It’s All About the Data

Bigfoot sightings with terrain by Jill Marie Hackett
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The more data can be shared, the more we can learn.

I have recently been working with data from the BFRO sightings database I want to do a lot of different kinds of analysis, such as yearly location shifts, coloration, time of day of sightings, and more. The problem I ran into was that the only way to search the database was by state/province, ordered by date. I set out to find some downloadable data that I could work with in a table format.

I was able to find Timothy Renner’s GitHub page with downloads of data obtained from the BFRO. His data has been used in GIS models to map sightings by geography, terrain, weather, and more. I took the dataset and imported it into Excel for my own purposes. However, the CSV data needed some work before I was able to sort it by categories.

I have taken the data and made an excel file that you can sort by the existing categories of the BFRO reports. These include year, date, location, environment, and notes from both the witnesses and the investigators. In the coming weeks I will begin to extrapolate info from within the notes to add categories to the searchability of the data. I want to be able to look up hair color and other details and try to identify patterns. You can download and play with it here.

There are a few people out there who have already done amazing work with sightings data. I am especially interested in the use of GIS with data, as I have a small amount of experience in this field. Not that I can do all the work, mind you, but I was able to learn a bit about it in a previous occupation. Mapping data according to different parameters can give us a great visualization of data that is more easily digested and understandable than reading through lines of reports.

Here are a couple of great sites showing interesting visualizations of the data:

INFORMATION VISUALIZATION – Student work at the School of Information, Pratt Institute

Understanding Bigfoot Sightings – Data World Page

The more shared data, the better the chance of solving the mystery. Someone will always find a unique way to look at it that helps move the study of possible Bigfoots along.

Chad Gatlin

I have been a Firefighter, a Radio Personality, a Writer, and an Insurance Agent. Now I am adding Author to that list! I have had a long interest in the weird and unexplained, and love to discuss and debate these subjects.

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