AirNav RadarBox
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
 


Author Topic: Database update question  (Read 5154 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

testmonkey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Database update question
« on: August 15, 2008, 09:08:28 PM »
Hi all,

Just a quick question regarding the auto database updating that RB does when connected to the internet.

I know that RB will look for updates for all 'local' flights and only for network flights the user clicks on. However I just need to confirm under what circumstances any new information is looked for. As I understand it RB will only try to retrieve information where the ModeS code isn't currently on the database i.e.

Is ModeS code in the aircraft table?
 - Yes = do nothing
 - No = attempt to retrieve details from the internet
Is a picture downloaded for the aircraft?
 - Yes = do nothing
 - No = try to locate and download an image

The reason I'm asking is because I've been spending time lately updating my database to include as many detals as possible but in the process I've located approx. 37,000 aircraft in the database that only have ModeS, Registration and Type Code information. I could add the Type Name easily enough but finding the Company / Owner and C/N for all of these will be a nightmare. I'm considering deleting them from the table and letting RB add what details it can find over time if, as I believe, they will never get updated automatically now that they are already in the database.
testmonkey
--------------------------------------------
RB - MVT9000 - UBC30XLT (for acars)

Allocator

  • RadarBox24.com Beta Testers
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3568
Re: Database update question
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2008, 06:26:11 AM »
Testmonkey,

I'm not entirely sure what logic is used when the NavData.db3 database is autopopulated, but I am almost certain that existing records are not overwritten if they contain at least registration and type codes.  This is obviously to prevent records that you have manually updated being overwritten and I cannot see how this could be any different. It would be inadvisable to automatically add data for empty fields in already populated records.

I think that pictures download is attempted for all records that contain a registration, as it is the registration that is used to search airliners.net.  I find that the only time a photo fails to appear is when there is no photo available at airliners.net - I stand to be corrected here, but that's my impression.

With regards to the 37,000 records with only Mode S, registration and short name, I suggest that you back up your NavData.db3, delete all the partial records as you suggest, and see what happens.  You can always go back to your original file if you need to.

I just wonder how many of those partial records are still "active" aircraft.  I've got 624 aircraft showing in the Network list right now and only 9 of those with registrations are missing the company name in the list. In MyFlights, out of 83 aircraft shown, only one company name is missing.  Obviously, this is probably going to vary depending on where you are in the world and how complete the records were for that country when they were added to the database.

Having used both the SBS-1 and RadarBox, there seem to be two schools of though regarding databases.  The SBS-1 comes with no database at all when you first install it, and population depends entirely on a 3rd party program to give you anything other than Mode S codes.  to a point this is good, as it allows the database to be populated as you pick up aircraft - however, it does mean that you have to have an internet connection to populate the database in the first place.  To counter this, some SBS-1 users download worldwide databases to populate their database, resulting in thousands of aircraft that will never ever be detected as they don't have access to Network aircraft data.

RadarBox takes a different approach, providing a comprehensive aircraft and route database that allows RadarBox to be used right out on the box - if you excuse the pun :-)

I think the fact is that no database is ever going to be 100 percent accurate and for most users this isn't a problem.  For me it's fun to manually correct the odd "live" aircraft record - I don't bother correcting Network aircraft records unless it's something I'm particularly interested in.

Anyway, I look forward to the results of your experiments, let us know how it goes.

testmonkey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: Database update question
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 10:31:24 AM »
Thanks for that Allocator.

I agree with the principle that records already in the table shoudn't be updated as you may have manually updated information that you don't want overwriting. I wonder if a future version could possibly include a flag for each record which the user could set to tell RB not to update it. I know the plan with the auto update flight routes feature which will be in RB2009 is to look for an update once a record is a month old. Maybe something similar for the aircraft table with the 'don't update' flag addition could work to cover instances where aircraft change hands etc.

Like you say it would be interesting to know how many of those 37,000 records are possibly no longer active. I believe the RB way of doing things is preferential to the SBS method so I have no problem with it as it stands. I would be interested to know of any online databases that can be downloaded as you say some SBS users have done. I generally use airframes.org to do my updating but they don't allow connections by 'bots' so it's a manual thing.

Whichever way things are done there's always going to be a degree of manual work involved for those of us that want to keep the database as accurate as possible because no 2 sources store the information in the same way. Just look at the records that are currently updated using the GAS database and the percentage of these records that have the company name and serial number information switched round. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the excellent work done by those guys that work on updating that database it's just an example of what happens with various sources.

I reckon I'll take these records out of my database and put them to one side so I can compare them at a later date and see how many get added back in. In the meantime if anyone can point me in the direction of any downloadable aircraft databases I'd be most grateful.

Thanks.
testmonkey
--------------------------------------------
RB - MVT9000 - UBC30XLT (for acars)

tarbat

  • ShipTrax Beta Testers
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4219
    • Radarbox at Easter Ross
Re: Database update question
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 11:49:09 AM »
I would be interested to know of any online databases that can be downloaded as you say some SBS users have done.

A couple of databases to download.  One at http://www.aerodata.org/BaseStationfile just has registration and ICAO type, and others available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mode_S/files/

My approach with these downloadable databases is NOT to use all records, but just update the existing records in my NavData database.

One technique I have found useful for correcting <100 aircraft at a time is to use the RePopulate function in GAS.  To do this, you'll need to get hold of an empty SBS-1 Basestation database.  You can then populate that database with the ModeS Hex Codes of the aircraft you want to correct.  Then run RePopulate in GAS.  You then need to export the aircraft from the Basestation database, and import them into your NavData database.

Very complicated, but easy once you've setup the various queries in SQLMaestro.  Great for correcting aircraft records where:
1. The Serial and Owner are reversed.
2. The ICAOType doesn't have a match in the silhouettes folder.
3. Empty registration numbers.
4. Etc.....
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 03:51:15 PM by tarbat »

testmonkey

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: Database update question
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2008, 08:41:47 AM »
Thanks tarbat, looks like I'll have to join the Mode-S group!
testmonkey
--------------------------------------------
RB - MVT9000 - UBC30XLT (for acars)