Friday, May 14, 2010

MUFON and Data Collection/Analysis

In business many of us work with complex databases. Those databases are often cross referencing data from one schema to another and utilizing 3rd party databases to handle periphery or ancillary items that do not fit our core competencies but are needed to make things work.

A quick example is buying a book from Barnes and Noble. Online I can search for a book and then check its availability in my local store or others within X mile radius. Each store uploads its inventory in a near real time basis to some corporate grouping of servers to accomplish this. I can also choose to buy it online. The shopping cart has to pull data and check my taxable jurisdiction and assess the appropriate rate. That is a separate database lookup most likely from a 3rd party vendor. Shipping my book to me is done through UPS. so data about me, the book, where to ship it and how to ship it are shared with UPS.

The point is there are a bunch of moving parts behind the scenes working with separate streams of data that is gathered and stored in various ways. Yet, it can all be made to coalesce into a very functional tool.

In the UFO research field there are about a trillion databases keeping various and sundry degrees of detail on a wide range of phenomenon. Part of the problem is that there exists no way to tap those resources.

Picture this, if we could access databases and write SQL queries comparing and extrapolating information from UFO Reports, Abduction case studies, physical trace cases, weather reporting centers, seismic activity databases, solar activity databases, topographical study databases, population resources, and about a billion more things what could we learn?

Imagine that we could mine the massive amount of data that exists today. Would that not be a Ufological research utopia?

The thing that really chaps my ass is that it is possible. I'm not talking about needing funding to do this. It is possible now if only we had cooperation of the varies Urological groups. I get unbelievably frustrated when all i hear about is data collection. Its like living in a world populated by my uncle Doug. The man still has a collection of 8 track tapes and no 8 track player. WHY??????

Anyway, instead of bitching an whining about it I thought I would start to try and make it a reality. I have resources for data storage, bandwidth, and mySQL boxes. What I don't have is access to data. Even if that access is limited it would be good for a proof of concept study. I also do not have the connections to get access to the data (and some would say that is a reflection of my interpersonal skills... namely my wife).

If anyone is still reading this and would like to help please let me know. I just cant help but wonder about all the information we are leaving on the table by not having this.