Units - use and translation

by Andrzej T. Kurek
(Littleton, CO, USA)

I value the nature a lot and I appreciate the page like yours. I saw few of the waterfalls from your list – they are beautiful without the doubt. My only concern is about the units you are using. Since the readers have various understanding of units – both, in US and rest of the world, you could improve the listing with the following:

1. Translate units correctly, not like in the examples below (check others as well)
a. Niagara Falls – “7000 cubic meters per second” = 7 million liters per second
b. Victoria Falls “it's the largest singular waterfall in the world” – 1 million liters per second. According to you the Niagara has water fall 7 time larger than Victoria.
c. Iguazu Falls “1000 cubic meters per second” = 1 million liters per second – same as Victoria
2. Use both units – like meters/feet, liters/gallons, etc.
3. Be consistent, do not mix units, even within the same system – like cubic meters and liters (even yourself got confused in unit translation)

Comments for Units - use and translation

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Oct 10, 2009
by: Waterfall Lover

Thanks for your explanation as this site is not about the science of it all! It is about the appreciation! I appreciate you starting this website! Thanks! ;)

Oct 09, 2009
Good Points...
by: World of Waterfalls

Allow me to directly answer some points you've brought up:

1a) Yes, you've caught some errors in some of the statistics that I've hastily put in there from Wikipedia (admittedly, they're not the most accurate online encyclopedia) as well as other online sources.

The whole point of having the numbers was to give a sense of how big these waterfalls are. I didn't intend for my site to be encyclopedic sources of information (though corrections to our mistakes are certainly welcome).

Our website was intended to be an appreciation website of the waterfalls we've personally visited. We tend to wax poetic and try to provide useful information so you can enjoy them, too. However, I admittedly don't put as much effort into maintaining numbers (I'll let the academics do that) because I think they detract from the goal of waterfall appreciation. Nonetheless, we will try to correct errors (such as the ones you've managed to catch).

1b) I still believe Victoria Falls is the largest singular waterfall in the world. Sure volume-wise Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls may be bigger, but they're not singular waterfalls (i.e. Niagara's got the American Falls along with Horseshoe Falls and Iguazu's got some 270+ individual cascades and falls including the Devil's Throat). Victoria's a big wall of water, which is why I considered it a singular entity.

2) I've been going on the convention that if it's an international attraction, I've gone with metrics since that's what's most likely to be used. On the other hand, for domestic attractions, I went with American units for the same reason.

Could I have constantly put parentheticals with equivalent units? Sure. But for a waterfalls appreciation site, I don't really care to spend more effort than I need to when there are encyclopedic sources that can break it down the statistics for you in whatever units you need. If you really cared, I suppose you could do an English to Metric conversion off the numbers you find. Nonetheless, I'll try to put translation units in there if I have the time (hard to do when you have to go back and check over 1500 pages).

3) See point 2. If the US didn't stubbornly hang on to the English system and converted to metrics like the rest of the world, then this would've been a moot point. As it is now, it is what it is and I'll just stick to US places use American units and non-US places use metrics.

Thanks for pointing out these points though. I'm trying to correct some of the figures as time permits.

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