Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    9:06 PM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Suggest a GasBuddy improvement > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: Graph that shows the price curve for a site Back to Topics
Oredigger94

Champion Author
Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 10:07:39 AM

Living in Dayton, OH (a Speedway dominated market), we're constantly trying to predict when the next price spike will hit. Using wholesale prices, evaluating current prices and their distribution offers us the best defense and predictive capability.

I would like to see a feature that graphs all of the current prices on a given site. The main function would be to see how all of the prices in your area are distributed. You can get a sense of this by looking at the lowest and highest prices in conjunction with the average price, but a graphic representative of these prices would offer better insight into the overall prices in the area. Plus, it would make another cool graphic you can add to your arsenal of tools such as the price heat maps and historical gas prices.

Thanks for your consideration!
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

Posts:4,792
Points:793,360
Joined:Aug 2008
Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 3:06:35 PM

Gas_Buddy, Oredigger's idea is for a price distribution curve. If the average price for the region is $3.19 then how are the rest of the prices distributed? Every single station in the region could be $3.19. Or some could be $2.59 and some $3.79. How far from average are the rest of the prices? If I'm paying 3.49 is that unreasonable or are there a bunch of other stations around or higher than 3.49 as well?

The heat map is nice but has its limitations as well: it's not real time (nearly five hours old as I type this), the color coding isn't absolute - the colors change as the price range changes, and who knows how the data is distributed? The color of a section of a city could be determined by one station price while another section of a city could have an average based on 20 stations.
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,840
Points:3,638,800
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 1:50:40 PM

Just wondering, because I don't see how a graph of current prices has any value (from a historical perspective), but doesn't the map view of gas stations available on the various media (website, mobile devices, etc.) show the distribution of prices "for an entire community of stations"?\

Profile Pic
tklsr
Champion Author Akron

Posts:1,045
Points:987,750
Joined:Aug 2005
Message Posted: Dec 9, 2013 8:48:31 AM

I think a price curve would be helpful, maybe even a curve for an entire community of stations.
Profile Pic
DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

Posts:4,792
Points:793,360
Joined:Aug 2008
Message Posted: Nov 27, 2013 10:04:33 PM

I don't see the Speedway spike either in the Detroit area; must be too much competition.

Anyway, in a related interest (and this has probably been suggested already) I would like to see an historical gas price chart/graph at the station level, or better yet, the ability to graph several stations on one graph. It would show their price "behavior", such as the Speedway spikes mentioned below. I would like to see how different stations react to price changes; how quickly and how much.
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:7,542
Points:1,244,355
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Sep 15, 2013 12:05:56 AM

Speedway spiking is less prevalent in portions of southern Indiana where fuel is apparently purchased from distributors of products originating from other refineries.

Swifty stations, for instance, don't typically follow Speedway trends and this probably tends to cause other brand stations located in close proximity to forego hiking prices during routine Speedway spike episodes.

I am traveling back and forth between these two areas on an almost daily basis now and the difference both in the frequency and size of fuel price swings, as well as, the correction time are quite noticeable.

Prices seem more stable in southern Indiana right now where Speedway doesn't have quite the same foothold as it does in central and northern Indiana.

RG
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,235
Points:3,857,240
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 9:32:29 PM

People can see how prices are distributed across their particular GasBuddy site now just by looking at the main price page. No graphs needed.
Profile Pic
Oredigger94
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 7:47:20 PM

I have to admit, the 3D map idea sounds pretty cool. I'd like to see something like that, though I imagine it might be a bit more work than the price distribution curves.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 6:29:52 PM

Even if there is no spiking per se, it would be interesting to watch how price changes migrate across an area on the 3D bar-charted map.
Profile Pic
Oredigger94
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 6:24:41 PM

CK - Spiking is generally an entire area phenomenon (with the entire area usually being the entire state of Ohio). Speedway tends to spike entire states at a time. Recently, Indiana and Michigan tend to go the day before Ohio does. Sometimes there are slow-rolling spikes that do tend to affect certain areas first. There are also particular stations that hold their low prices longer into a spike.

It's easy to see high-priced areas on the heat map, but it might be interesting to breakdown the anatomy of a spike as it's occurring (assuming one has time to do such a thing).

Mainly, it's the price distribution across the metro site that interests me. I have several thoughts, but without the data I can't really be sure of what's happening (e.g. - are there a certain number of stations at the average price as prices get close to and go under the spike line price?)

pb88 - This information would help people see how prices are distributed across their particular GasBuddy site. Is it of a lot of use to users outside of markets that don't spike? Maybe, maybe not. In Speedway-dominated marketplaces though, it could help us predict their price spikes and share that information on our forum. We post warnings about price spikes, whether or not you should hold off on filling up, etc. to help everybody save money.
Profile Pic
pb88
Sophomore Author Virginia

Posts:165
Points:19,270
Joined:Jul 2013
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 4:42:47 PM

how will this other information affect the individual GasBuddy customer on any scale and make a difference to the users GasBuddy and the individual Marketplace??
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 7:24:49 AM

Upon further reflection, this is a new topic on an existing subject in the STL; it was suggested in March of 2012 as well by Geoag02, but I didn't grasp the significance of the idea then.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 14, 2013 5:53:47 AM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new subject.

That's some interesting ideas. As interpolated prices would be of no value, I see no need for a graph, but rather a bar chart, or as you have suggested, a 3D bar chart, which would add location data.

In your site's area, does the spiking behavior tend to show up in specific areas, that is to say, would the spiking stations cluster in one part of the site coverage vs. being spread out over the entire area? That would naturally happen on a state site that covers wide areas, but would it happen on a metro-area site?
Profile Pic
Oredigger94
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 5:25:46 PM

"I don't need individual graphs by grade by station to know this. Just have to pay attention to spot prices and the local retail prices."

I can appreciate that. That's what I currently do. All I'm looking for is another tool in the toolbox that helps have better insight to all the local prices. It's not substantially different from the Historical Price charts that you can generate, except that it's just a graph of all the current prices in a given area.

Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,235
Points:3,857,240
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 12:55:36 PM

"As Speedway expands into the Pittsburgh market, it's only a matter of time before Scoutmaster comes to see what I mean, too. Properly timed fill-ups in Speedway markets can save you $3-$4 per fill-up depending on the size of your tank."

I don't need individual graphs by grade by station to know this. Just have to pay attention to spot prices and the local retail prices.
Profile Pic
Oredigger94
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 11:48:25 AM

"And you want this information, because ..........?"

"As the distribution of prices shifts lower in a Speedway market, there is an increased risk of a price spike. Being able to see all of the prices in a format as I've described above can offer greater visibility into where these prices fall on the area's price curve."

Thanks, RG - Yeah, I do follow the Gas Game pretty closely.

As Speedway expands into the Pittsburgh market, it's only a matter of time before Scoutmaster comes to see what I mean, too. Properly timed fill-ups in Speedway markets can save you $3-$4 per fill-up depending on the size of your tank. Fill up a couple of cars a week, that adds up to pretty big savings over the year. Being able to time fill-ups through accurate predictions via this type of price visibility is the ultimate goal.

Our prices in Dayton (all Speedway-dominated markets, really) swing frequently and often at large extremes as noted in the GasBuddy Blog post "GasBuddy Identifies US Cities with Wildest Gas Price Fluctuations". So far this year, we've experienced 25 spikes with most of them being at least 20 cents or more over the average price at that time.
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:7,542
Points:1,244,355
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 7:57:09 AM

Intersting idea Oredigger.

You're probably already aware of and regularly read the Gas Game but for those who don't there is an informative section on Speedway and how fuel prices are impacted by routine price spikes throughout our region. Some other parts of the country don't see the same sort of sharp flucuations as we do here.

The more graphic data available, the better.

RG



[Edited by: RichWLIN at 9/13/2013 7:58:35 AM EST]
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,235
Points:3,857,240
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Sep 13, 2013 5:10:20 AM

And you want this information, because ..........?
Profile Pic
Oredigger94
Champion Author Dayton

Posts:11,610
Points:2,337,195
Joined:Aug 2006
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:10:08 PM

As far as scoutmaster's suggestion, I want a little more granularity to the data than just an average. The site already reports current, 1 day ago, 1 week ago, and 1 month ago.

What I'm looking for the distribution of all the gas prices in the area, much as TxJeans has described. It would show the distribution of all the current prices in the area's database.

For example, say there are 10 prices - 3.10, 3.12, 3.14, 3.14, 3.14, 3.14, 3.15, 3.15, 3.18, 3.19. The average is going to be 3.145. Graphically, you've got a column 1 unit high at 3.10, 1 unit high at 3.12, 4 units high at 3.14, etc.

A pure average of the current area prices(as reported by Gas Buddy) gives an indication of whether the average is skewed towards the low or the high end of the market. As the distribution of prices shifts lower in a Speedway market, there is an increased risk of a price spike. Being able to see all of the prices in a format as I've described above can offer greater visibility into where these prices fall on the area's price curve.

I would even put it together myself, but I don't know how to get ALL the prices to display - maybe it's a matter of the right search parameters or a few bits of text in the right link.

As a side note, the comment about a geographic distribution kind of piqued my thought process, too. If you could see a 3D map of the area with little columns (like little skyscrapers!) representing average prices for a ZIP code or even down to the individual station level, that would be really cool. Sort of like the heat maps, but they'd be a type of 3D surface graph.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,411
Points:821,200
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 7:17:10 PM

Sounds like he wants a graph with prices with along the bottom and number of station and show how many stations at each price point.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 6:50:44 PM

I would like more info on the suggestion. I don't understand what is meant by "...how all of the prices in your area are distributed." Distributed how, geographically? Obviously one axis of a graph would be price, but what is the other? Some examples of these graphs (even if not accurate or real) would be helpful to visualize what is being asked for. You could make up some graphs with say, MS Paint, post them in your GB album and link to them from another post in this topic.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,235
Points:3,857,240
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 6:12:21 PM

Well, Gas Buddy, for free you get what the site has. If you want more, ya gotta shell out some simoleons!
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,840
Points:3,638,800
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 4:24:51 PM

Unless I misunderstand the original post, what's being asked for isn't covered by the link scoutmaster provided. The link, which leads to a pay-for service of Gas Buddy, in general provides for price averaging for a city, zip code, etc. What's being asked for is (I assume) free information, that not only is at the individual gas station level (which would be available, again for a fee, using the link), but for multiple fuel choices at the individual gas station, but also for every other gas station in order to compare pricing at different stations, but also for (apparently) a historical period in order that the pricing history could be (to use a word from the original post) "evaluated".

What's being asked for in the original post, the way I read it, is for free detailed information for every gas station, whereas the link that scoutmaster provided is for somewhat limited information for a fee (although the link does enable a "customer" to request specialized information for a presumed additional fee).

I don't think the scoutmaster provided link is anywhere detailed (or would be at a cost inexpensive) enough to meet the request in the original post. That said, Oredigger94, is the link scoutmaster provided what you're looking for?
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:97,235
Points:3,857,240
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 1:51:44 PM

What you are asking for is right here!
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,840
Points:3,638,800
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 1:29:22 PM

You're saying you want a day-by-day graph of all the fuel prices (regular, mid-grade, premium, and diesel) for each and every gas station listed on Gas Buddy so that you can compare one station's day-by-day prices with another station?

How far back do you want this historical information to be from? Should it be for the past month, year, or since "as far back as the beginning" (whatever the beginning is supposed to be)?
Post a reply Back to Topics