How I spent my winter vacation

I’ve been trying to import the data from David Megginson’s great site into my site. The reason I want to do this is that they have a lot of data that I don’t. They crowd-source a lot of it, but some of the initial data loads come from sources that I never found for my site. My site, on the other hand, tries to get data from various data sources and merges it with other data from other authoritative sources like from the FAA (and the sadly obsolete DAFIF).

And that’s the root of my problem – that site loaded the FAA and DAFIF data some time ago, and has been relying on crowd sourcing since then. That means if I compare my data with theirs, and there is a US airport that they have and I don’t, is that because it’s too small and private to appear on the FAA data, or is it because it was closed and nobody bothered to update it on

Similarly they’ve got a bunch of data from South America that came from an individual. I have no idea how reliable it is – sometimes he’s got airports that are obviously there when you look at the satellite map, but which I can find no mention of on-line. And sometimes he has an airport that I have from DAFIF, but he’s got a different name, a different id, or any number of differences. And sometimes some on-line sources agree with his data, and some agree with mine.

Lacking a definitive way to say “he’s right, and I’m wrong”, or “I’m right, and he’s wrong”, I have been re-running my import, watching my log files to find conflicts, trying to resolve them on-line, and where I have a definite answer either modifying my script or editing the data on to make it so it will merge correctly.

And when I can’t tell which is right? No idea. I have to wing it, I guess. Man, I miss DAFIF.