Since the last time we provided statistics of "what people have been clicking on" ... there have been a few questions regarding what exactly are we logging and storing for statistics data.
And whether this is in accordance to GDPR and other similar laws or not.
Firstly; since this site (the gateway map view) is hosted within the EU, the GDPR is definitely very much a thing that would affect us ... if we were at any point trying to record and/or store personally identifiable data.
Secondly, as You may have noticed, our site carries no advertisements, no cookies, nothing in local or session storage... so...
You might see that we don't really care too much about any of the data for which GDPR was created to protect.
To put everyone's minds at ease; while we do store information on what airport markers on the map have been clicked (and when) - we don't even store the user's IP-address (or any other such identifying information) with this data.
Our web server has access logs that does store each individual request with the IP-address of the user who made the request. However, this data is only temporarily stored in the logs and automatically purged roughly every 24 hours.
The reason for storing the IP-addresses is for the benefit of our automated system that attempts to help us avoid getting DDoS'ed so that the service remains usable for majority of users even under heavy loads.
Also... While correlating the "click data" with the "access data" would be possible in theory, it becomes practically impossible after the access logs get purged.
Furthermore; IP-address in the EU isn't even (without rather heavy external evidence) considered "personally identifiable information".
That having been said... our website does use Google's Maps API for displaying the actual scrollable map on our site because it is simply a convenient thing for us to do.
Granted, while there are alternatives to Google's API ... those alternatives often have less coverage worldwide, more outdated data, less convenient APIs or way stricter access restrictions ... and, to be frank, basically everyone else uses Google APIs too.
This means that Google does have access to the users' IP-addresses as well as the generic locations the map is showing and the search terms used when searching for an airport on the map.
Similarly the service provider (Google) is most likely privy to the information on the location on the map the users have clicked.
However, since the marker overlay (simply rendered on top of the map) as well as the "actual" click handling (and thus determining what to show on the popup),
the service provider (Google) doesn't have the full information on what the user was interested in (since they have no access to the data which markers were visible on the map overlay when the click happened).
Also, all of what Google does with the data they have access to ... is completely outside of our site's authority.
So... How about them stats?
Here are the Top50 most "clicked on" airports by our users since January 2020: