Finding the meaning in the colour of the places I've been

4th June 2009 – 8.05 pm

Kirith Kodachi's Places I've Been meme has been picked up by many people, giving an insight in to how capsuleers move around New Eden. Unfortunately, also picked up by many players is the idea that the colour of the dots on the galaxy map represents the frequency of visits, claiming that the further away from yellow and towards the red a dot is coloured the greater number of times the system has been visited. Rather than take this at face value for my own Places I've Been in EVE Online screen grab I take time to verify this claim, and find it to be false.

I have both red and yellow dots on my map that have been visited once, as well as red and yellow dots that have been visited many times. However, in looking more closely I find that the size of the dot indicates the number of visits to that system, the larger the dot the more the system has been entered. This is true of both yellow and red dots, and the various gradients in-between. I reply with a comment on Kirith's original post pointing out that the colour of the dot has no bearing on the number of visits, but it appears to have been missed by many people as posts continue to propagate the initial incorrect assumption.

Apart from my frustration, coupled with a sprinkling of fascination, at seeing how erroneous information spreads, my only problem is working out what the yellow-to-red colour actually represents. Spending some time in my galaxy map and investigating the systems I have been to, helped out by corporation friend Kename Fin, I initially only come away with negative conclusions. The colour of the dots does not represent system security status, with yellow and red dots present both in high- and low-sec systems; the date of the last visit, with yellow and red dots both having last visited dates from last year as well as a week ago; agents in the system who you can work with; actual colour of the system's star; faction space; number of celestial objects in the system; or anything else we can collectively think of.

Then I notice in Kirith's initial thread a comment suggesting that perhaps the colour of the dot represents involvement in hostile action within that system, the redder the dot the more combat you have engaged in. Back to the galaxy map for me and I take a look, as it certainly is a reasonable idea and one I hadn't thought about. I find a handful of systems that I have visited recently and roughly the same number of times overall that are coloured both red and yellow, but unfortunately I also know I know I have not engaged in combat in any of them, as I simply pass through them on my way to the corporation's POS in Amarr space. Even with systems so close together and sharing similar visitation information I cannot discern why there should be a difference in colour.

I can state with confidence that the size of the dot on the map directly relates to the number of visits to that system, just as I can state with confidence that I have no idea what the yellow-to-red colouring of the system represents. I remain quite interested to find out what the colour means, but without further ideas I am stumped.

  1. 3 Responses to “Finding the meaning in the colour of the places I've been”

  2. I saw your comment and realized you were right, but like you I could not fathom what the colours mean instead. Truly baffling.

    The only thing that I can think of is that the colour represents the max population of the system over all your visits: yellow means empty or near so, orange a few people, and red a lot of people.

    Purely a guess based on my own map and its vague recollections.

    By Kirith Kodachi on Jun 4, 2009

  3. Hmm, that's possible. Jita certainly appears as the dullest red, as do other high-population areas. As you suggest, it's difficult to verify, though.

    By pjharvey on Jun 5, 2009

  4. Also got to wondering if had something to do with being targeted in a given system. It's just another shot in the dark.

    By Kename Fin on Jun 5, 2009

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