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Measuring Internet Access

One measure of the success of the Armagh web-site is the annual number of distinct e-Visitors (DeVs), in fact the number of distinct hosts served by the Observatory's web-site. This is a lower limit to the number of e-Visitors, owing to caching by big servers and sharing or repeat visits from the same IP number. A second measure of success is the number of `hits', defined as the number of successful page requests. This is typically 5-20 times greater than the DeV statistic, but depends not just on a user accessing a web-page but the way in which the web-page has been configured, for example whether as a single file or to include graphics and other links as well. A third, and arguably the most useful measure of the `value' of a web-site, is the amount of data transferred from the site, or `exported', to external users. A single page request or distinct e-Visit simply demonstrates that someone looked at the Observatory web-site, but does not indicate how long they stayed or what they thought of the information provided. However, the amount of data exported provides an indication of the value of the web-site as a source of information.

For the Observatory's three principal web-sites (star, climate and arpc65), the detailed breakdown of these figures for 2004 is shown in Table 3 (see The recent trend in the adopted number of distinct e-Visitors is shown in Table 4.

Table: Breakdown of Observatory web-site statistics for 2004. For star and arpc65 the busiest month was June, with the 8 June 2004 (the Transit of Venus) being by far the busiest day.
Server DeVs Hits Data Exported
star: 305,000 6.9 million 826GB
climate: 21,000 0.9 million 19GB
arpc65: 55,000 1.6 million 75GB
Total: 381,000 9.4 million 920GB

Table 4: The number of distinct e-Visitors (DeVs) to the Armagh Observatory web-site. Note that the 2002 figure for arpc65 represents only 6-months data, while that for star in 2003 corresponds to just 7-months data. Rough corrections have been applied in estimating the revised baseline figures for 2001-2003. The two results for 2004 represent the results of analyzing web-traffic using two different programs. In future years only the method used to obtain the lower figure will be used.

Year Number of Distinct e-Visitors (DeVs) Total
1998 80,000 -- -- 80,000
1999 134,000 -- -- 134,000
2000 174,000 -- -- 174,000
Average 129,000 -- -- 129,000
2001 317,000 1,000   318,000
2002 322,000 5,000 27,000 354,000
2003 190,000 49,000 96,000 335,000
New Average 321,000 18,000 75,000 390,000
2004 512,000 170,000 89,000 771,000
2004 305,000 21,000 55,000 381,000
2004 Average 408,000 96,000 72,000 576,000

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Next: Media Coverage Up: Widening Access Previous: Web-Site Content and Internet   Contents