phi (totient) wrote,

what was this?

I haven't done a what's this for a while because too many of the good ones were in Wikimapia (often backed up by Wikipedia research) and you could just look them up.

But Wikipedia isn't real research. It's a consensus of what got published, and if the consensus is wrong Wikipedia presents it as fact anyway. For instance Wikipedia says that Somerville, MA has "the second highest number of artists per capita in America". They're recapitulating countless cites everywhere in the press and even on the City of Somerville's website. But it's a lie -- I know because the wording comes straight from an SOS press release. There is actual research based on census data and we're not even in the top ten (we do have the second-biggest Open Studios weekend in the world, though, after Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis).

Locations of things are harder to get wrong, but Wikipedia still does it, especially for historical things where someone did some sloppy research and decided on a bogus location and the press picked it up.

So that said:

What was this?

Answer in the comments.

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