Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Progress Update for August

The team continue to make good progress.

Data Sources
All the new data sources originally identified have been added to the HALOGEN database.

Tools Development and Evaluation

Development of prototypes of the ‘data extraction tool’ (using Business Objects) and a ‘web based enquiry tool’ continues.

The second iteration of the ‘web based enquiry’ development was presented to Nottingham users in late June and to the Roots of the British/Diaspora researchers at Leicester in July. Feedback from these sessions has been used to enhance its presentation and functionality.

A prototype of the business objects based data extraction tool has been delivered to researchers at Leicester and they are evaluating its use.


A visit from David Flanders - JISC Programme Manager occurred on the 2nd August and highlighted a number of hot topics (most notably data licensing issues and ideas on how to test our deliverables). The feedback from this session was very positive.

Photo below - left to right: Olly Butters, Andrew Bradley, Jonathan Tedds and Dave Carter.

Monday, 8 August 2011

MySQL server and ArcGIS

Olly and Liam got to grips with linking ArcGIS and MySQL server last week, essentially they have created a method to allow ArcGIS to talk directly to the HALOGEN data without the need to export data (e.g. as a csv or tab delimited text file). So far it looks like we can query directly on the database. Why is this great news you ask? Before I created an events theme in ArcGIS which was then converted to a shapefile, unfortunately with large volumes of data we exceeded the maximum size of shapefiles and therefore could not query the data any further without a crash. We still need to test and see if relational databases work though, watch this space...


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Plotting aggregated points over Google Earth satellite images

Olly has created a web interface that plots our data on to Google Earth satellite images. Our data is aggregated to the centre of BNG 1km squares to preserve confidentiality and to standardise the resolution of our database as there are several different data sources to compare. I am concerned that end users may forget / not read the project documentation and think that a point marks the exact location of data when in reality it could be anywhere in a km square around the point.  Does anyone else share these concerns - or have a way of reminding an end user of this?