Friday, October 14, 2011

The Database Is Coming

The Database Is Coming 111014

Over the last few weeks I have been adding more and more DANCE QUEENS information to the blog. I think you can see that there is a lot of dance information. Part of the reason for the blog is to give us a way to organize and easily access all the information that we have.

Last July Riddle suggested to me that a database would be helpful for managing all the DANCE QUEENS information. As he and I talked we realized that a database would not only help manage the existing information, but would allow us to gather and make useful more info about individual dances and animations.

Riddle offered to build a database while I was on holiday in August and I said okay. When I returned in late August, Riddle had built it. Since then we have been tuning the design of the database and adding the dance information to it. Now there are over 4500 individual dances and animations in the database with at least some information about each one. Information about the dances and animations includes such things as

    The proper NAME of the dance or anim
    The TYPE such as dance, animation, couples dance, pole dance, chair dance
    The SPEED of the dance such as slow, medium or fast
    The loop TIME of the dance or animation
    The RATING on a 1 to 10 scale of the dance or animation
    The MAKER of the dance or animation
    A reference to a VIDEO, if one exists, of the dance or animation

In a few days I will begin to put in the blog this information about individual dances and animations. Although we have a lot of information, there are lots and lots of missing data. If you have information about the dances and animations or, if we are missing some, let me know.

As we were looking at the dances and animations we wanted to categorize them further. For example, a dance might be for ballet or for breakdancing. A dance might be an 'on-the-floor' dance or good for using an umbrella. An animation might be a stand, but also one where the avatar is sneezing. Recently, six DANCE QUEENS members were invited to help Henmations categorize their dances into about ten categories. What seemed like a simple task turned out to be quite challenging. Rarely did more than two people agree on the category for a dance. During this project I looked at the different categories that the MOCAP dance makers use for their dances. There was a huge degree of inconsistency across the sellers. Dance categories seem to be confusing for all of us.

Once the database information is on the blog and accessible, I will assemble a small group of DANCE QUEENS members to help define the categories for dances and animations. If you would like to be a part of this group that will make the definitions, please let me know. I did do some research on the subject and there is a very helpful dance category list and animations are already defined in terms of stands, sits, hovers, etc.

If we are successful in defining dance and animation categories, this will allow us to make the database even more useful.

A second part of the database is to find a way to make it accessible to all. Initially, I will place the data on the blog in reports that are of general use. What we want to do is to make the database available so you can search for what you want, for example, maybe you want a fast speed dance of 15 to 20 seconds that is highly ranked and is for hiphop. With access to the database, you can get all the choices.