Proudly Celebrating One Year of Basement-based Geography

This week marks the one-year anniversary of The Basement Geographer (frankly, I’m as shocked as you are). When I started this site, it was almost more of a keep-myself-busy-during-late-evenings project that something I thought was going to stick around. I really thought that I was just writing for myself and a couple of friends, and if you had told me that I’d still be cranking out four articles a week, or that I’d have six digits’ worth of visitors in my first year, I’d have thought you were crazy. And yet here I am, and that’s all because of you and your patronage, and I can’t thank you enough.

This post today is the 243rd I’ve made on this site, covering topics in 125 different sovereign states and dependent territories (crazy). As I mentioned in the New Year’s post, when I write these things, I really have no idea which posts are going to be popular and which ones aren’t. I’m surprised to see how fast some posts take off or how posts that were months old suddenly explode. And there are those posts that always seem to keep coming up near the top of my Google Analytics page. Let’s see what the most visited posts of the first year of The Basement Geographer are (unique visit rank in brackets):

1 (5). Dracaena cinnabari: The Socotra Dragon Tree

2 (1). Varosha, Forever Trapped in 1974

3 (2). Flooding the Qattara Depression

4 (3). Kolmanskop

5 (6). Lake Vostok: How One of the Largest Lakes on Earth Exists Under Ice

6 (12). Road of Bones: The Kolyma Highway

7 (4). The Guano Islands Act

8 (13). The Caprivi Strip and the Curse of the Scramble for Africa

9 (10). Coober Pedy: The Opal Underground

10 (11). The Dymaxion Map Projection of Buckminster Fuller

11 (7). The Trans Labrador Highway: Not for Amateurs

12 (9). Reclaimed Land in Singapore: Nation-Building in the Most Literal Sense

13 (8). Professional Wrestling Territories of North America

14 (14).There Are Seven Continents. Or Six. Or Five. Or Four. Or Eight. (Oh, Never Mind.)

15 (15).Rural Aging in Japan and Population Implosion

One interesting statistic that jumps out at me is that the dragon tree article is miles ahead in total pageviews but only fifth in unique views. Evidently there must be a few monocot fetishists out there who keep coming back to visit. The staying power of the Varosha article, one of the first ones I wrote, has been rather remarkable, and I suspect it will be number one on both charts by the time I come back to this at the end of 2011 followed by the Qattara Depression article. As for other older articles that seem to be making a comeback, the post about the fabled AVUS racing circuit in Berlin has begun climbing the charts over the past couple months. I’m very intrigued to see how the stats shape up by the end of the year.

Here’s a sample of some articles from 2011 specifically that are worth a look if you haven’t read them yet:

The Nordic Cross: From Scandinavia to Tonga

The Allure of Sable Island

The Congo Pedicle

The Phantom Island of Hy-Brasil (The Brazil That Wasn’t)

Mayotte: Department 101

The Failure of Fordlândia

Vintage Road Map Week: Part I, Part II, Part III

Don’t Go to North Sentinel Island.

Meet Juba, the World’s Newest National Capital

The Sad Saga of Equatorial Guinea

One of the coolest things about starting this site was that it led to me also writing for the great Google Sightseeing, which has been a total blast. With both sites, it’s not about coming up with topics to write on; it’s about trying to figure out where to start! My to-do list for both sites is rather massive, and there are lots of topics in the queue that I’ve wanted to get to for a while but just haven’t had the time to start. Between the two sites, I’m typically writing five or six articles a week, and I know that at some point in the future there will be a time where I won’t be able to keep this pace up. For now, however, I’m making the same pledge I did at New Year’s: two articles every Monday and Thursday as usual. Thanks again sincerely for visiting. Even if every article isn’t your cup of tea, hopefully you’ve found at least some that are to your liking.And don’t forget to visit the links on the side of the page if you don’t already; there are plenty of fantastic geo-related websites out there to be explored!

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