This is one of my favorite lists--a mountain's prominence really indicates just how much it dominates the landscape. Plus, anyone looking to get additional information from the moutain's page can come here, nice job.
Thank you! Have you ever seen Aaron Maizlish's site? There's an excellent map of California's prominence peaks here: CA map
Great sites, thanks
is the word that came to my mind even before I saw your reply to SP member mpbro under "Additions & Corrections".
Very interesting list however, and a lot of work, but I just can't believe that Elbert is more prominent than Blanca or Pikes.
Out of curiosity, would you also say that it's unbelievable that Uncompahgre is more prominent than Sneffels?
Thanks for the vote!
Well, in my mind, Uncompahgre and Sneffels are both big "dramatic-looking" peaks, so it is hard for me to make that judgement but Sneffels is probably more prominent looking.
Okay, just curious :) Elbert's prominence is such a sore point for a lot of people, so I was trying to come up with another potential example of counterintuitive prominence. Maybe I can come up with a better one someday.
I don't know why other range highpoints don't catch as much flak as Elbert does. For example, I've never noticed anyone complain about Gannett Peak being more prominent than the Grand Teton.
It sounds like my thread with mbpro answered your questions, but let me know if you come up with any more!
An amazing amount of work went into this. Thanks so much, Ryan!
Thank you for the comment! Is there anything about the page that you think I should improve?
Ryan-I'm not fully versed (nor want to be) on the prominence phenomenon. As far as I'm concerned, you're the man to talk to when it comes to the subject and I'll come to you (or your page) with any questions I might have in the future. So I'm the last guy to talk to about improvements. From what I see, your work (as usual) is top notch anyway. SP's lucky to have you. Thanks again for your efforts.
You flatter me! I was only asking because I take your votes and comments seriously, and was wondering if there was anything missing that led you to vote 9/10.
Oops. I didn't realize I voted 9/10! Well, I fixed that.
No problem, thanks for the vote!
I'm working on the 2kP version of this page for Washington. It takes time to create the list, for sure. The only thing missing (but which might render your table too long) is a thumbnail image for each mountain akin to my WA Top 100 page. You can size the images to less than the 70px wide, 53px high that I use. Something that is manageable for table sizing but still viewable to glean something about the peak's visual characteristics.
It also might be worthwhile to provide assumptions and procedures for determining the prominences. I see you use real triangulated saddle elevations for some peaks. This is okay (but certainly not exacting). Are all of your other saddle elevations based on the clean rule (the first contour above the saddle taken as the value of the saddle)? One should be consistent and I'm sure you are (although the decision to use triangulated saddles when they exist does short change those peaks that can't make use of such triangulations; poor peaks; okay okay, I'm anthropomorphizing too much).
Aaron: prominence is not a phenomenon. It's a mathematical concept based on usable map contours and elevations. It's quite useful for comparing and ranking mountains and ranges. Elevation alone doesn't really do this because elevation as a comparing factor doesn't tell you how much the point/summit/peak in question stands out on its own.
Yeah, I've seen that Top 100 page of yours. Very impressive! I've thought about adding pictures, but you're right that it would make for a page of unmanageable length. Plus, I think we only have pictures of around half of these, which would make for an ugly table!
Thanks for the suggestion about the methodology used. I'll have to add something about that. Briefly, this list uses interpolation and precise saddle figures when they're available on the map. I'm not fond of clean prominence, because I believe that interpolation leads generally to greater ranking accuracy (I've seen a good mathematical argument for this contention on groups.yahoo.com/prominence).
Yeah, I know about Prominence. I was referring to it as a phenomenon as in a recent trend. I should have made myself clearer. Ryan's work is pretty exacting, which is a phenomenon in itself. The patience required to piece it all together and present it comprehensively on SP amazes me.
Prominence is a great way to judge a mountain, however I would not personally utilize this method. If a mountain looks good, I'm interested in it and would probably climb it under the right circumstances. It does not matter if it's 2,000 or 20,000 feet high. But I appreciate the efforts of you and Ryan and others that go further in providing other aspects by which to judge a mountain's character by.
Good luck on your project.
RE to Aaron:
What you're saying is true (the visual appeal of a mountain still reigns supreme for those who get their joy from seeing such things). But the nice thing about prominence that cannot be denied is that it is completely scientific and so does not benefit (or suffer) from aesthetics. And for this reason, I not only see its value but embrace it (to the point that I'll dive into any old dumpster of a peak now).
RE to Ryan:
My two problems with the use of supposed saddle triangulation values (and to which I am somewhat aware fo the prominence yahoo group's contentions):
1. Unless you go to the saddle in question and look at it with your own two eyes, how do you absolutely know that the mark on the map in question was indeed a measurement of the lowest point of that saddle? Maybe it was some thing (some object) just to the side (below or above). In the absense of a benchmark verifying the spot of said elevation being at the exact lowest point of the saddle, there is no real proof of anything here. Similar spot marks exist on summits and their associated ridges but, again, nothing is proven. There are many documented cases (here in WA, anyway), where a spot mark on the highest closed contour (or one of equal height nearby) has been verified to not be the highest point of the peak. In this regard, direct observation at the source point resolves the issue. Big Chiwaukum is a great example here. The summit is 8080+ with one spot elevation of 8081T in an 8080+ closed contour a little south of where the summit is. Is the summit 8081 or is it 8080+? The answer is the latter, with an approximation being 8100. But the value to use for ranking purposes should be 8080+ with a special note about the 8081 point provided in the margin notes.
2. The use of triangulated values for some saddles and clean-rule values for others sets up an inequity among peaks (sure they're only peaks but this is a scientific endeavor). If we can agree that a list generated with many different measuring criteria can be maleable (re-ordered, as it were) to reflect new data (or re-learned older data taken to possibly be more accurate), then one can make provisions for special cases. The nice thing about using one and only one measuring criteria is that it allows those who would make use of the data (the list) to be comforted in knowing there are no special favors being afforded some peaks and not others. The one measuring criteria that would be infallible because it exists at every saddle is the clean-rule method (first contour above the saddle). Note that by saying clean rule I could just as easily be saying dirty rule (first contour below the saddle) or an average of the above and below contours. The important point here is that only one method is being used.
That's just the way I see the prominence calculations world. Others see it differently and not one of us can expect a Nobel Peace Prize or Fields Medal for our efforts, so who cares, right? :-)
I figure if we accept most of the printed summit elevations, there's no reason not to accept printed saddle elevations. As you pointed out, many summit elevations and/or locations turn out to be inaccurate in the field.
To be truly consistent, all values -- both summits and saddles -- would need to be interpolated, right?
Thanks for making this great list available to us!