Oldweather teleconference 17 March 2016
This was a meeting of members of the OW science team and the Zooniverse team.
I was there, for the first time, to represent the transcribers and moderators. To tell the truth, I was so nervous beforehand that I had an upset stomach, but I rather enjoyed the meeting.
(WW1 Royal Navy) editing continues, slowly but steadily. Well over 200 fully edited logs have been published on naval-history.net. The observations are in use. OW3
(Classic) transcribing continues. Many observations are already in use, but additional processing is being done to convert the data to the standard International Maritime Meteorological Archive format and for quality control. The reanalysis team have used all of our observations to date, and they are in the process of developing a new, improved twentieth-century reanalysis. OW4
(Whaling) has been very popular. However, the downside is that we are overwhelming the system with data - especially during the marking phase. The moderators are maintaining a list of known issues. We are hoping to add some short logs in order to avoid the most serious problems. We are currently looking for someone to work on this (any ReactJS and Ruby on Rails experts among our US members?).OW5
(Panoptes) has been less popular than OW4. I suggested that the random page allocation was a major factor, but there are other problems too. The moderators are maintaining a list of known issues. We hope that work on improvements to OW5 will start in about a month.OW6
(Optical Character Recognition) is in development. It is designed to combine OCR technology and citizen science in order to make transcribing logs less laborious. I don't think that we are going to lack for work in the foreseeable future! First, we will be needed to provide some training/validation examples. In fact, we should be getting some typed logs sometime soon. Second, OCR will be primarily used for typed logs. It was mentioned that the US Post Office uses OCR, but there are significant differences between an address and a log page!Talk
is used by OW4 and OW5, and they share the same Talk site (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/old-weather/talk/
). This has caused some confusion. The possibility of each project having its own Talk was raised, but the disadvantages are that this might split the community and that things like Geographical Help and the Reference Desk are used by both projects. I was told that there will be further development on Talk soon and was asked for a list of suggested enhancements. The moderators have already created the list and sent it off! Next year
there will be a field campaign in the Greenland/Iceland/Norwegian (GIN) seas. We might partner with them and do a parallel 'office' campaign recovering similar data from the Greenland Patrol logs in the WW2 period (Aivik
I reminded everyone that there are plenty of volunteers who would be willing to help with the testing