Who is responsible for Stochastic Planet?
Howdy. My name's Adam Cadre. If you've heard of me before it was probably for my interactive fiction (most likely Photopia or 9:05) or for the Lyttle Lytton Contest, but I've done all sorts of other stuff as well.
So which comes first, the coordinates or the pictures?
The coordinates come first.
How are the coordinates chosen? If they're randomly generated, doesn't that disproportionately weight the poles?
I've used some simple trig to compensate for the fact that, yes, a cross-section of the Earth has a smaller circumference at the 60th parallel than at the 30th. No point on the Earth's surface should be more likely to be chosen than any other.
Why aren't 71% of these pictures of the ocean?
Coordinates get re-rolled if they splash down more than a few minutes' swim from land.
What else leads to a re-roll?
The vast majority of pictures should be a reasonable walk from the randomly generated coordinates. A bit more leeway is given for places like Antarctica where pictures may be harder to come by. But even in the most remote wilderness there is a maximum radius from which a picture may be drawn.
Is anything done to promote variety?
Not really. It's entirely possible to get four Siberia pictures in a row. However, the exact same picture will not appear twice in the same year.