The four million

The contributions to classic oldWeather as they have changed with time

Contributions to classic oldWeather: Time runs from top to bottom, each descending ribbon is a different contributor, the colours mark different ships. (Bigger, printable, version).

We started 2016 with some good news from classic oldWeather – the 3-millionth transcribed weather observation from the US Government Arctic logbooks. It’s great to finish it with some more – we have just rescued our 4-millionth.

Those 4-million observations come from more than 480,000 transcribed pages, and are the work of 4,730 different people. We’ve looked before at how the work has been divided up between the participants, but to celebrate 4 million I wanted to go beyond that, and show not only what had been done, but also when.

This is oldWeather meets abstract expressionism, but the descending stripes are not abstract – each one represents one contributor: If you’ve transcribed a page for oldWeather-classic, one of them is you. Time runs down, from the project launch at the top, to the present at the bottom, and the colours distinguish work done on the different ships.

We can see most clearly the large and consistent contributions of our most committed and expert participants – truly the backbone of the project. But also the brief bursts of interest produced by newsletters and media mentions, and everything in between. Again I hope everyone is proud of their contribution – it’s taken us all to do it; and in spite of the awesome size of our achievement (4 million new observations) we are, just about, still all on the same page.

4 responses to “The four million”

  1. spencer says :

    What’s the blue horizontal line?

    • Philip says :

      The horizontal lines are large groups of participants who all turn up on the same day, transcribe a page, decide that the project is not for them and don’t return. They are uniform in colour because they all look at the same ship (the current default). This happens when the project is widely advertised, either because we send out an e-mail newsletter, or because it is mentioned in the press. The blue line comes from a project newsletter.

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