Uninformed Comment

OSGrid coordinates revisited

Posted in Mathematics, OpenSim, Psychology and perception, Uncategorized by uninformedcomment on November 4, 2010

<< from “Pick a number, any number”

In June last year (2009), I wrote about the human tendency, when picking a pair of random numbers, to pick two in a very similar range. If you’ve not read that post, you might want to click the link above to get the background.

Anyway, I repeated the exercise today (4th November 2010) to see if human nature had changed. It hadn’t. And here are the graphs to prove it.

Last June, there were 1,822 regions on OSGrid; at the time of writing, the number is 7,212. That’s nearly four times as many regions, which is an admirable growth of interest in OpenSim – congratulations to the developers, admins etc of both OpenSim and OSGrid.

Anyway, the revised graphs showing the region coordinates:


Click to enlarge

Not shown are regions whose X or Y coordinates exceed 65,536; there are a handful with huge values which add nothing to our picture. If we now exclude regions whose X or Y coordinates exceed 20,000 – effectively, zoom in to the bottom left so our extent is that indicated by the red line, we see this:


Click to enlarge

That’s a pretty strong “X~=Y” correlation. Also, notice how disproportionately many dots that do not correlate in that way fall on or near the x10,000 grid lines – humans like round numbers, for obvious reasons. Incidentally, the clustering at <10000, 10000> is due to the presence there of the OSGrid official regions (the “Plazas”), and people’s wish sometimes to live close to where the action is. And that’s especially so in the light of the venerable bug which breaks teleports of more than a small distance (4,000 regions or something).

I’ll reiterate: pointing out the correlation is not criticism of the people who chose those coordinates. After all, there’s no reason at all why X and Y shouldn’t be similar if you’re not looking for isolation, or if you’re careful to pick a free space. Instead, this is merely observation of a phenomenon.

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