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An Analysis Of Worldwide Catalog Data, 2018/2019 Version

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Posted 04/30/2020   09:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add PostmasterGS to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Back in January 2017, I posted here about a project I had just completed that allowed you to compare the relative cost of collecting various countries.

I recently updated the tables to reflect 2018/2019 Michel catalog data.

In addition, I added a couple new features.

First, I added the ability to filter by date range. The dates used are those that Michel assigns to the set, not the individual stamps.

Second, I changed the IA filter to a multi-select box. This allows you to select multiple areas for comparison.

Note: The multi-select box can take a few seconds to load due to the number of entries, so be patient!

An overview of the project, its methodology, and its limitations can be found here.

A few items to highlight, however:
  • Michel doesn't update its Worldwide catalogs on an annual basis. Rather, they're generally done on a rolling 2- to 3-year schedule, with certain areas (particularly in Europe) updated more frequently. Because of this, despite the data being pulled from the 2018/2019 version of the electronic catalog, some areas are only current through 2017, while others are current through mid-2019.

  • With the 2018/2019 update, the Germany data is from Michel's basic, non-specialized Germany catalog. It is, however, still far more specialized than other areas, so use caution with comparing non-German areas to German ones.

Finally, this will be the last update to this data, as Michel has discontinued the electronic catalog that I used to assemble the data.

Feel free to give it a try. Let me know if you have any questions, feedback, or corrections.
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Presenting the Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945

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2478 Posts
Posted 11/10/2020   06:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well this is embarrassing...

I was checking the traffic to my website, and I saw that I had been linked a while back by Bob Skinner at Filling Spaces. He had posted back in May about the update mentioned above.

On his post, a commenter had opined that the numbers appeared low for classic-era (1840-1940) stamps. So, I went back to the source data and sure enough, there was a major omission in the data.

The original source data was stored in about 500 different database files, and I wrote some code to import these hundreds of individual databases into a master database, then compile all the data into one massive table/spreadsheet. Somehow, when the import process was running, it skipped a handful of files, including a large chunk of Europe. I didn't notice because the end result was a table with almost 600,000 rows, and it was impossible to check the accuracy of all of the data.

I went back in and re-ran the data import and updated the website.

A few interesting stats:

1840-1940 total: 99,766 issues
1840-1940 total mint CV: 31,978,784
1840-1940 total used CV: 19,206,986

1840-2018/2019 total: 759,032 issues
1840-2018/2019 total mint CV: 40,309,423
1840-2018/2019 total used CV: 24,864,878

In addition, Michel lists many stamps without a date. Some of these are unissued stamps. Not sure why there's no date on the remainder. To see these you have to set the dates as 0 (zero). This adds an additional:

4,545 issues
mint CV: 972,800
used CV: 528,678

These totals are far higher than the commenter noted above estimated for the classic era. This is likely the result of Michel's listings (especially Germany) generally being more specialized than Scott or SG -- see the "Detailed IAs" version of the data to get an idea of how deep Michel goes in many areas. There's also still some degree of duplication due to the way Michel catalogs things (ex. Michel lists souvenir sheets/blocks and the individual stamps).

But anyway. The data is a little closer to accurate, so feel free to check it out again. It'll never be 100% because I don't have the time or inclination to double-check 763,577 entries.
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Presenting the Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
Edited by PostmasterGS - 11/10/2020 06:48 am
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Posted 11/10/2020   2:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1840to1940 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PostmasterGS, thanks for the update. A monumental undertaking. I'll go back and revise the entry on my Filling Spaces blog entry that links to your study.
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