Just before we all head our separate ways for another 9 months I'd like to ask how many members would like to see some kind of analysis made of our accumulated data? This is something I never intended to do when I started the website, but, that doesn't mean to say that we never should. There is certainly now sufficient material collected each season to justify this, but, if we do take this route, I'd really like to be confident that it's something that website users and Forum members would welcome and support? Your comments on this and any other matters you'd like to raise about the website and Forum would be very much appreciated...
What exactly do you want to do with the data? In wich form do you want to bundle the results? In general, bundleing the results is always a good thing.
I'm not looking that far ahead at the moment. I think we first need to establish if there is a demand for this - if so, then we can look at how best to go about it. I was prompted to start this debate following related posts elsewhere on the forum and to some private messages I've received.
The annual lists on the website are just that - a summary. As I have said before, I always make it a condition that the website should be acknowledged in any reports published using our data. If anyone knows of any instances when this hasn't happened please let me know about it.
This is an opportunity for contributors to make their feelings known on this issue.
The intention of the website has always been to provide observers with basic information on NLC and how best to observe, record and report appearances of the phenomenon. When I started the site in 1995 there was no information of this kind available anywhere online, so, it filled that obvious gap. The running summary list allows observers to contribute directly to the site and follow the progress of each season.
The aims of the site are really quite modest and simple but the model has worked extremely well for over 14 years now.
Yes, I agree, I do think it is important that the work of observers is recognised. In this instance I think we need to look at how best this can be accomplished.
Again, we mustn't forget that there is already output in the form of the summary lists.
This could all become quite complicated and possibly require formal agreements being made with other organisations. I'll be interested in hearing what others think about this - at the moment I'm open-minded on the matter.
I think it's important to stress that although exchanges of information are currently carried out on a rather informal basis, we do benefit from this; the BAA and SPA do occasionally send details of observations reported exclusively to them. We are also indebted to Peter Dalin who has allowed his recent paper to be published on the website and also sends regular updates from his automatic camera network. The exchange and use of information is certainly not one-way.
Before too long the growing network of automatic camera installations will provide an alternative source of data.
I agree and am sure most of us observe NLC for the fun and enjoyment it offers, not for any potential earnings.
I'm very grateful for the compliments in John's post, but, am hoping that certain sections were not meant to be a personal attack on my credibility and honesty - unfortunately, that is how it feels! I can assure everyone here that the website is not affiliated to the BAA or SPA. We do (or have) exchanged information in an informal way, which, to my mind, has been to our mutual benefit. I have no idea what John is referring to when associating me with 'meetings and symposia' at 'a certain Scottish university'. I have never organized, attended or been in any way involved with University meetings or symposia related to NLC. I can't think why a websearch would indicate that I have.
I have to say that I'm extremely embarrassed at having to defend my behaviour in this way. In this respect I have to recognise that I was not appointed to run the website. I certainly do not want to continue running things if the general feeling is that I have been concealing or failing to declare interests, or, that I am not ensuring the work of observers is receiving appropriate recognition.
I'd be perfectly happy to pass control of the website to someone else and would gladly discuss this with anyone who's interested...
Very few posters have contributed to this debate so it looks like detailed analysis of our data is not really a popular idea - or, is there a silent majority out there?
With the season almost at an end, 2009 has, so far, produced 543 individual reports of NLC and almost 100 negative sightings. It has been our busiest year yet. The volume of work in processing all this is now quite clearly far too much for one person (well, certainly too much for me!). With that in mind, I'd like to hear from anyone who would be interested in helping out with processing the data and running the website, starting 2010 season. Anyone who thinks they can help should contact me or markt (Mark has already kindly offered help with this) by private message.
We also have a problem with web hosting. I've always hosted the website on my ISP's free webspace but this is now almost full and we have occasionally exceeded bandwidth allowance. We should really move everything to a new server. Advice and suggestions on how this problem could be solved would be much appreciated.
you can use my data any way you want. one way to reduce bandwidth is to ask people to post Links to photos rather than imbedding them into a posting. Host them on flickr or Photobucket. Every time someone opens a thread with lots of photos in it reloaded them all again increasing the bandwidth, Pete
Thanks for your input. It would certainly be a good move to encourage individuals to use a photo-hosting site, saving bandwidth and webspace. I'd still like to continue accepting images directly though. It would be good, for instance, to update the homepage with a featured image (like an 'image of the day/week') - this is something I try to do over each season but only when time allows.
Post by Oscar van der Velde on Sept 26, 2009 1:09:06 GMT
I think the list of data and summaries should already be useful to some extent to NLC researchers, and I imagine they already look at or use some aspects of the data. It is possible that the irregularity of reporting of individual observers is an issue for some purposes (climatology), but everyone supplied the info voluntarily and with enthusiasm, at no cost! I think such information is hard to come by (though nowadays NLC can be mapped by a satellite). I'm certainly in favor of anyone summarizing the data or using it in research. Perhaps it is good to contact some researchers to see in which way the data may be useful and how reporting could be improved.