An organization that assigns star ratings to breathtaking views of the world
Image credit: Maxima
Darko SavicJun 21, 2022
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Create an organization that assigns and maintains star ratings for breathtaking views of the world. Consider it the foundation for new features, such as browsing the map by quality of viewpoint.
People love breathtaking views. Having a credible rating system for breathtaking scenery would give rise to new useful tools. For example:
In search of the next hidden gem, people would gradually build a world database of amazing views.
Enable people to browse the map by the quality of viewpoints.
Create new tourist hotspots near places that overlook amazing scenery but are presently only known to locals.
How it works
Similarly to how a handful of organizations assign star ratings to hotels, or how Michelin assigns star ratings to restaurants, the idea is to establish an organization that assigns star ratings to viewpoints.
It has to be taken into account that a viewpoint's rating may change with the seasons and weather conditions.
The rating system
It probably wouldn't be a good idea to use democracy to to maintain the rating system because people in more densely populated areas could easily assign their local viewpoints the most stars.
The above-mentioned Michelin goes to great lengths at keeping their ratings credible. It maintains anonymity of its inspectors. Many of the company's top executives have never met an inspector; inspectors themselves are advised not to disclose their line of work, even to their parents (who might be tempted to boast about it); and, in all the years that it has been putting out the guide, Michelin has refused to allow its inspectors to speak to journalists. The inspectors write reports that are distilled, in annual "stars meetings" at the guide's various national offices, into the ranking of three stars, two stars, or one star—or no stars. (Establishments that Michelin deems unworthy of a visit are not included in the guide.)
Questions to think about
How could the organization keep the viewpoint rating system unbiased and fair?
What would be the parameters that the universal ratings should be based on?
Colapinta, John. "Lunch with M – Undercover with a Michelin inspector" Archived 19 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine, The New Yorker, 23 November 2009 https://web.archive.org/web/20140219032145/http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/11/23/091123fa_fact_colapinto#ixzz29X2IhNIo
As somebody who loves traveling and experiencing new places, I must say that I am in love with your idea. That being said, here are my thoughts on how to solve the challenges you raised.
O how organizations will keep the ratings unbiased and fair, I think the following will work:
Ensure reviewers are from a different country and, if possible, continent from the site they are reviewing.
Keep a file on each reviewer’s biases and ensure they do not have one against the people or country where the site is situated.
On the parameters for the universal rating, I think the following works. Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list, simply factors that I think are important and should be part:
The location’s weather – is it comfortable and conducive to the site’s experience. Will it enhance or detract from it?
The local population – are they friendly, hostile, or discriminating?
The local amenities – is there comfortable accommodation, easily accessible water supply, and constant power supply? Is the cuisine palatable to strangers, and if not, are there palatable alternatives?
I will update the list when I come up with something new, but I believe the above are good places to start.
Please leave the feedback on this idea
Differentiate this from other lists
Spook LouwJul 05, 2022
I love the idea.
There are, of course, thousands of lists claiming to rank the best views in the world available online already, just like there are thousands of restaurant critics around the world. So for this to work, it would need to stand out from a normal review, much like the Michelin group does.
To achieve that, I think there are three important factors:
The rating needs to be credible and elite, in other words, the system would be useless if every town had 10 five-star views. To receive the highest rating, it would really need to be an exceptional spot.
The rating needs to be structured. In order to be repeatable and fair, we would need to come up with an intricate rubric for judging a view.
The entire process needs to be a spectacle. In order to create a reputation and make the rating something to be coveted, assigning the highest possible rating to a view needs to be a special occassion, a plaque indicating the rating needs to be put up, it could even be accompanied with a set amount being donated to the local tourism industry.
As for the parameters you mentioned, these will obviously completely determine the nature of the "list". If, for example, views need to be accessible to the public for free, a high rating would benefit the community but it might be difficult to decide who is responsible for maintaining the spot or the spot might be spoiled by people trying to capitalize off of its newfound popularity.
If, however, the views are on estates, lodges, gamefarms or hotels, the respective businesses would be incentivized to maintain or even improve on their "views" to generate more business, but this might make the rating system less inclusive, therefor less complete awhich would mean that it loses some of its value.
Or if views are required to be 100% natural, it would be authentic and fair, but less tourist friendly, whereas if there were no restriction on the amount of man-made influence on a view, the best views belong to whoever has the biggest budget to create it, and naturally beautiful areas may be blemished by opportunistic developers.