Author Topic: Guides for US logs: drawing entry boxes, transcribing and editing  (Read 19555 times)


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These Guides are for Old Weather Classic.
They are intended to provide additional advice on using the Old Weather interface, after you have read the tutorial.
Please note that the tutorial has two pages and that you need to click 'I've finished with this page' on both of them.
You only need to do this once but you will not be able to transcribe the log pages until you have done so.
To read the tutorial again, click the TUTORIAL button at the top of any interface page.



Guide to THE TABS: the headings, entering data, notes for transcribers and what to enter





Page allocation
The current logs for transcription generally show one day's entries over two consecutive pages.
The pages have been processed individually.
After three transcriptions of each page have been submitted, the page is withdrawn and the next page is made available.
For this reason, the pages you receive may not be consecutive.

Click here for an index of individual Ship Pages.
On these Ship Pages you will find transcription examples for both weather and miscellaneous events pages, together with notes and helpful hints.

If you have suggestions for other subjects that should be included here, or suggestions for changes to these instructions, please post them in:
Information to include in Tutorial or Help Documents/Other Ideas

If you cannot find what you are looking for in these Guides, please ask on the forum.
And if you are new to the forum, you can find out how to post your questions here.

Those who took part in the transcription of the WWI Royal Navy logs during Phases I and II of the Old Weather project will find that the US logs are similar but generally more complex.
The US logs range over a wide timescale, from the 1850s to the 1940s and, as you would expect, the log formats change with the passing years.
There are many formats; they provide generally similar information however.
Our current interface has been created to deal with this variation in formats and to allow for more detailed data entry.

The rule for transcribing these logs is, as ever, Type What You See -- TWYS.
On this project, our task is to transcribe the entries in the log books as accurately as possible.
Where writing is illegible, guessing is encouraged, but please do not 'correct' obvious or possible errors.
Randi's guide to the ifs and buts of TWYS is recommended reading.

Internet browsers
Current versions of these internet browsers can be used with the Old Weather interface: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
The auto-fill function on Firefox is very helpful for fields where there is no drop-down menu available.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:25:52 am by Caro »


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Guides for US logs
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 05:22:25 pm »

These are the main features of the interface:

How to begin

For each page: to open an entry box, click an area of the screen to the side of the information you wish to enter (date, location, weather readings etc) and, holding down the mouse/touch pad button, drag a box of the size and shape that shows the information. Then let go.
See below.

An entry box will appear, attached to a magnifier of the shape and size you have drawn.
If necessary, drag the box to a position where you can see all the text you wish to enter.

A magnifier of the size shown below will suit most needs on the weather pages.
It stretches from the Hour entry to the Clear Sky entry.

An entry box of the same size will appear every time you click the image of the log page to begin a new entry.

If you need to change the size and/or shape of the magnifier, close the box and draw a new one.

A separate entry box is required for each piece of information. (See the following section for more details)

When you have OKed an entry, click on a clear area (away from the grey marker) to open a new entry box.
If necessary drag the entry box to the correct position.

At the top right of every entry box, you can click forum guides to display these guides, or show help to display the help box associated with each tab.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:07:31 am by Caro »


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Re: Guides for US logs
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 10:39:02 am »
Guide to THE TABS: the headings, entering data, notes for transcribers and what to enter

The headings

The tab headings are Date, Location, Weather Observation, Animals, Refueling, Mentions, Sea Ice and Events.
When you open the first entry box on a page, the Date tab will be active (orange).
To open any of the other tabs, simply click the name of the tab you require and it will become active (orange).

Entering data

Open a separate entry box for each piece of information that you wish to record.
You need to enter and OK in separate entry boxes the DATE, LOCATION (lat/longs or Port Name), and each set of WEATHER OBSERVATIONS.
Follow the same procedure for each item you choose to include on the other tabs.
For instance, if there are two named ships that you wish to record on the MENTIONS tab, use a separate entry box for each of them.
Open an entry box to enter the details of the first ship, then click OK to save; open another entry box to record the details of the second ship and save that too.
(See the illustration of two completed and saved pages below.)
To recap: you need to record and save one log entry or set of values, on one tab, at a time.
Only the entered data visible in the entry box, on the active tab, will be saved when you click OK.
Click 'I've finished with this page' when you have entered all the available information on the page.

Your weather page could look like this when finished:        and your Miscellaneous Events page could look like this:

The data for a single day are usually spread over two pages of the logbook.
The data for the Weather Observation and the Location tabs, and in some logs, Refueling, usually appear on the first (left hand) page.
The second (right hand) page is where you will usually find the data that can be entered on the Date, Animals, Mentions, Sea Ice and Events tabs.
Data for Date, Location and Weather Observation are required.
Animals, Refueling, Mentions, Sea Ice and Events data are optional but if you choose to omit them, you will miss out on a lot of fun ...
and the opportunity to record valuable information for use by both scientists and historians.

Notes for transcribers

  • If you prefer to use your keyboard, rather than clicks, to move from one field to the next, use the Tab key.
    Use the arrow (cursor) keys to move up and down the drop-down menus, then Enter when you have made your choice.
    The Enter key may also be used to OK a complete set of weather entries.
  • If you find a ditto (repeat) symbol, such ", ', or any other kind, please enter it as ". You do not need to spell out the entry that has been dittoed.
  • A dash on its own in a column may be transcribed as - (hyphen/minus symbol) or the field may be left blank.
  • If you cannot even guess at a letter, a groups of letters or a whole word, indicate this by using a tilde or tildes: ~, ~~ etc.
    Please do not use question marks for this purpose.
  • If there is no written information on a log page, click 'I've finished with this page' and move on.
    At the beginning and end of logs you may need to do this several times.
  • Do not be alarmed if the temperature information in the timeline on the right of the screen is jumbled
    or if the map shows the wrong location for your ship or disappears altogether.
    The map and timeline are a visual representation of the data you enter and are for your information only.
  • The important thing is to put the entries in the right place. Accuracy is more valuable to this project than speed.
  • Again, please do not 'correct' entries which seem to be wrong; similarly, please do not add anything that has not been written in the log.

What to enter

Enter the date in the format suggested: dd/mm/yyyy. For example: December 5th, 1900 = 05/12/1900.

Make as many Location entries as you wish but please note the following.
The order of preference is as follows:
  • Noon Observed latitude/longitude -- This is the one that our scientists need most. If it appears on your log page, please enter it.
  • Noon Dead Reckoning latitude/longitude
  • Other time Observed latitude/longitude
  • Other time Dead Reckoning latitude/longitude
  • Port Name
  • Place Name

Only latitude/longitude entries will move the ship marker on your map.

Please enter latitudes/longitudes as they appear in the log. 
You may see, for example, N45 00 W45 00 or 45 00N 45 00W. Either format is accepted.
You may even see an Observed latitude and a Dead Reckoning longitude, or single latitudes or longitudes.
Enter these individually as they appear on the log page.
Including degree, minute and second symbols is not necessary. Only the letters and numbers are required, separated by spaces:
eg 45 00N 45 00W.
However, for forms such as 45.00N or 45o00'N, if you are unsure, enter these as they appear.
A lower case 'o' is sufficient for a degree symbol.
If you find a fraction, eg 147o 551/2'E or a decimal form eg 147o 55.5'E (both of these represent 147 degrees 55 minutes 30 seconds E), the science team prefers that you enter them in the form 147 55 30E.
If the latitude/longitude has been based on bearings, such as Conical Rock 76 02N 68 49W, enter this as Observed 76 02N 68 49W.

The other options on the Location tab are Port Name and Place Name.
Choose Port Name - Cape Wankarem, for instance - for places where the ship has anchored.
Choose Place Name for sighted towns, cities, rivers, lightships, lighthouses, islands etc.
If a bearing is given, please include it as part of the Place Name.
Location data, usually found at the top of the log page, such as voyages 'from A to B' and 'At sea' should also be entered under Place Name.

Please enter the sets of weather data for every hour that has been recorded. There can be up to 24 sets or more while the ship is at sea.
There are usually six or seven while the ship is in port.
The values to be entered can be found in the corresponding columns on the log page (the wording varies slightly from log to log):

Hour = Hour
Wind Dir = WINDS/Direction
Force = WINDS/Force
Bar Height = BAROMETER/Height in inches
Ther Attached = BAROMETER/Ther att'd
Dry = TEMPERATURE/Air Dry Bulb
Wet = TEMPERATURE/Air Wet Bulb
Water = TEMPERATURE/Water at surface
Weather Code = State of the Weather by symbols
Cloud Code = Forms of Clouds by symbols
Clear Sky = Proportion of Clear Sky in 10ths

If any of these values have not been filled in on the log page, leave the field blank and move to the next one.

Some logs do not have all these columns.
Some have a cloud cover column instead of a clear sky column. You should still enter the figure that is given.

It is not necessary to add am or pm to the Hour field.

Drop-down menus for Wind Dir and Cloud Code appear when you type the first letter of a wind direction or cloud form.
In addition to directions, Wind Dir also has Calm, Light Airs and Var (for variable or various).
If the entry that you are transcribing does not appear in the menus, please type it as it appears on the page.
This could be a wind direction such as NExE, or a cloud form such as Sc-Cs.
It is quite OK to choose N from the Wind Dir menu, for instance, when the log entry is North spelled out.
Similarly, from the Cloud Code menu, you can choose A-Str when the log entry is Altostratus or As, for example, or Cum-Nim for a Cumulonimbus or Cb log entry.
If you are in any doubt, again, type what appears on the page. That way, you cannot be wrong!

The range for barometer heights is about 27.05 to 31.50, so take another look if the reading seems at first sight to be 81.50.
A reading of 28.90, for example, could appear in any of the following forms: 28.90, 28-90, 28 90, 2890, or even .90 (when part of a series of similar readings).
Please enter the number exactly as it has been recorded.

These are the Weather Code letters that you are likely to see:

b -- clear blue sky
c -- cloudy weather
d -- drizzling or light rain
e -- wet air, without rain
f -- fog
g -- gloomy, or dark stormy-looking sky
h -- hail
l --  lightning
m -- misty or hazy weather
o -- overcast
p -- passing showers of rain
q -- squally weather
r -- rainy weather or continuous rain
s -- snow, snowy weather or snow falling
t -- thunder
u -- ugly appearance or threatening weather
v -- variable weather
w -- wet or heavy dew
z -- hazy

A full list of Beaufort weather codes can be found here.

You may find references to animals such as penguins, bears, seals or whales.
< You may find these mentioned too!
Please enter all animal references on this tab, giving numbers if the log keeper has recorded them.

If you find a record of the amount of coal, oil or other fuel that has been brought on board your ship, please enter it here.
Records of the amount of fuel used and/or remaining may be entered on the Events tab if you wish to record them.

The options here are Person or Ship. Please add also the context in which these people or ships are mentioned.
Person | Name = Petersen (S)   Context = Placed Petersen (S) in double irons for safe keeping upon anchoring
Ship | Name = USS Oregon   Context = Exchanged distinguishing pennants with USS Oregon at 9:05
If you wish to enter mentions of unnamed people or ships, put them on the Events tab.

Ice features heavily in the Arctic logs, as you would imagine, and we would like you to enter any records of it on this tab.
An example: Harbor full of loose ice with pack outside.

Kevin Wood, of the Old Weather team, explains why mentions of ice are so important:

Any information about sea ice is of serious interest for several reasons. We are working on an Arctic sea ice reanalysis for the period 1850-on based on the Applied Physic Lab's latest sea ice forecast model. It will be forced by specific large-scale atmospheric fields (I.e. barometric pressure) from global reanalyses. A crucial issue is - will the result have an appropriate characterization of the real Arctic sea ice environment - especially thickness? Since we do not have anything remotely close to a comprehensive long period sea ice data set like ICOADS we must build one that is good enough for validation/verification if the experiment is to be useful. And here is an essential question we hope to answer: why is the Arctic sea ice disappearing at a rate 2 or more times faster than the latest climate models project? Sea ice thickness and the rate of ice advection out of the Arctic via the trans-polar drift are also tied together.

Here you may enter any other items such as naval actions, natural phenomena, astronomical observations or social occasions; anything that you find interesting can be included.
We particularly encourage you to enter mentions of sunspots, aurorae, erratic compass bearings and unusual radio reception on this tab.
In addition, remember that if you cannot decide on which tab an entry belongs, put it here. This is the catch-all tab.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:20:47 am by Caro »


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Re: Guides for US logs
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 02:09:11 pm »

The grey markers:
When you OK an entry, a grey marker of the same size as your magnifier appears on the image of the log page.
(The marker serves the same purpose as the pushpin on the previous interface. It shows the location of a completed entry.)

Please note: if you don't draw an entry box but simply click on the log-page image, a box of default size will appear.
Generally, the grey markers for the default boxes take up too much space, especially if you have 24 weather entries to fit on to one page.

The grey markers can be moved by clicking the pencil in the top left; then dragging.

In the same way, if you wish to change an entry before clicking 'I've finished with this page', click the pencil.
This will reopen the entry box and you will be able to make your change and click OK in the usual way.

The 'Guide to placing weather entry boxes for easy editing', which follows this, offers a method of positioning entries
that makes it easy to identify them for editing on pages where there are as many as 24.

Entry boxes can be dragged over grey markers.
The grey markers are not visible in the magnifier; the data on the page is not obscured.
See below.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 08:49:20 am by Caro »


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Re: Guides for US logs
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 07:52:50 pm »

Some of us have difficulties with the crowding of the grey markers when ships have recorded hourly readings.
Here is an optional method that may be helpful:

We draw the box longer than needed and then stagger the placement.

This makes it easier to click on the edit pencil. Also, since odd hours are offset left and even hours are offset right, the hour of a grey marker is easy to determine.

The following instructions give the general idea. You will need to do a bit of experimenting to find out what works for you with your logs. Once you have determined the points to click for a particular log, you can use the same points, page after page.

  • Draw the box using the 2 o'clock entry as a model including the "State of the Sea" column for the extra width. See the blue dots in the image.

    Note that you only need to draw the box once per page. After that, the same size box will appear every time you click.

  • Slide the box up so that you can read the 1 o'clock entry and to the left to exclude "State of the Sea" column.

  • For the 2 o'clock entry, and all even hours, click on the location corresponding to the red dot

    and enter the data. NOTE: It is no longer necessary to expand dittos. Wind dir, (Weather) Code and Cloud Code can all be transcribed as ".

  • For the 3 o'clock entry, and all remaining odd hours, click on the location corresponding to the red dot.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 09:30:50 am by Randi »


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Re: Guides for US logs
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 06:59:38 pm »

Your last 10 saved pages are available to view and/or edit in My Old Weather.
My Old Weather can be found on interface pages by moving the cursor to the blue box, in the top right corner, with your name on it.
Select My Old Weather from the menu. (My Pages -- see below -- can be found on the same menu.)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Most Recent Logs where you will see thumbnail pictures of your last three pages.
Click the > arrow to navigate to your other pages (and < back again) if necessary.
Click the picture of the page that you wish to edit.
The transcribed page will open showing grey markers where you have entered data.
Click the pencil in the top left of the grey marker to open the entry you wish to alter, make your changes and click OK.
Make sure to click 'I've finished with this page' to save your changes.

Also on My Old Weather you can see:
  • how long you have been a member of the current phase of Old Weather
  • how many pages you have transcribed
  • how many ships you follow
  • your last Active Vessel
  • a list of the ships you have followed or are currently following
My Pages gives you access to all your finished pages, from both completed logs and those that are still being transcribed.
Changes can be made to your transcriptions on these pages in the same way as described above.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:58:42 am by Caro »


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Re: Guides for US logs
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 09:18:31 am »

If you want help with a transcribing problem or just want to know if you are doing the right thing, try 'Ask for expert advice'.
It is available to all transcribers but has been designed particularly for newcomers to Old Weather.
You must be a member of the forum to use this service.
If you are not a member, please register by using the link at the top left of this page (illustrated below).

First of all, save your entries by clicking 'I've finished with this page'.
Only pages that have been saved can be used for getting feedback.
The links to transcribed pages can be accessed only by the transcriber and the moderators. Your privacy is assured.

There are two options for finding your completed pages:

1. Go to My Old Weather, log in if necessary, and scroll down to 'Most recent logs'.
Find the finished page that you wish to submit and look for the 'Ask for expert advice' link underneath it.


2. Go to My Pages, log in if necessary, and locate the ship you have been working on.
Click 'View logs' to see the images of your pages with the 'Ask for expert advice' link underneath.

(More information on My Old Weather and My Pages can be found in the preceding post, Guide to EDITING FINISHED PAGES.)

Click the link, copy the URL that is presented to you in a pop-up (as shown below), then click the forum link.

That will bring you to the Ask for expert advice topic here on the forum.
Click the REPLY button and paste the URL that you have copied.
Add your questions (you can post just the URL if you like) and click Post.
[Click here for more advice on making your first post.]

That's all there is to it.
One of us will check your transcriptions and reply to you.
We can offer advice or reassurance but we cannot make changes to your saved transcriptions. Only you can do that.
If you would like the advice to be given privately, please say so.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:01:30 am by Caro »