For the last year-and-a-bit, Liz and I have been running OpenBenches.org. An open data website dedicated to memorial benches.
Here are some rough and ready numbers about how it has gone so far.
At the time of writing, we’re a little shy of 10,000 benches. As you can see, we have photos from all around the world.
9,000 UK Benches
The majority of our benches are in the UK. Memorial benches seems like a peculiarly Anglosphere habit. I’ve spoken to people from all sorts of different countries, and they really are rare outside the English-speaking world.
110 Registered Users
That’s over a hundred people signing in with Twitter. We’ve recently added Auth0 support, so people can sign in with Facebook and GitHub.
We also added a leaderboard so that our mate Jenny could see how many photos she added in Edinburgh.
We still have lots of anonymous users.
Most benches have two photos – one of the inscription, and then another of either the whole bench or a view from the bench.
We also have panoramic shots like this:
66GB of Photos
All that media is pretty weighty. Modern camera phones take high-res photos, and a typical shot is around 4MB.
At the moment, our hosting provider is holding up. Huge shout out to Krystal Hosting – use discount code
EDENT for £5 off.
I am looking at using Cloudinary to speed up resizing and delivery. But at close to $100 a month, that’s too much for a small hobby project.
Hundreds of Moo Cards
Get 25% off your first Moo Card order!
261 Commits, and 8 GitHub contributors
The whole site is open source on GitHub – and it has been lovely using the issues tab to discuss where the site should go next.
Lots of Fun
But, most importantly, it has been a lot of fun. It’s wonderful seeing people from around the planet contributing. Thank you to everyone who has submitted a bench, shared our links, or generally been supportive of this daft little endeavour.
Here are some of the benches which made us smile:
And, finally, Liz and her mum in New Zealand – sat on the bench dedicated to Liz’s grandparents.