Prediction Service Down

Just a heads up. The main prediction server (geysers.net) for GeyserTimes is currently down. The server crashed and Alan has to rebuild the server that provided the predictions. In the meantime we have been working on a new prediction engine that will be hosted on our own server to eventually replace the current server. The new system is not fully ready yet but we have released part of it so we will at least have predictions for Old Faithful. We hope to get the geysers.net prediction server and/ or the GeyserTimes prediction engine fully operational in the near future.

Will

Web Update

Fixed a bug on the sync adapter with the app that entries would not sync under a certain circumstance. Also added a rule to the duration parser so it will not parse any durations that contain a “/” until we get time to correctly handle those durations.

GeyserTimes is 5 Years Old Today

On April 15, 2011, GeyserTimes first went live.  It looked like this.

Since then, over 800,000 geyser eruption observations have been entered into the online database.  A lot of features have been added over time including connecting to Alan Glennon’s geysers.net database, an Android App developed by Will Boekel that affords offline access to the data, and an application for archiving and viewing electronic temperature monitoring data.

Still, there are things I would like to do with GeyserTimes that I’ve been dreaming about since day 1.  Predictions can be improved as well as data analysis tools.

Of course, GeyserTimes wouldn’t be such a success were it not for the community of gazers dutifully entering information every time a geyser is observed erupting.  Geyser gazing had long been a “crowd-sourcing” effort (on paper) before the phrase had even been coined. GeyserTimes has just been the internet-based, real-time, <insert tech buzzword> continuation of those decades of geyser gazing.

I’ll leave you with some print-outs that I received from Ralph Taylor in September 2010.   I remember it quite clearly.  It was like Christmas morning for me when Ralph pulled up in his truck and gave me statistical evaluations of recent geyser activity (1 MB).  (It was during a period of false Beehive’s Indicator eruptions so it was very helpful!)  I couldn’t get enough of the stats and charts.  Geysers bring two things I love together: Yellowstone and statistics.   Ralph’s work continues to be an inspiration.  A few months after that Christmas in September, I started GeyserTimes.

Jake

Android App Update (3.2.0)

Released and update to the Android app today. Things included are:

  • Ability to download additional data to your device
  • Option for automatic night mode activation (see note below)
  • Fixes an issue with the day summary not populating today’s date if the app is left running overnight
  • Added a “Recent Notes” tab on the Geyser Detail screen
  • Entrants names are now links to their user profiles in dialogs for attachments, comments, and flags
  • Notes now display inline with eruptions on the day summaries/timeline
  • Fixed an issue with the Grand Geyser eruption stats getting cut off
  • Added support to display the new standardized duration fields
  • Fixed a crash for when viewing an eruption or note
  • Improved display of user’s profiles
  • Added Chromecast support to the webcam viewer

Note: The app now requests to see your rough location. This is used only to improve the performance of the automatic night mode switching feature as it allows your phone to get sunrise and sunset times for your general area. Your location is never sent to our servers and is never stored in the app. Also the Bluetooth sync on this version of the app is not compatible with older versions. Users must have at least this latest version to use the Bluetooth sync feature.

No Legal Challenge – April Fool’s!

Yesterday’s cease & desist letter was indeed not real.

The clues:

  • It was from the law firm of Reamer & Marler.  Robert Reamer was the architect of the Old Faithful Inn.  George Marler was a geologist in Yellowstone National Park who did a lot of studying of geysers.
  • The letter was signed by Stephen T. Mather who was the first superintendent of the National Park Service.
  • The federal act being violated was the Freedom of Observational Logging Standards (FoOLS) Act.

I do enjoy a good April Fool’s joke that seems semi-plausible and draws on current events and emotions.  The recent fight over copyrighted/trademarked names of historic locations in Yosemite National Park was an inspiration.

I honestly don’t know what the legal issues are surrounding the Old Faithful Webcam.  I CAN tell you the major legal contract that concerns GeyserTimes.  GeyserTimes uses a license called the Open Database License (ODbL) and I encourage you to read about it if you’ve ever contributed data to GeyserTimes.

ODbL Summary

Thanks!  It’s been fun!