Grab Your Buckets, We're Heading To South Carolina

Mrs. Merseydotes Valentine (who narrowly beat me at Scrabble last night... I want a rematch!) was in Seattle last week, and commented on how expensive gas prices were. However, she said her observation may have been clouded by the fact that the stations she saw were all by the airport (which tend to jack up the price a bit to catch car renters who don't want to really be screwed and pay twice as much when returning the car less than full).

[Note for further research: Investigate formula for determining if and when it is wise to select the fuel option from the rental car agency.]

This comment, plus a link from Fark eventually sent me to this doubly cool website from the AAA, tracking gasoline prices state-by-state. It provides current and trendline information on how each state's prices have tracked against the national average.

I say it's coolness is doubled by the methodological description. Rather than pull a random sample of gas stations and record their prices, they actually track all credit card transactions at the pumps!

Anyway, I grabbed the latest prices, and generated this map. The west coast is suffering the highest prices, with California, Nevada and Hawaii in the $2.65-$2,75 range. I was also surprised to see that Alaska was not lower. Washington DC, which is tracked but you can't really see on the map, is at $2.56.

Although it is not reported, I'm sure the data they collect can be boiled down to the county-level or even to zip codes. Now that would not only be interesting, but would be a useful tool.

Someone could marry the data with Google Maps, and anyone could check the site to see which nearby neighborhoods are sporting the cheapest gas, or plan out stops on a longer road trip for refilling.


Anonymous fs said...

The web is way ahead of you.

2:07 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger B.V. said...

Not surprising.

Check out the source from which that guy pulls his data, at gasbuddy.com. Although there are no maps, it is a user-driven monitor of gas prices.

2:22 PM, August 16, 2005  

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