50 million data points!

This week Safecast hit a major milestone, reaching 50 million data points in our radiation measurement database. We hit the 40 million mark just last January, which means we’re logging close to two million data points a month now. Another way to look at it is that it took us 3 1/2 years to reach 25 million, which we hit in December 2014, but only 1 1/2 years to double that. Our dataset growth graph is looking more and more like a hockey stick. The growth of the dataset is not the only way to gauge our progress, but it’s a fairly vivid metric. Behind the scenes, the increasing number of uploads from volunteers sometimes makes it hard for our moderators who review each one to keep up. We’re not complaining, though. We should also point out that realtime data streams from our ever-growing Pointcast network are included in this total. These presently total about 6.8 million.

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Above: Lionel’s most recent country-by-country breakdown

Safecaster Lionel Bergeret ran some analytics, and shows that we now have data from 90 countries in all. Data from Japan now makes up a little more than half of the total. Countries for which we have the most data include:

1. Japan:  27,150,000

2. US: 5,453,000

3. Taiwan: 1,200,000

4. Czech: 1,070,000

5. Germany: 867,000

6. France: 838,000

7. Australia: 736,000

We haven’t been keeping up very well with our “drive of the month” posts, but we’re excited that we got our first uploads from Cuba, thanks to user scst2709, within weeks of it opening to US travelers this past spring.

And though an inexcusably long time has passed without our posting about it, late last year we got data from the North Pole. Erin Black of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, who was conducting research aboard the icebreaker USCGC Healy as part of the Geotraces project, and brought a bGeigie. Her data is the line of points heading vertically off our maps (yes, we should put together polar maps to show this data as well as what we have from Antarctica).

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Above: Erin Black (right) and colleague Lauren Kipp at the absolutely not-fake North Pole!

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Above: The bGeigie Nano survived weeks of arctic temperatures on the deck of the USCGC Healy.

Safecast has been very active recently on many fronts, constantly improving our API so that it provides better feedback to both users and moderators, working on new hardware, doing more testing and data analytics, helping educational programs get up and running, and taking time to smooth out rough edges which have annoyed us for a long time. Our many thanks to our volunteers worldwide, and a reminder that we extend an open invitation to anyone who wants to pitch in.

About the Author

Azby Brown

Azby Brown is Safecast's lead researcher and primary author of the Safecast Report. A widely published authority in the fields of design, architecture, and the environment, he has lived in Japan for over 30 years, and founded the KIT Future Design Institute in 2003. He joined Safecast in mid-2011, and frequently represents the group at international expert conferences.