Posted by: mlpellie | August 17, 2010

Happier days in the lab…

it works! (Yippee!)

Hi everyone,

Our summer work is wrapping up, and we’re on track to finish two BIG summer projects: the map interface is going live and we’re just about ready to upload a bunch of newly-sorted pics to the website (by “we” I actually mean Matt and Natasha and Fletcher). I’m headed out to join the field crew at the end of the week, hopefully to be joined soon after by Matt. So… that’s what’s new with us! Hope to see you all at the rendezvous!

Posted by: mlpellie | August 3, 2010

One of those days…

Ever have one of those days where nothing works?

After Google Earth turned all my maps black, and the spreadsheet app I’m using told me “import failed, try again later” and the conversion tool I’ve been using as a backup also crashed, I decided to take a break and instead try to make the nice, dull “intro to the map” balloon look a little more readable.

Instead, I somehow turned it hot pink with a fire-engine-red title. (What do you guys think? Could this be the new look for the map?)

I decided to post a picture of it to the blog. But then firefox crashed. So, here is attempt two.

I think I will play it very safe indeed for the rest of the day, so as not to bring down the whole network.

Posted by: mlpellie | July 22, 2010

Map Update

Hey everyone, I’ve just added new surveys to the map and modified it a bit to fix some issues. I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions! 🙂
You can check it out at

Posted by: mlpMatt | July 19, 2010

New Yellow Eyed Cycloptic Deamon of Doom

Today was excellent… Until I read the latest updates of the field crew. They just keep raising the bar for blog posts. Road trip videos ok, we didn’t actually go anywhere on the road so we don’t have to match that. But dancing when you find something! Yikes. I am finding lots of stuff here, I guess some dancing is of the order. Is ballroom acceptable or should I check up on Flamenco or highland dancing???? As for gondolas I am not sure how to compete with that…

Anyhow on to the boring old lab news now.

So no sooner had the previous yellow eyed Drobo cyclops been banished a new entity has appeared. This strange beast has the same distinctive cycloptic eye just below the eye of the other one… There’s no telling what sort of trouble this beast will get up too. I guess I will have to consult our trusty quartermaster and obtain a new 2 TB hard drive of doom. Perhaps that will involve some sort of quest and then we may have interesting dancing/gondola pictures to show.

In other news my giant list of data is paying big dividends and the sorting process is moving ahead at full speed with a further 130 (and counting) GB to be sorted.

Until next time, may you find locations that warrant dancing!


Posted by: mlpMatt | July 16, 2010

New Hard Drive!

Drobo freaks out about new drive.

This is what happens when you put a new drive in Drobo. According to the software everything will be fine again in 66 hours.

We are unable to compete with the success or pictures of our field counterparts this week. However we are now the owners of a shiny new 2TB hard drive that will allow for even more data to be stored. Even as I write the Drobo unit is initiating it into the hierarchy of the more established drives. See the picture. I wonder if it will be given some  sort of title. I appologize for the lack of unboxing picts to show everyone. Flipping open a clam shell piece of plastic was rather anti climatic.

This action has banished the yellow eyed cyclops from my desk. For now it has been replaced by a blinking four eyed box. Hopefully on Monday I will have my all green traffic light back. Four green lights I wonder what that would mean??? Go really really really fast? Or perhaps it is for futuristic cities where everyone drives flying cars and roads are like six lanes wide and four lanes deep. Who knows.

In other news, and oh is there other news, the maps are coming along. So far we have not encountered any summits that have halted Ellie completely, though we have had some hurtles to get through. No word on whether camping is necessary.

Also in a great flurry of emails a new mini project has been kicked started to provide a new internal interface for managing images and metadata on the web. This promises to be an centralized, distributed, über solution, be all end all of the metadata issues! Yay, no pressure Fletcher…. Obviously that was a little hyperbole but we are excited. New pictures are on their way to the web.

Well that would be the news from the lab for this week. Progress all ’round. Next week Ellie will continue to improve the map and I will make sure that data gets where it needs to go.

Posted by: mlpellie | July 14, 2010

Map Update

Thanks everyone who has given the map interface a try! (I’m definitely still looking for some feedback so feel free to comment or drop me a line).

The map (at should be working. (If you try it and it isn’t, please let me know!)

I’ve resolved a bug that had it displaying a blank “google map” for some users who had not installed the google earth plugin. Now, it should display correctly or direct you to download the google earth plugin from You do need this plugin for the map to work.

There are some issues with compatability between Mac and Windows operating systems. I’ve been developing all of this on Mac OS X and did not realize that folks using Windows were not seeing what I was seeing. Basically, not even Google’s own site using this interface displays in Internet Explorer on a Windows machine (even though their documentation states that IE 7 or newer is ok). The best I can do is to suggest that Windows users avoid Internet Explorer! Try it in another browser like Firefox or Chrome. I’ll continue to look into this. I’ve also run into a few issues with survey areas displaying incorrectly when using any browser with windows XP. Still looking into this.

I hope to have more surveys up soon!


Posted by: mlpellie | July 7, 2010


The Map (Beta) is here!

And by here, I actually mean over on Blogspot because WordPress doesn’t like my code… follow the link below to check it out! And then let me know what you think!

MLP Map (v1)


Posted by: mlpMatt | June 25, 2010

Its all about the data

Well here in the lab we had fine weather this week with entirely unobstructed views of our computer screens. Lots of progress this week data was processed and moved about in scads. We congratulated fellow MLP crew member Ryan on her defense and then saw her off on the way to the field. Keep your eyes on this space for forth coming mappiness! Well not literally of course. We don’t endorse not watching where you are going.

And as the title indicates Weird Al got it all wrong… Sorry the zeros and ones didn’t make good pictures this week. Better luck next time.


Posted by: mlpellie | June 18, 2010

Dispatches from SSM B264

Welcome to the MLP Lab blog!

Even though we’re here in the city while the MLP field crew is out climbing mountains, we assure you that we also climb mountains (of data) and see wildlife (like bunnies).

Posted by: mlpMatt | June 18, 2010

The View of 12,000 and 14,000 images….

The first post of our pictures of zeros and ones… This a partial view of the list of the 12000 tiffs and 14000 jpegs currently being processed here in the lab.