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Despite the extensive investigations carried out on the pollution performance of outdoor insulators, the flashover characteristic and its interaction with insulator shape is still not very well understood. In this paper, we present findings of experiments which allow quantifying the effects of insulator geometry on the flashover voltage. Two main parameters were considered: the flashover current (maximum magnitude of leakage current just before flashover) and the flashover voltage. Known difficulties related to accurate measurement of these parameters which are due to parallel partial arcs on some insulators, have been quantified using control insulators and simple modelling approaches. Furthermore, the effect of insulator shape on arc length has been quantified using nonuniform pollution techniques.