to the talk page, but for now, discussing here should be fine.

I really want this to become a regular thing we do. Whether it be on geohashing day only, some other day of the year only, or even multiple times a year. I think it is a good way of keeping a geographically sparse community tight-knit. It could be bunches of fun, especially if we come up with some kind of tradition which we only do (or better yet, only CAN do) for this recurring meetup which gives us a story to talk about, and convince us to come time and again. The location should rotate to new parts of the world, and, once we get the tradition going, possibly even parts of the world near no currently active geohashers. --aperfectring 04:24, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

My reasoning behind waiting about 6 months to hold the first meetup:

  • Rather than picking an arbitrary (to geohashing) date to do this on, why not pick a holiday already recognized?
  • Gives people time to plan out vacation time, and travel, which should allow for more people to be able to attend.
  • Gives the people planning out the expedition time to make get things right, so that we have a good template for holding these things in the future.
  • Since the first one of these meetups is quite likely to be in the northern hemisphere (since that's where the majority of geohashers are), waiting until the springtime should provide better weather, and probably better attendance. --aperfectring 04:24, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Will give us plenty of time to set a location, and still have time for people to do outreach to get more people coming after the location is set. --aperfectring 21:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

What do you think? Are you in? Where would you like to see this happen? -- relet 16:17, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

What about advertizing this on the xkcd forums? This is "xkcd geohashing" after all. But we may want to wait until we have a better picture of what it will be. --Crox 20:13, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

That is a great idea! I would like to, however, have the general location set by the geohashing community first, and then, once we have that set, we advertise it to the world via as many means as we a denizens of an internets can think of. While this is meant as an outreach activity, it is primarily a geohashing activity. I really would like this to be something that the community wants to do, which is also a good way to get people interested in the activity as well. We should have plenty of time to get a location set, and still do outreach to get other people excited about the expedition. --aperfectring 21:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
As another thought, though, maybe we could get Randall involved in this process, and possibly even convince him to come to our extravaganza. That could be a good way to draw a bunch of people into it! Again, I like the way you are thinking Crox! --aperfectring 21:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Given that the event is going to be on Saturday, there should definitely be a jolly night out before and/or after the hashing! Before, the merits of the different reachable hashpoints could be discussed, and after, we can all rejoice at still being alive! --mtu 12:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I really love the idea, but I find it unlikely that we'll have many people travelling very far (especially across the Atlantic) for this. I know that you can often get flights within Europe for an affordable price (and I somehow assume its the same within North America although I don't know) but trans-atlantic flights would definitely be too expensive for quite a few people (e.g. me). That's why I thought of doing several meet-ups in different locations. Of course not in every graticule (we do THAT every day anyway), but more something like one European meet-up, one American meet-up, on Australian meet-up?, etc. but with a maximum of something like 3 or 4. Another idea was that at all these big meet-ups there is some activity so that they have somehow really got something to do with each other (might get into problems with the timezones?). What do you think about this? --HiroProtagonist 03:20, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I had really envisioned it as a way to bind the community as a whole together, rather than just trying to bind the communities on the individual continents together. However, it does seem that most people are not willing/able to travel across an ocean to do this. Therefore, I am DNO to this, but I would still like to encourage us to have a primary meetup, which should be the goal for everyone to attend, and then organize some secondary/regional ones for people who cannot travel as far. Flights across the US, while still nowhere near the cost of a trans-atlantic flight, can still be somewhat expensive. --aperfectring 03:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I would definitely want to travel to the one big meetup. Let's just decide on that location early (by end of January?) to make sure that we can still get cheap travel and have time to plan. -- relet 10:41, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I hereby support Hiro's idea. It's just impossible for me and many others to travel to another continent just for one day (assuming you only have the weekend for vacation). But I would so like to visit someplace in europe. --Hermann 11:11, 21 January 2011 (EST)

As part of the process to define what this event will be, I think we should decide on a "reference" city and timeframe. eg: the hashpoint will be chosen in a way that it can be reached leaving Bern, Switzerland at 11:00 and getting back there no later than 19:00. This would allow everyone to get a picture of what the "worst case" scenario would look like in terms of arranging travel, accomodation etc. In my opinion the reference place should be well connected to the rest of the world (particularly by public transportation), be close to potential epic hashes, while still ensuring that there will be at least one set of coordinates reachable within the defined constraints. (Indeed it's no coincidence that I put Bern as I think it may be a suitable candidate, but there are surely others.) What do you think? Should we also try to ensure that we can be at the hash at 16:00? --Crox 15:21, 10 January 2011 (EST)

I agree wholeheartedly. While I would definitely love it if we had an epic hashpoint, I think finding a place where we can likely have reachable coordinates is a must. I don't know the geography/transportation of Europe all that well, so I leave it up to you guys about the actual location we settle on. --aperfectring 15:51, 10 January 2011 (EST)
Here you can get an overview of the public transit coverage in Switzerland: [1] (and here is my attempt at adding graticule borders to it) --Crox 18:00, 10 January 2011 (EST)
On the talk page you suggest that we chose the hash at the last minute, on Saturday morning. I'd prefer that we decide on Friday: if for instance the chosen hashpoint lies 50 km North of our reference city, people who start even further North would have to travel 100 km more if they have to come to $city first. --Crox 14:15, 11 January 2011 (EST)

Do we need a mailing-list for this event? Give your opinion here. --Crox 03:23, 11 January 2011 (EST)

no, I would prefer to keep discussion on the wiki. My experience with mailing lists is that you end up with several quote-copies of outdated information in your inbox. --dawidi 04:07, 11 January 2011 (EST) Yeah, I am of the exact same opinion. Wiki, it is. --Zb 16:10, 19 January 2011 (EST)
maybe: if we want the ability to discuss topics in a closed group for instance, or if we expect a large number of messages on a large number of topics. --Crox 14:15, 11 January 2011 (EST)
maybe: As I think about it, though, I find fewer and fewer reasons to have one, though. --aperfectring 14:21, 11 January 2011 (EST)

Travel organization

Getting a lift

For people already in germany, it might be nice to share a ride to or from Berlin or maybe there are group train tickets that could be shared? Lets start this off with an offer from Mampfred and LadyBB. We'll be travelling to Berlin by car starting from Wiesbaden on friday afternoon (that's the plan so far anyway). Frankfurt am Main would also work if you can get there. Going back sunday afternoon. We'll have two free spots, first come first serve. - Mampfred 02:09, 2 May 2011 (EDT)

Cheap railway tickets: Book now!

For those who consider to buy a German Rail Sparpreis prebooked discount ticket: The minimum price for these tickets usually jumps from 29 EUR flat to >50% of the most expensive flexible "standard" fare ~14 days before departure. This time is over, but there are still a few other options. For further information about how to get there by train for a sensible price, you may ask me. If there is a way, I usually find it. --Ekorren 04:38, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

Accommodation offers?

Are there any offers of locals for an accomodation? The trip would probably be nicer (and also more affordable ;) ) if I wouldn't have to find (and pay for ;) ) a hostel. If there was a possibility to stay for a few nights somewhere this would certainly influence my decision to join (I'm currently still very undecided) --Ekorren 10:17, 4 May 2011 (EDT)