Data Critiques

Shipwreck Dataset

The dataset selected was my shipwreck dataset that I have been compiling for about 15 years now.  Each row represents a different shipwreck, of which there are about 400.  The wrecks are ships gone missing and never found, wrecks found on the bottom and not identified, and combinations of the two.  Each column, for a total of about 77, is a different set of information about the ship.  Information is contained about the ship, the sinking, and the wreck.  There is build info containing the time, place, and builder.  There is a section on the dimensions and tonnage of the ship.  Then ownership and registry info.  Information about the final trip, the cause of sinking, an the general circumstances regarding the sinking.  The scope of the information right now is confined to Lake Ontario as the other wrecks have been placed into a backup tab, so I can focus on a smaller subset to work with for now.

The data was generated by a combination of primary sources and secondary.  Primary information comes from vessel registration documents and from newspapers clippings (digitized in the Maritime History of the Great Lakes dataset).  The secondary sources consist of datasets like Bowling Green University’s online database of ship registry information or historian David Swayze’s shipwreck list on the Boat Nerd site.  These are coupled with non-online sources like diving guides and archeological surveys.  The dataset has been reworked and expanded several times to accommodate new information and columns like “homeport”.

-Jack Grobe

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