Insanely nerdy content ahead: best place to live - to ride

Saturday, May 27, 2006 11:15 AM
Ok, so I have a really really boring job, at least for the summer. As a result I daydream alot, and kinda stumbled on the idea for something of a project.

What if there was a system, using coaster polls, and maps, to determine not where the best parks to ride coasters are (the polls do a good job of that on their own) but in theory, the best place TO LIVE to ride coasters. Ok, so this is a little abstract right now but hear me out.

Step 1: Choose the right poll

It's Mitch's. A lot of this I would leave up to debate but for our purposes, everybody agrees that maybe this isn't a perfect poll, but its pretty damn close to the best representation of what we as enthusiasts like and don't like. So that's it.

Step 2: Choose a geographical area

I'd go with the North America to start, just for simplicity's sake. You could do this just as eaisly with just Europe or the entire globe or anything like that, but for our purposes, I'm thinking just North America will be fine for now.

Step 3: Asign parameters

The way I invision this is each high ranking coaster will be assigned a point value. Again for simplicity's sake, we could start with the top 100 US/Canadian/Mexican wooden coasters. Hence, Thunderhead would get 100 points, Boulderdash would get 99, Tremors would get 98, Phoenix would get 97 etc (the exact numbers we could change later, part of the point of this thread.)

The points would then be assigned areas on the map. Thunderhead would get a circle 100 miles in diameter (or radius, or whatever, again, the exact miles to points ratio would be determined by us), and then Boulderdash would get a slightly smaller circle, Tremors slightly smaller than that, and so on.

The result would be a map with circles indicating the top 100 wooden coasters, and the better the coaster, the larger the circle. Obviously the most interesting part of the map would be where the circles overlap, like a Ven diagram of sorts.

So here's the thing that we would have to figure out. First, exactly how big should our circles be? The whole point of this excersise would be to see where the circles overlap, so we'd have to figure out exactly how big Thunderhead's circle should be. The next consideration is how fast the circles should decrease in size.

One way to do it would be to give #1 - 9 the same size circle, and then #10 - 19 the same size, and so on, basically creating groups of circles. The other way would be like I said before, #1 could get 100 miles (or 200, or 300, or whatever) and then #2 could get slightly less (but how much less?) and so on. The goal being to have a map with a good amount of overlap but obviously, without TOO much, either. In other words, this won't be much use if the circles are so small, the wooden coasters in Ohio don't overlap at least somewhat (or in PA, or IN, or KY, etc.)

I'm not exactly photoshop savvy here or anything but I'd imagine all of this would be pretty time consuming but not especially difficult and we could even start with the top 10 or 20 coasters just as a test run to see how it goes.

I dunno, maybe I'm the only person here who would think this would be fun/interesting. I'm something of a geography nerd so this would bring together 2 of my great loves if anyone wanted to participate.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:16 PM
If i had to pick a place to live, based on great coaster proximity, I'd say middle Ohio off I-71 (somewhere between mansfield and columbus).
about 90 mins from CP, PKI and maybe two hours from KW.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:22 PM
Wow! That is geeky.

Just geeky enough to intrigue me. :)

What you're proposing is incredibly easy to do in Microsoft Streets & Trips. I was able to plot the top 10 woodies on Mitch's poll with a 250 mile radius in just a few moments.

Here's that map.

The only bit of weirdness is that Hades and Avalanche are both top 10 and have essentially the same circle - so I made it twice as thick to represent that.

Interestingly, the only area where 4 of the top ten overlap with the 250 mile radius is a football-ish shaped area defined as:

Gary, Indiana in the north. Monticello, Indiana (IB!) to the south. Peoria, Illinois to the west. South Bend, Indiana to the east.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:44 PM
Here's the top steel coasters map.

Again, two coasters shared a circle (Montu & Sheikra) so I doubled the thickness of that circle.

The hot spot here is an area in PA defined as:

The north Philly suburbs in the SE. Just shy of Harrisburg in the SW. Right around Sunbury, PA in the NW and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area in the NE.

People in that area are 250 miles or less from 6 of the top 10 American Steel coasters.

*** Edited 5/27/2006 4:45:52 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Saturday, May 27, 2006 1:07 PM
Sheikra is considered a top steel coaster?
Saturday, May 27, 2006 1:23 PM
Sheikra was #10 worldwide in the 2005 poll and if just counting American coasters it came in at #6.

Steel results.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:04 PM
Pittsburgh would be good. KW is right there with GL and CP plus a number of smaller parks reachable without an overnight stay.

Within a day's drive you can get to most of the top parks in the Northeast and many of the leading parks in the Midwest and South. These include HP, DP, KB, SFGA, Rye Playland, Coney Island (NY), Moreys, SFA, PKD, BGE (BGW), PKI, SFDL, and PCW. The outer limits of such a radius bring you to parks such as SFGAm, IB, SFKK, HW, LC, and PCar.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:09 PM
This seems like the desperate ramblings of a group of people wishing they were in Santa Claus, IN this weekend. We all know THAT'S the best place to live and ride (3 top 20 woodies, 2 hours to Beech Bend, 3 hours to SFSTl, 4 hours to Indiana Beach , 5 hours to Visionland and Dollywood...)
Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:34 PM
Arizona is the worst place to live!!!
Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:40 PM
What about Alaska or Hawaii? No parks at all anywhere close.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:45 PM
Yes, it's nice to live an equal distance from a lot of parks, but I also don't want to be in a situation where my closest park is 90 minutes away. I'd sacrafice an extra hour to 3 other theme parks if it meant I could be an hour closer to one.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:54 PM
Washington DC isnt bad either

15 min from SFA
1.5 hours from PKD
2 hours to BGE
2 hours from Hershey
3.5 hours from SFGAdv
3.5 hours from Dorney

Saturday, May 27, 2006 3:13 PM
Winter sucks. You don't want to live in Ohio just for coasters.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 3:39 PM
Well ok I guess I should have made this a bit clearer in my intent, my aim in all of this wasn't to really definatively decide *exactly* where the best place to live to ride coasters is. I agree with SFoGswim, there are other things to consider, such as how close the nearest park is, as well.

The reason I thought this was all interesting was just the idea or notion that you could systematically define where the numbers would say the best place to live would be. Which Gonch has illustrated beautifully, thanks dude, that's 100% awsome and I never expected to take my idea and be able to produce something so quickly.

Here's another idea. We're making generalizations here, but this could easily be personalized as well. Why not use your own top 10 or 20? I don't rank coasters myself but I think it would be fun to see if I lived anywhere close to where I should be if coasters were my only consideration. Funny enough, 4 years ago I moved to central CT from central KY, but based on some of these maps, being in central KY wasn't such a bad place for a coaster lover after all!

These maps could also up some fun if we considered different years. Obviously, there are areas (like around Holiday World) that just 10 years ago would not have been kicking as much butt as they are today. I wouldn't really request anybody do this but you could even making an animation showing the top 10 wooden coasters over the years and see how the circles shift, grow, appear and dissapear.

Hey Gonch, the maps you made are 100% awsome, is there any way to highlight or outline those "sweet spots" you found? The white circles make it a little weird to see the boundries in general.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 4:10 PM

matt. said:
s there any way to highlight or outline those "sweet spots" you found? The white circles make it a little weird to see the boundries in general.

Here, I filled each of the circles with grey, and the more circles that overlap, the darker the color gets. Hope this is easier to read (and I hope that it's OK, Gonch, I did this)


Saturday, May 27, 2006 4:27 PM
The sheer concentration right there in PA and surrounding states is just insane. Very cool.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 7:33 PM
Harrisburg is the best small city for amusement parks. HP is right there, KB is about an hour away, and DP, SFGA and SFA can each be easily made on a day trip. Also KW and PKD can be reached by traveling a bit more. In addition, there are some smaller parks within a reasonable distance.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 9:02 PM
I live in DuBois PA(central PA)and this is a great spot for easy travel to amusment parks. CP
DP HP KW SFDL SFGADV GL Knoebles Ect. (,,,,,,,) are just some big parks not to mention the small parks that are not to far away. I love it here.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 9:31 PM
I'm just south of Baltimore, and it's also a good place to live for parks (times are approx.):
  • SFA -- 40 min.
  • Hersheypark -- 2 hrs
  • Dutch Wonderland -- 2-2.5 hrs
  • PKD -- 2-2.5 hrs
  • SFGAdv -- 2.5-3 hrs
  • Dorney Park -- 3 hrs
  • Knoebels -- 3-3.5 hrs
  • Lakemont & Del Grosso's -- 3-3.5 hrs
  • BGE -- 3.5 hrs
  • Morey's Piers -- 3.5-4 hrs

Each of these could be done as a day trip, though some require more driving than others (of course).

Sunday, May 28, 2006 12:02 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

The hot spot here is an area in PA defined as:

The north Philly suburbs in the SE. Just shy of Harrisburg in the SW. Right around Sunbury, PA in the NW and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area in the NE.

People in that area are 250 miles or less from 6 of the top 10 American Steel coasters.

*** Edited 5/27/2006 4:45:52 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Which puts my house close to the epicenter. :)


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