Bill Nye, our favorite science guy, explains how travel booking actually works
When Bill Nye isn’t out to save the world with his new Netflix show (literally called Bill Nye Saves The World), he’s busy trying to resolve all your burning travel questions with a three-part series of videos from Expedia called “The Science of Travel.”
In the series, Nye explains how how the long-trusted travel site uses big data to create the perfect, personalized itinerary for each and every customer.
“Even though it seems like magic, Best Fare Search (BFS) uses data science,” Nye said in one video.
And when we say big data, we do in fact mean very, very big data. The the site analyzes 19 quadrillion itineraries when a user plans a round trip getaway.
Related article: This summer’s up-and-coming vacation destinations
If you need a reference for just how mind-blowing that is, it’s “109,000 times more than all the people who have ever lived.” Ever. And it’s done in just a few moments after you click “search.”
In another video, Nye compares Expedia to a sort of match-making site with it’s Travelgraph service. Travelgraph uses personalized travel options by analyzing searches, bookings, and reviews based on everyone who has been on the site with similar travel goals.
Related article: Everything you need to know about every airline’s baggage fees
In the final video, Nye breaks down the site’s personalization feature, and how the site’s use of data, keeps you — the traveler — from having to sift through irrelevant options.
In one example, Nye imagines two travelers going to Las Vegas. One is going to a bachelorette party and another is going on a family-friendly vacation. If these two were to switch itineraries, the result would be, in a nutshell, a disaster.
Related article: This app let’s local celebrities walk you around their neighborhoods
“With billions of rows of data, training algorithms, and sophisticated ensemble models, you can count on choosing from the ideal options for you and whatever trip suits your fancy,” Nye said.
He might not have saved the world — yet — but Bill Nye did just save your travel plans.