Quantitative Methods

I’m not sure why I named this post after the dreaded statistics class that all Psych majors at my college had to take, but it’s as good a name as any for my post about numbers.

In addition to drawing on the map when I return home from a walk, I update my super amazing spreadsheet. Here is a sample:

I imported a list of Cambridge street names into a Google sheet then sorted it into the city’s five zip codes. A guide to the colors:

  • Green indicates a street that is finished
  • Yellow indicates a street that is partially finished
  • White indicates a street that has not been started
  • Red indicates a street that was on the list but doesn’t exist
  • Orange indicates a street that needs investigation (likely doesn’t exist)
  • Black: visible for a limited time only. There was one day that got away from me, and I set out for an evening walk later than planned. It got dark. The point of this is to see Cambridge, and I realized that those streets’ architecture and gardens (and potentially pets) were lost on me. I classified those streets as black and mapped them with a dotted line, planning to return in the daylight.

A guide to the numbers:

  • I assign half a point to a street I have begun
  • I assign one point to a street I have finished
  • So, my completion percentages are based on the sum of streets started/finished out of each zip code’s total street count

Of course, it’s not a perfect system. Ideally streets would be weighted, since at the moment four-mile Massachusetts Avenue gets the same point value as Norfolk Court which is approximately 2 inches long. But it’s a nice way to measure progress!

Another flaw in the system is that streets that span multiple zip codes show up multiple times. I suppose that does counteract the above problem, since Mass Ave actually is eligible for three points, but there are also much smaller streets that cross those borders.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the idea to add the dates until about a month in, so that data point is unattainable, unfortunately. Can’t wait to see that green sweep!


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