Archive by Author | The Zooniverse

Old weather at 50%

Hey guys

We are so excited that old weather has hit 50%. We thank you for all your help and to give you an idea of how much you are helping climate scientists we thought we would make a plot of all your weather transcriptions so far. You might remember the visualization that Philip created a while ago showing the FOG OF IGNORANCE,  our lack of knowledge about the history of the climate:

Reconstructed weather for March 8th 1918. Colours mark sea-level pressure (red high, blue low), black arrows give surface wind speed and direction. Foggy areas are where we can't say what's happening because we haven't (yet) got any observations.

Well compare that to this map of all your weather classifications! Each point represents a new valuable piece of information about the climate entered by the old weather community. We are really helping to fill in those gaps! Keep up the great work!

Old Weather sails on….


Excellent news arrived today. The powers-that-be at JISC have seen fit to reward Old Weather’s success with further funding. We’re one of the projects who were successful in the latest round of their rapid digitization grants. The application – which incidentally laid great emphasis on the hard work that you’d all already done – went in six weeks after the original project launched, and will provide for a host of new things in the next six months or so.

Firstly, we’re going to get more logs. The grant provides funding for the imaging of another (roughly) 3000 ship’s logs – so that’s 3000 more months of history to feed to the site. The idea is to go back and fill in the gaps during the existing time period covered by the site, so there will be new ships, and some existing ships will gain new images.

Secondly, we’re going to add an interface that allows you to assist us in the task of cleaning up the transcribed data. In the proposal, I used the example of HMS Acacia, where the final temperature record contained some sudden jumps between temperatures in the 70s and in the 40s. Reviewing the logs makes it pretty clear what went wrong – 7s are easy to misread as 4s (at least in the handwriting of the officer who wrote the log of the HMS Acacia) – but that’s easily fixed once you review the temperature series. The same goes for sudden jumps in position caused by mixing up East and West. Producing a tool to help make changes like this will not only help us maintain data quality, but also will mean that it’ll be easy to review your ship’s results once it reaches the end of a log. We’re also going to take the chance to build a more flexible interface, allowing us potentially to transcribe logs that aren’t in the same format as the current set.

We’ll report on progress here as we get cracking. Thanks, JISC, for the support, but thank you all for your hard work that led to this vote of confidence. As a thank you, we’ve got a little surprise prepared but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

HMS Goliath: In Her Own Words


For Day 18 of the Zooniverse Advent Calendar, we’re following-on from Day 12 and I have created this image of a Royal Navy ship built up of the words from the HMS Goliath logs – captained by Zooniverse user Roar. There are some great words hidden in here – it makes a compelling read.

You can download the large version (16 megapixels) or the small version (4 megapixels).

Full speed ahead!


Those of you who return to the main site today will notice that the counter has jumped ahead. Having reviewed the data that we’ve received for the first few ships to complete their voyage, we’ve decided that we only need three separate transcriptions for each ship, rather than five. This should speed up the process considerably, and make it easier to get things done. Full speed ahead!


P.S. You can read more about this on the forum