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Datapoints

WHAT ARE DATAPOINTS?

Throughout the site various facts, figures and pieces of text are referenced to the episode which they are from. The Datapoints system scans each part of the the site and compiles a list of every reference used, then lists them all under the appropriate heading. So for example, the weapons section has a page for Phasers which mentions that they can heat rock to 8,000 degrees, as described by Kirk in the TOS episode "The Enemy Within". So when you go to the episode guides and look up that episode, the weapons Datapoint will list phasers against it. The same phaser entry goes on to state that phasers can be set for disruption effect as well, as described in the episode "Obsession", so the Phaser page is listed in that episode as well.

HOW COMPLETE ARE DATAPOINTS?

It is important to realise that the Datapoints are not created directly by us as such, but are a purely automated by-product of the referencing system used within the database. Because of this the Datapoints are not a definitive list of every appearence of a particular item. For instance, the weapons Datapoint will not list every single episode in which phasers are used or discussed - it merely lists those episodes which are referenced in the phaser page. Of course ideally any given page will list every episode with states a significant fact concerning that subject, but while we like to think that we cover issues to a pretty good depth, we can't promise perfection!

The system can throw up Datapoints which look somewhat odd at first glance. For instance, the Architecture Datapoints for the episode "The Cage" list Flint's Palace from the episode "Requiem for Methuselah", even though it never appears in "The Cage". The reason for oddities like this is that the painting used for Flint's Palace was a re-use of the Rigellian Castle seen in "The Cage", and the caption on the Architecture page for Flint's Palace mentions this similarity. Since both episodes are referenced in that entry, it appears on both episodes.

We have compromised on the completeness of the Datapoint listings in a couple of cases. For instance, there is a section of the Datapoints which links to personnel pages. The idea was that the Datapoints would list a person's name against any episode where significant facts were disclosed for him or her (or it). However, the episode guides have cast lists for each episode and these already provide links to the character biographies, so there was a high degree of repetition involved here. To avoid this, the Datapoints for a given episode will only list a character if their bio includes a fact about them which is referenced to the episode and the cast list for that episode does not already list them. The idea of this is that if, for instance, a character mentions that "Ensign Smith likes chocolate" in a given episode, and Ensign Smith does not actually appear in that episode, then you will still find a link to him there even though he is not in the cast list.

Some sections of the site are not included in the Datapoints because they do not use the reference system. This includes much of the Stylings section, the Articles section, and lesser items such as the What's New and Links sections. Future upgrades to the database will likely bring some of these to the database.

WHERE DO DATAPOINTS TAKE ME?

Much of the DITL is comprised of "full entries", sections of the site where a person or object is deemed important enough to have an entire page or group of pages devoted to them. In these cases, clicking on the Datapoint will take you to those pages in just the same way that the normal menu buttons will. Then there are sections of the site which cover less important or interesting items; these will generally group many entries together on a single page - the Architecture section is a good example, displaying tens of different cities or buildings on each of the pages. In order to save your download time and bandwidth, clicking on a Datapoint for one of these items will take you to a page which will display only that individual item rather than the entire set.

Some sections of the site repeat information contained elsewhere in an abridged version. So for instance the Lists section has a rather extensive list of science and technology items, including Cloaking Devices and Tricorders. Yet both Tricorders and Cloaking Devices have full entries in the orange Sci-Tech section. The same Lists section also has a (hopefully) complete list of all Star Trek species, even though many of these species also recieve full or smaller entries in the dedicated Species section. In cases like this the Datapoints will default to the larger entry since it gives a much more complete description of the item, usually with images. You may on occasion see two different links to the same item - this simply means that there is a reference in each page which is not used on the other one, so both are listed to give you as much information as possible.

WHY ARE DATAPOINTS COLOURED?

All links are colour coded according to the site policy, with orange links taking you to a page written from a 24th century point of view and blue links taking you to a page written from a present day point of view.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 5,406 Last updated : 31 Dec 2013