Scott Penrose


Scott is an expert software developer with over 30 years experience, specialising in education, automation and remote data.

Information about Freebase - a relational database about everything.

This is just some notes I am collecting rather than any sort of guide.

How to ?

I am only learning, so there is still a number of questions I have. My plan is to find out the answers via the forums etc first, but I have not had time. So this is just the list rather than the answers.

Specific aircraft

I want to add some specific aircraft. E.g. VH register in Australia is public. So lets add that set of information...

  • Aircraft and Aircraft_type seem to have some overlap?
  • Where do actual individual aircraft go?
    • Aircraft are specific types, e.g 707
    • Aircraft_type seem to be broad grouping - e.g. Passenger Jet

Once I get the list of planes in, we can then link to People. But how? I guess the schema would have a "Owner" which is a "Person". Or could be multiple.

Arbitrary links

In a particular instance (e.g. a glider I added SZD 36) how can I link to arbitrary information, such as an external URL?

Cross reference

From people, how can I see where they are used?

Small pictures

Why do some things have small pictures, and others, even though they have pictures in the gallery, not?

URL Name

It seems that everything I go to has a nice short name in the URL, except things I create which use a GUID - why?

Added a link to Media... how to remove

I accidently added a type "Media" to an aircraft. How do I remove that?

My Plans - Data

Here are some of my plans for data


Yes there is plenty on aircraft, but what about the actual planes?

What it needs:

  • Country
  • Registration
    • Registration type - e.g. VH-GJS (my glider) is globally registered, but sports aircraft in Australia are not. So type might be "ICAO" for the default types, or "Australian Sports" for sports aviation in Australia.
    • ID - the id for the registration.
    • Registration can move over time. So maybe some form of dates
  • Owner(s)
  • Location(s)


I want to add that I am a pilot. Then add things like qualification, ability, events (participation etc)

Combine this with the existing Gliding Clubs, and Planes (above) and we have a relationship between pilots, clubs and planes.


This is where it is really leading. A flight (from gliding this is uploaded as an IGC file) has:

  • Waypoints (not just the official named ones as per Freebase now, but arbitrary locations)
  • Date, time, pilots, plane and other metadata
  • Scores - e.g. OLC calculated score
  • Links - e.g. to OLC or other competition pages
  • Links to the plane, pilot and locations


  • A flight has 1000s of data points (usually 1 every 4 seconds)
    • How are they stored
    • As a file?
    • As one instance of a schema
    • As an instance per point
  • Why one or the other?
    • Do we need separation to allow searching (e.g. other people who have done similar flights)
    • Matching any point against a nearby waypoint?
    • Or can this be done by having all the points in a single record - is that sensible?


Each pilot currently maintains their own way points, or uses one from the World Turnpoint Soaring Database. This is really just manually maintained files that are then converted into various formats.

What it does not allow for is finding other points near by, but in other files. E.g. a club may have a file - but our sky overlaps - so how do I then make up my own area:

  • Choose first a group of points - e.g. by the club or another person - a starting set
  • Expand out an area - e.g. where would I likely fly
  • Bring in other points - let the user choose numbers, types of points etc
  • Then full edit of those points
  • Save this as a new set against that user - that can be reused by yet other people
  • Link these waypoints and groups to flights - both planned and actual.


My uses and applications.

Hand held movie rating

This is something that needs reviews, votes and some data against each move. But really it could be part of the FMDB.

Waypoint file builder