Ecole de la paix - Research on peace and datasets

Merging and Meshing Data

Difficulties, Lessons, and Suggestions

Thursday 31 May 2007 by D. Scott Bennett

The process of bringing together information (data) from different data bases faces a variety of practical difficulties. These difficulties make it difficult to readily access, merge, and present data collected and maintained by different researchers and organizations. Practical difficulties range from the simple necessity to have matching “keys” on which to merge information in an automated manner, to different data organizational structures in different databases, to issues of obtaining permission to link data through a single source. Different users (e.g. journalists, military analysts, laypeople, quantitative data analysts) also want to access information in different formats, display modes, and with different levels of precision. In this paper I discuss some of these practical issues with meshing data from different sources. I will also discuss the EUGene software program. This software was designed for (typically academic) analysts, and pulls together data from a number of widely-used international relations data bases and makes data merging and access to the resulting data easy for end users. EUGene has confronted some of these issues, and the solutions suggested by that experience are discussed.

Presentation by D. Scott Bennett on merging and meshing data (mp3, password required)
Draft paper on merging and meshing data (password required)
Tentative title: Merging and Meshing Data: Difficulties, Lessons, and Suggestions

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