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Data Changed Without Photographer's Knowledge

Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:00 pm

I just noticed that all of my images of N27493, a B-25J named "Miss MItchell" have been changed to TB-25K. I fly on this plane frequently and it is a B-25J. The "T" prefix was deleted in restoration to comply with the type certificate holder and approved by the FAA.

My issue is before a photographers images have data changed, the photographer should be notified that a change in information has been submitted. The database is a can of worms to try to keep accurate. I think this can reduce errors. Another benefit of notification is should I have made an error, I can update my own records.

My preference when I see an error is to notify the photographer and let that person submit the change. I have been the recipient of that and do appreciate it. One side note was a fellow that told me my Fedex DC-10 picture was really a MD-10. I agreed the plane is now a MD-10 but held that when I uploaded it in May 2004, the FAA records still listed it as a DC-10. I was also told I could not have taken the picture in May 2004 even though the photo upload date said May 2004.

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RE: Data Changed Without Photographer's Knowledge

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Hi Gary,

the best thing to do is to contact the editors ( as they are in charge of keeping the information in the database up-to-date.


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RE: Data Changed Without Photographer's Knowledge

Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:02 pm


This has happened to me a number of times and I suggested this too. I think a guy who builds, flies and photographs an airplane probably knows what it is. I finally gave up on some of them.

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RE: Data Changed Without Photographer's Knowledge

Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:23 pm

Quoting f4wso (Thread starter):
I just noticed that all of my images of N27493, a B-25J named "Miss MItchell" have been changed to TB-25K. I fly on this plane frequently and it is a B-25J.

Hello Gary,

This was an error on our part and has now been corrected. The aircraft was re-converted back to B-25J standard quite some time ago. We don't have any photographs in the database from the period when it was a TB-25K, more is the pity. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

With regards to contacting photographers direstly when a change is made, unfortunately this is unworkable for us. Please bear in mind that we can (and do!) make hundreds, even thousands of updates a day. This is impossible for us to cope with manually. I have thought about an automated system, but this is not realistic either, as it would generate a large number of emails which would mostly be unwanted by the recipients and would likely generate a certain percentage of return emails which we would be obligated to manually respond to, putting us back in the fix of using up all our resources.

In many cases we do respond to photographers regarding items that require our attention, but it is a delicate balancing act between spending time working on the site and spending time communicating with site users. It's not that we don't enjoy talking to everyone (it's usually the most interesting and rewarding part of the job, after all) but time is very valuable and research can be very, very time consuming. We therefore have to exhibit a certain level of brevity at times, unfortunately, which can be mistaken for indifference but nothing could be further from the truth. Catch us at a quiet time and you are much more likely to get a wordy reply!

We don't change photographers remarks, unless there is a factual need and that is an unusual event in itself. When we get such requests that are not from the photographer, the correction submitter is advised to contact the photographer directly and the correction is removed from our system. Of course if a photographer wants their own remarks amended, then we are happy to oblige. For those thinking they might like to do this, just click the 'Correct Info' link next to your photo.

We do standardise names into our standard formats. I know that is a whole topic to itself and a major bone of contention for many, but it is a necessary task for the site to be able to work as best it can. We are still at the early stages of easing in improvements to the naming convention we use, but progress has been made.

We do correct erroneous data. This can be quite a challenging prospect, often frustrating. There is a lot of incorrect data out on the web and even in print. Sometimes there are clerical errors and sometimes new information comes to light that overturns previously accepted wisdom. Be careful with official sources, these can frequently contain errors. The FAA registrations database, for example, is notoriously bad. It might be great for practical use in administering the aviation industry, but for a historian it's a nightmare (and to be fair, it is not designed FOR historians). Some of the best data comes from well respected historical and research societies (and I'm going to give a particular salute to organisations like Air Britain and Scramble here), but even these can disagree with each other (and themselves) at times. Putting all this together can be like trying to nail jelly (or jello) to the wall, but such is the nature of historical research and that is what we enjoy.

And sometimes, we have to correct our own mistakes (yes, it happens)!

I hope this helps explain why we can't do what you ask and some of the challenges we face that go on out of sight. The corrections queue is available to all and is by far the recommended way of letting us know of something that needs our attention. Nothing disappears from this queue on it's own. A correction has to be acted on in some way before it leaves the queue, so you can be sure that it has at least been read and considered by at least one member of our Editing team.

Best regards,

Erm, is this thing on?

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