Author Topic: Old weather without the old ?  (Read 6392 times)

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2011, 09:04:37 pm »
I never would require quantity - there are many-a night when I can't do more than a couple at time myself!  If it was required to do when not in the mood, it would kill the whole project.

But would you mind signing on and finding out that the next page up is Timbuktu unless you click whatever will send you back to your ship?

ElisabethB

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2011, 09:09:05 pm »
I wouldn't mind myself to log 'weather reports only' logs, but I don't think it is a good idea to make people eat their veggies before they get deserts !  :D
I think if you can lure people to the project with the weather reports + the history, some of them will come over to the dark side of weather reports only!  ;) ;D
So these logs are really, really only weather reports ? nothing about anything else ? really ? (just asking)
No seriously : I think that people doing weather reports only, will always be a minority.

mutabilitie

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2011, 09:49:54 pm »
But would you mind signing on and finding out that the next page up is Timbuktu unless you click whatever will send you back to your ship?
I don't think I'd mind too much, but I'd probably prefer it if I could choose to go to Timbuktu when I felt like taking a break from my regular ship, because then Timbuktu would actually feel like a treat rather than a chore, if you see what I mean...
Perhaps we could assign weather stations to ships as 'holiday resorts' and encourage people to use them for breaks? I.e. if you've done six months of Atlantic Patrol and are getting a bit tired of zigzagging around Iceland and examining trawlers, transcribing a month's worth of Timbuktu weather reports will be a nice change from that, and you'll probably even enjoy it. And then when the novelty begins to wear off you can return to your ship, until you feel like taking another break from it.

ElisabethB

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2011, 10:00:25 pm »
Mmmm, thinking about this and I really like the idea of pairing up ships and weather stations. That way you can create a sense of belonging or even "ownership" to a weather station.

Randi

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2011, 02:48:15 pm »
Even though I love the history in OW ― the insights into an unknown (to me) way of life in another time and place ―
I'll join Cyzaki in the small minority. I would happily transcribe weather-only reports.
There is plenty of drama in a plummeting barometer in the tropical cyclone zones.

You express my feelings quite well.

The Avoca has excellent weather data, but very little happens. At about 1000 entries I jumped ship briefly looking for something more exciting, but now I am back and have passed the 3000 mark and I hope to finish the log.
I joined to do something useful. I had no interest in WWI or ships. If I learn things, that is a plus, but it is not necessary.
I think the best would be to have both weather-history and weather-only records to transcribe. I would concentrate on land stations, but I would do the occasional ship for variety.

Randi

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2011, 03:01:11 pm »
If you like the historical comments, have no fear: there is no shortage of fascinating logbooks still to be looked at, and we will not stop working with them any-time soon. But there are also other weather records out there, for land weather stations and some ships, that contain only numerical weather records, and we'd dearly like to digitise those too.

We'd welcome any thoughts on how to do this. It might have to be quite different from the current OldWeather (which will continue on as well). Can we recruit budding statistical climatologists, who love only numbers; do we need different user interfaces, that immediately show weather maps with the new data; do we add more game elements - how about a 'predict tomorrow's weather game' where you enter the data you need to make the prediction, and have some sort or reward for the best forecast? What would appeal to you?

So please put your thinking caps on, and help us retrieve the records for remote Timbuctu, where the sussurating sands ... (OK, OK, I'm sorry, I'll stop).
My guess would be that the numbers-only people are a minority - and as the land weather stations will probably comprise at least as much data as the ship logs, you'll want to attract as many people as possible to it, or the transcribing will take ages.

Would there be any way of modifying the actual interface so that it has more of a game-like feel to it, to distract people from the fact that they're basically just transcribing numbers and keep them entertained / transcribing for longer? I know it sounds like a bit of a wacky idea, but how about something like a very basic slot machine? All you'd need would be some code which would be essentially rolling a die for randomised weather information for each individual field (which isn't revealed until after you've transcribed the information), and if the transcribed information happens to match / partially match, the transcriber is given a certain number of bonus points. As in:

1. New page is displayed; the random weather data set assigned to it (drawn from the already transcribed stuff) is 'NNE, 3, ocr, 29.90/52, 42 44 42'
2. Transcriber enters the information which is actually on the page: 'NNE, 4, bc, 29.88/52, 41, 40 39'
3. After clicking 'finish', he receives a message along the lines of '2 matches, 2 partial matches - congratulations, you have earnt 30 bonus points!' (which can be switched off)
4. Rinse and repeat.

As you can tell, I don't know anything about the practicalities of programming, but I hope you see my general drift...;) Basically my suggestion would be to introduce some kind of simple randomised game-like element to the transcribing process which doesn't actually interfere with the transcribing proper, but which nevertheless offers an additional incentive of sorts, to keep people hooked.
What do you think? Or would that be too difficult to code?

No offense to either of you, but turning it into a game would really put me off. Just make it a contest of who can enter the most reports!

mutabilitie

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2011, 04:02:27 pm »
No offense to either of you, but turning it into a game would really put me off. Just make it a contest of who can enter the most reports!
No offence taken, but the point is that while this might put off some of us regulars (it's nothing I'd be personally keen on either, actually; I'd favour the 'holiday resort' version), it could potentially be a way of getting more people to participate in the project. I mean, this isn't just about us and what we would like, is it? It's about coming up with ideas for making boring, event-free weather data more appealing to people in general, because that will benefit the project as a whole.
At the moment, there aren't really that many active transcribers - which isn't too much of a problem now, because we're dealing with a relatively small subset of the available data, but if a big lump of weather-station data were to be added on top of the additional logs we'll be able to transcribe thanks to the grant, it could become a bit problematic if the bulk of the trancribing is being done by just a few dozen people...

CHommel

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2011, 04:37:44 pm »
I do wonder about the "active transcriber" issue.  I have no idea whether the other crew members of the Merlin are working on other ships, which is why they seem to transcribe Merlin pages only intermittently, or whether they logged on and then lost interest in the project.  Other than noticing who is logged in during a session and checking the OW Rankings topic once in awhile, there does not seem to be a way to tell who is "active".

I suggested the website to a couple of teachers that I know, thinking it might be of interest to social science and science classes (as a way to have access to source documents and contribute to a larger project).  I haven't gotten any feedback, however, as to whether OW has piqued  their students' interest.   I would have loved a project like this when I was in elementary or high school...

mutabilitie

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2011, 07:35:41 pm »
I do wonder about the "active transcriber" issue.  I have no idea whether the other crew members of the Merlin are working on other ships, which is why they seem to transcribe Merlin pages only intermittently, or whether they logged on and then lost interest in the project.  Other than noticing who is logged in during a session and checking the OW Rankings topic once in awhile, there does not seem to be a way to tell who is "active".
On the Patia, there are 128 crew members in total - but only 7 of those have transcribed more than 50 weather reports. Every now and again, I can see that the number of crew members has increased, but none of those new people ever seems to stay around long enough to make it onto the front page. For which you'd currently need a paltry 36 reports, so this means all those new crew members are giving up after five pages or less.:(
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I suggested the website to a couple of teachers that I know, thinking it might be of interest to social science and science classes (as a way to have access to source documents and contribute to a larger project).  I haven't gotten any feedback, however, as to whether OW has piqued  their students' interest.   I would have loved a project like this when I was in elementary or high school...
I'd probably have loved it as well, because it has a certain geek-appeal. ;D I suspect most children will lose interest quite quickly, though, unless they happen to be interested in (naval) history and/or weather to begin with. Or unless they're lucky enough to start off on an 'interesting' log page which gets them hooked.

Obviously another explanation might be that many people are simply struggling with the old handwriting and lacking the patience to persist until they've figured it out. And that might particularly apply to schoolchildren.

Randi

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2011, 08:20:12 pm »
Perhaps the best thing would to have a 'game' to interest more people BUT have an option to bypass that and do straight data entry.

cyzaki

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2011, 08:28:37 pm »
That's kinda what I meant about having more stats and graphs and suchlike on the site - to me, that makes it a game. Competing with others, and competing with myself, is definitely a big motivator for me  ;D

Randi

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Re: Old weather without the old ?
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2011, 08:39:52 pm »
...
Another way of making weather-only reports more appealing to people who aren't weather geeks (yet) might be simply by making a lot more information available on the main site about what it all means. I know it's all over the forum, but not everybody will actually make it this far, and if you're new, it isn't all that easy to find the information you're looking for. Whereas if there was a 'what your data means' section on the Old Weather site proper - possibly even with a couple of nice pictures etc. - it would be more easily accessible and possibly have a broader appeal as well.

I think that is a good idea. Background information about 'my' weather station and some explanation of the weather patterns to expect would make it more interesting AND improve the accuracy of transcriptions.