Historical data: Hidden in the past

September 22, 2017
Woman examining plate
Alex Newman/PRI Inspection of old images on historical glass plates can often uncover valuable data.

Attitudes towards archived data have changed in other fields, too. Astronomers used to look down on colleagues who analysed old data, says Alyssa Goodman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They were seen as “some sort of second-rate scientist who couldn't get telescope time”, says Goodman, who is also the founder of Astronomy Rewind, a citizen-science project to gather information from astronomy-journal images dating to the mid-1800s. “That is what has completely changed,” she says — astroinformatics, a field that involves analysing previously gathered data, has emerged in the astronomy community.

Read More: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v549/n7672/full/nj7672-419.html

See also: Visualization, 2017