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Website Statistics

Sommers-Bausch Observatory

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We're sorry that we've been unable to keep track of and publish the statistics for the SBO website since the year 2004. The price of success is that we're now to busy to see how busy we are!

Activity Summary

November 2004 TOTAL TO DATE*

Number of SBO Visitors ** 22,042 521,515
SBO Website Visits ** 33,084 791,120

Homepage Accesses 1,433 96,325
Hits (Transferred Files) 797,300 10,181,000
Megabytes Downloaded 11,097 126,558

SBO Image Gallery Downloads 1,170 56,742
Hubble Image Gallery Downloads 12,838 219,878

** See definitions below
* Recordkeeping began January 1996

Visits and Visitor History

Visits and Visitors to the SBO

Ideally, we'd like to know just how many actual human beings check out the website, and how often they return ... regardless of what computer they're using, how they are connected to the internet, or how much surfing they did. But stats only keep tabs on computer internet addresses, not the people typing on the keyboard or looking at the monitor, so we've had to come up with an approximate method for deducing how many people visit us, and how often.

One visit is counted whenever there is one or more requests for one or multiple SBO website files coming from a unique internet machine address in a single calendar day. The visitor count is the number of uniquely different computer internet addresses that are logged over an entire calendar month.

For instance, if the month's access_log shows that ursamajor.colorado.edu downloaded a whole bunch of files one morning, and then came back that same afternoon and downloaded a whole bunch more, the activity would be logged as "1 visit" (since all accesses were made on the same day) by "1 visitor" (the computer ursamajor.colorado.edu). On the other hand, if the second round had been made the following day, the monthly record would show 2 visits (accesses on two diffent days) by 1 visitor (both came from the same computer address).

The accounting system isn't perfect (move over, Enron!) in that it can both overestimate and underestimate actual human connectivity - but in the end, it all pretty much evens out. For example, the stats will count one visit as two if an individual surfs our pages through the midnight hour. But it will count two individuals as one if they use the same ethernet-linked machine. Or it will count one human as two separate visitors if that person accesses the site from different machines, or receives different dynamically-assigned addresses by their internet service provider (ISP) from one visit to the next. And dynamic addresses are reassigned over and over, so it's possible that different customers of the same ISP can appear as only one person. Finally, each month several hundred of our very own astronomy students access the SBO website from workstations on our lab computer cosmos.colorado.edu; all of these students collectively are counted as only a single visitor (i.e., cosmos) with multiple visits, one for each school day that someone logs in.

In November 2004 we had our half-millionth visitor to the SBO website. And in a few more months we expect to have recorded our millionth visit.

Hot Topics

Here we count up the number of different visitors who have accessed one or more pieces of information within each of the major topic groups of the SBO website during the past month.

Graphic: Topics Accessed

Where Do You All Come From?

From month to month, we find that we receive very repeatable percentages of visitors from within the University of Colorado, from other universities and colleges (EDU), from the K-12 school systems (.US), from all other sectors of the United States (.COMs, .NETs, .GOV, etc.), and also from the rest of the world.

Graphic: Visitor Pie-Chart, Cumulative
        & Monthly Summary

If you'd like to know the specific details about the different domains from whence our visitors come, here is our

Visitor Domain Name Summary

as of the end of November 2004. Our latest tally shows that we've had nearly 82 thousand visitors from 146 different countries (well, make that 147, counting the United States)!

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