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gigantor

SSR Introduction

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gigantor

Standardized Sighting Record

 

This project is a community effort to classify sighting reports into a database suitable for data mining. All Premium Members can gain access to it upon request.

 

To this end, it was necessary to develop a Standardized Sighting Record (SSR) to store the classified data. The thread in which the original idea was conceived and the SSR developed can be found here. The effort began in March 2011 and it continues today.
 

A database was then created based on the SSR using mySQL, PhP and Apache.

 

It was initially populated with data from:

 

 

This baseline dataset is considered to be "Not Classified", but it is searchable and provides basic information.

 

BFF member volunteers then began the task of classifying the baseline dataset of about 7500 reports. As of  August 2018, over 5400 reports have been classified

by painstakingly reading each one, finding the sighting coordinates, evaluating the integrity of each report  and inputting quality data into the database. The SSR is about quality, not quantity.

 

Most of the credit goes to three incredibly committed members:

 

BobbyO who classified all of Washington State and the Pacific North West.

Redbone who has classified more reports than anyone else by far

Bipedalist who was the Steering Committee Chairman at the time and fought to get the SSR approved

 

The database search tool allow filtering reports by any criteria defined in the SSR. Below is a screen shot of the search tool.

 

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gigantor

Search Results

 

The search results lists all of the sighting reports matching the specified criteria. In addition to basic information like date, state, county, gps coordinates, It provides the following:

 

  • A link to the original report source.
  • A link to a Google Map of the sighting location for each report
  • The moon phase and whether it was visible during the time of the sighting
  • A Google Earth KML file of all the sightings, color coded by BFRO Class, Season, etc.
  • Stats with plotted charts for almost every data point.

Following are screen shots of the results of a search for Class A reports from 2010 to 2016.

 

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hiflier

Folks, I don't know about you but this SSR effort is just hands-down a monumental achievement. The concept and subsequent execution of such a task has not been only about classifying the source data- it has also been about working out the bugs in the program and system along the way to which GIGANTOR (and the name SHOULD BE in all caps ;) ) can take the credit as he patiently took in all of the notifications of glitches in the SSR and worked through them in order to have the data perform as desired. BobbyO, who worked diligently in every spare moment he could muster, and RedBone who has been nothing short of a juggernaut who has been unstoppable on getting report after report pigeon holed into the dataset.

 

We owe these people a immense tip of the hat and I personally thank them for what they have done though my thanks falls way short of what they deserve, Thank you guys for staying with your goals when I fell behind, and for doing it all so incredibly well. 

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Huntster

With regards to North American grizzly bears, individuals among the extinct California variety were documented to be as large as coastal Alaskan bears. This might have been for the same reason: salmon. Of course, the Alaskan bears didn’t start to see the kind of human hunting pressure that the California bears saw as early as the late 1700’s. Mexicans were capturing bears to fight bulls long before Americans started arriving in search of gold around 1850. 

 

Great Plains wolves & grizzlies, preying on giant bison, were also reported to be huge before they and their prey were extirpated by Americans.

 

The food/size thing for sasquatches might be the same. West Coast sasquatches, benefitting from large, regular runs of protein rich salmon, were likely larger than, say, sasquatches from the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas/Louisiana corner. But as we destroyed the salmon and simply overran the coast, the sasquatches (like the bears and wolves before them), have died off or moved north.

 

(Note: I think sasquatches are behaviorally more like pumas than bears/wolves with regard to human pressure; more secretive, quiet, and nocturnal. Both brown bears and wolves are less tolerant of intense human pressure, but recent Alaskan studies are proving that given the huge spaces needed nearby, both species can and will quietly infiltrate even dense cities of humans with remarkable secrecy. I believe sasquatches do likewise...........)

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Huntster
On 9/10/2018 at 5:53 AM, Huntster said:

.........recent Alaskan studies are proving that given the huge spaces needed nearby, both species can and will quietly infiltrate even dense cities of humans with remarkable secrecy. I believe sasquatches do likewise...........)

 

The work that ADFG has been engaging over the past 15 on “Urban Bears” is utterly fascinating. This is just one of those studies:

 

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm%3Fadfg%3Dlivingwithbears.anchorageurbanbearsstorymap

 

Of particular interest is this of Black Bear #16 (found on the “behaviors” tab in the above link):

 

.......We often think of bears as solitary creatures, except for sows with cubs, but many of these videos show some bears in the study spent considerable time in the company of other bears. Perhaps the most surprising of these was Bear 16, a black bear that crossed Cook Inlet to Fire Island and took up company with a subadult brown bear. There are not many documented cases of brown and black bears as companions; Bear 16 was at first hostile toward the brown bear but later reports from workers on Fire Island reported the two bears as companions and playmates........

 

You can click on each colored dot and get a window pop-up with info on that particular bear and his/her activities at that moment.

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