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Reader Steve H. spotted a fascinating "heat" map with some implications for picking retreat locales: World's most and least touristy places. Steve's comments: "This is an interesting map that could give some insights into less visited regions for retreat location planning and determining 'Lines of drift.'" Here is a quote from the web site: "Based on analyzing the location-based photo sharing service Panoramio, the World Touristiness Map is a compilation of the most frequently visited places in the world. (Which may not be a perfect measure, but should offer some good insight.) The map is color-coded by its level of touristiness: the color yellow indicates a high level of tourism, red indicates moderate levels, and blue indicates low levels. Gray means that there are no Panoramio photos in that area at all."
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Tamara's View From The Porch blog yielded this interesting article link that might also be a data point for those weighing the pros and cons of different retreat locales: 'What are the odds that the first person I talk to in Georgia would be from Boston?'
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Do you remember the Biosphere 2 project? It is still there, but overgrown and semi-abandoned. (Thanks to Simon J. for the link.)