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Route Analysis

While the previous page included the stops made by each traveler, it does not do a perfect job of representing their trip because the Google Earth embeds give each stop equal weight. To understand how important the travelers themselves viewed each stop, as well as how readers would interpret the relative importance of each town or city, I set out to analyze the amount of space in their accounts each traveler gave each location.

The following map illustrates what percentage of the book was dedicated to each stop with proportional symbols. The distribution of text over space becomes immediately clear. Jesse was pretty consistent from the beginning of his journey to Moscow, with large portions for Moscow and St. Petersburg and relatively little in between those two. Stops seem to fall into four tiers for him. The first includes Moscow only, the second is inhabited only by St. Petersburg. Vashani, Nicolaieff, Elizavetgrad, and Kharkoff make up the third tier while the rest fall into the bottom tier.

For Stoddard, St. Petersburg and Moscow dominated his work as well, though he included very little on the other stops of his trip. Oliphant was more sporadic, though he did consistently write more than average about the Crimean towns that were the subject of immense interest during the Crimean War that would take place in the same time period.

 

I've included the same information as Google Fusion Tables below:

In addition to writing about what he saw in each town, Jesse was careful to document the quality of the towns' post-houses, almost exclusively labeling them bad, so-so, or good. Those labels are depicted in the following map, with red representing bad, white representing so-so, and green indicating good.

Noticeably, the biggest clumps of bad post-houses come around Krementchouk and south of Moscow. Jesse notes that the fee for post-houses dropped from 10 copecks per verst to 5 copecks per verst after Krementchouk, which might explain the depreciation in quality there. A high volume of travelers to Moscow from the south might explain the poor quality of posthouses in that area.

Now, let's focus on Jesse, Oliphant, and Stoddard's trips to Moscow. Then, read about the travelers' opinions on Russia.