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Thread: Database oddities

  1. #1
    Been Here Since the Begining Sir Willow's Avatar
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    Database oddities

    Was just looking over the database entry page, and just noticing somethings that are rather interesting, and struck me as maybe something's off a bit. Thought I'd mention it and see if it's just me being whacko...

    The top 5 coasters, wood and steel. The lists are not coasters that I would expect to see on there:
    Steel: Shock Wave (?), Montu, Batman & Robin - The Chiller (Robin) (?), Millennium Force, Dragon Mountain (How did this end up here?)
    Wood: 1. Silver Comet 2. Hades 3. The Texas Giant 4. J2 5. Great White

    So I'm stumped. it doesn't look like rankings, because the coasters on it are strange to see that way, but at the same time they're not going to be the most ridden. So how is this working?

    Also, how are the top ride and park counts for people figured? Seems like some of it is out of order, even when I've tried checking on totals of different columns and other things.


    That or I'm just losing my mind again!
    Have you read my number 1 best seller? There will be a test! ~God
    Life with God is one thrill ride you'll never want to get off of.
    My park & coaster photos: Sir Willow's Smugmug pictures
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Bonfante Gardens, Holiday World, SFGrAm, Legoland and Disneyland | Wooden Roller Coaster: Phoenix,Thunderhead- Dollywood, NM Rattler, Raven & Legend- HW, Viper- SFGrAm, Giant Dipper-SCBB | Steel Roller Coaster: X!!, Goliath, Talon, Millenium Force, Montu, Kumba, others

  2. #2
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    The top parks and rides are based on # of votes (previously, they did have to have a minimum of 5 votes). However, I am not sure if there were changes made in how they're counted. I will have to check

    As far as the park/ride counts... it's based on your total ride count... not just your coaster or other thrill ride count.

    EDIT: I've upped it to 20... gives a more accurate picture.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  3. #3
    Been Here Since the Begining Sir Willow's Avatar
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    Yeah, that looks a lot more like what I would expect- even if I don't agree with some of the ones up there, they at least are much more consistent with what I'm used to seeing on the "top" lists.
    Have you read my number 1 best seller? There will be a test! ~God
    Life with God is one thrill ride you'll never want to get off of.
    My park & coaster photos: Sir Willow's Smugmug pictures
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Bonfante Gardens, Holiday World, SFGrAm, Legoland and Disneyland | Wooden Roller Coaster: Phoenix,Thunderhead- Dollywood, NM Rattler, Raven & Legend- HW, Viper- SFGrAm, Giant Dipper-SCBB | Steel Roller Coaster: X!!, Goliath, Talon, Millenium Force, Montu, Kumba, others

  4. #4
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    Well, be glad it's not what the staff picked, even though we've voted (and it is only one vote per person... they can revote, but it just modifies what they have).
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  5. #5
    Been Here Since the Begining Sir Willow's Avatar
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    Oh, that would be an interesting read. Do tell, do tell.

    Better yet, put names up so we can have some fun with you about it!
    Have you read my number 1 best seller? There will be a test! ~God
    Life with God is one thrill ride you'll never want to get off of.
    My park & coaster photos: Sir Willow's Smugmug pictures
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Bonfante Gardens, Holiday World, SFGrAm, Legoland and Disneyland | Wooden Roller Coaster: Phoenix,Thunderhead- Dollywood, NM Rattler, Raven & Legend- HW, Viper- SFGrAm, Giant Dipper-SCBB | Steel Roller Coaster: X!!, Goliath, Talon, Millenium Force, Montu, Kumba, others

  6. #6
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    I mean it's not a list of staff picks. I don't have one available.

    Sorry about that.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  7. #7
    Let gravity do the work.
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    There are a lot of Production Model rides that are not listed under the drop-down "Production" selection list. A couple of examples include the Interactive Rides Sky Skater and the S&S Absolutely Insane (defunct/pre-modification production).

    And the S&S Screaming Swing shouldn't be listed under "S&S Screaming Swing - Small" and "S&S Screaming Swing - Large." There are 3 different capacity models. The Screaming Swing 8, 32, and 40.

  8. #8
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    There's more than just the 3 models for the screaming swing as I did research (the labels were meant to be interim)... theoretically you can have a 4, 8, 16, 20, 32, and 40 (i'm sure I'm missing more).

    Also, Chris, since you're staff, you can talk to staff directly instead of discussing it here.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  9. #9
    X has been Purged Marcus's Avatar
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    Hey the person listed with the top count has been on Figure 8, which closed in 1926. Now I'm not questioning this in anyway directly, but this does make me suggest to TN that names should not show up on the top list without a minimum post count or join date.

    Also, any chance we can get some tabs that will sort the columns so you can see just who has the highest coaster and ride count?
    '11 Area Supervisor, Merch & Games, Michigan's Adventure '10 Area Supervisor, Games, Michigan's Adventure
    '09 Area Supervisor, Merch, Michigan's Adventure '08 Area Supervisor, Merch, Six Flags Over Texas
    '07 Area Supervisor, Merch, Cedar Point '06 Ride Operator, Batman:TR, SFGAM
    '05 Front Desk, Disney's BoardWalk Inn & Villas, WDW '04 Sales Associate, Merchandise, CP
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Knoebels | Wooden Roller Coaster: The Beast | Steel Roller Coaster: Millennium Force

  10. #10
    Member of the 1,000 club Chip's Avatar
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    We are well aware of that situation. Thanks.
    ThrillNetwork editor emeritus - NSCIGC member
    Voyage is the best coaster
    Raptor ride count - 1,160.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Cedar Point, Holiday World, Islands of Adventure | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Raptor

  11. #11
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    We won't make exceptions based on join date or even post count (we do have members who don't post... people seem to forget that).

    However, given that it was clearly abused, you will find that the person is no longer on the list and has their count deleted. We will treat each situation the same way from now on.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  12. #12
    Teh Band
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    I know I've only been around for a few months so my opinion probably doesn't have much value anyway but I'll say what I think anyways

    Why is this an issue? Who really cares what the top rides are?

    Me personally, I love when lesser-known or recognized rides are at or near the top of lists like this. I'd rather see something like a Schwarzkopf looper in Texas or an aggressive woodie in western NY than the same old stuff every time (Millennium, Timbers... blah). It's not like any of the coasters previously listed are bad or even worse not open. Over time, these rides will be weeded out. When I ranked the Silver Comet it had 5 stars and is already down to 4. George, the question marks make me want to assume that you don't think those rides are worthy of being in the top 5. I would also tag on that this probably wouldn't be much of an issue if you agreed with the ratings, correct? I guess what I am trying to say is that this is more of a personal issue to me than an accuracy issue. If anything, there should be more concern about how the ratings are obtained.

    If I am allowed to make a suggestion I think that people should be required to make a comment on the ride if they want to assign a numerical rating, much like the speed zone. Just my thoughts on the situation...

  13. #13
    Been Here Since the Begining Sir Willow's Avatar
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    Actually, you're quite off base. I was more worried about there being a potential glitch in the data base that may have been skewing the numbers in an odd direction. And if there was a glitch affecting that, it could have also been affecting other things.

    In all honestly, there are quite a number of coasters in the top ratings that I DON'T agree with, and if you know anything about me, then you'll know that I don't expect, nor want, everything to line up with my opinion. Doesn't mean I won't challenge it, but I have no problem with people disagreeing with me- as long as they know why and have some reasoning behind it (sorry, I know they don't always, but that's one of my hang ups I'm working on)

    I've also been around the coaster community long enough to have a general idea of what coasters normally seem to rise to the top and which ones don't. As an example, Shock Wave at SFOT is a fantastic coaster, and actually one of my favorites. But it rarely crops up on the most favorite lists- even though I think it should. Chiller has mixed reviews. Dragon Mountain I usually hear getting bashed, called boring, etc.- hardly the mark of a "top" coaster.

    Silver Comet and J2- the biggest problems there is lack of riders. I've heard great things about both, but not from very many people. It's unusual with these kinds of things for a coaster that hasn't had many riders to rise up to the top, and then you have to wonder how much the stats are being skewed when only a small number of people voting can influence it that much.

    As you say, over time those coasters will be weeded out. But that's partially what the minimum number of votes that Steven adjusted does- it helps to weed them out before they have undue influence.

    So no, the ratings really aren't important to me. And especially not if they matched up with what I think (and since only 2 of the steel and none of the wood are on my "top 5 lists" now, they certainly don't) It was honestly more a question of if it was working correctly since it was showing coasters that rarely, if ever, show up on those kinds of lists.
    Have you read my number 1 best seller? There will be a test! ~God
    Life with God is one thrill ride you'll never want to get off of.
    My park & coaster photos: Sir Willow's Smugmug pictures
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Bonfante Gardens, Holiday World, SFGrAm, Legoland and Disneyland | Wooden Roller Coaster: Phoenix,Thunderhead- Dollywood, NM Rattler, Raven & Legend- HW, Viper- SFGrAm, Giant Dipper-SCBB | Steel Roller Coaster: X!!, Goliath, Talon, Millenium Force, Montu, Kumba, others

  14. #14
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    SpeedZone is a whole different ball of wax when it comes to voting. With the uploads, they are created and uploaded by members, and there indeed were clear cases of abuse going on with ratings. The fix incorporated forces people to comment when they rate. If they fail to properly comment... the comment AND the rating is removed very easily. It forced accountability so that a member's reputation is harmed irreparably.

    With the database, we don't require comments for ratings, and the comments are meant as a user review/discussion. When it comes to voting... there is not a member's reputation at stake, and it is meant as simple gauge of popularity. While there is the possiblity of abuse, it is not as detrimental as it has been on SpeedZone. So, we prefer to keep ratings/comments separate. Also, with the way it's designed in the database, it's hard forcing comments on every ride since you can rate (and re-rate) rides and parks in your count maintenance page. Plus, we also allow rating of rides under construction as that can be a gauge of how popular a ride will be.

    Lastly, with what Willow said... the database is evolving, and it's just getting people to rate these rides and parks. We have a minimum number of votes because you could have a list of 5 coasters that had one vote each, but all be rated 5 stars. It's not accurate. However, with the minimums, it provides a very accurate top 5 of our member base, which may not reflect opinions of individuals (like Sir Willow's or even mine), and it may not be consistent with other polls.

    If you take a statistics class or two, you will understand the concept of weighted averages.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  15. #15
    Teh Band
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    This response is going to require quotes, sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Willow
    Actually, you're quite off base. I was more worried about there being a potential glitch in the data base that may have been skewing the numbers in an odd direction. And if there was a glitch affecting that, it could have also been affecting other things/
    Fair knuff. I guess it just seemed to me to be working fine to me

    Silver Comet and J2- the biggest problems there is lack of riders. I've heard great things about both, but not from very many people. It's unusual with these kinds of things for a coaster that hasn't had many riders to rise up to the top, and then you have to wonder how much the stats are being skewed when only a small number of people voting can influence it that much.
    Thats where I disagree though. Seeing rides like the two woodies you mentioned near the top of lists may spark my interest. I probably wouldn't have even heard about yet alone bothered with Silver Comet if I hadn't seen it ranked high on another site. Same thing with the Lusse skooters at Knoebels, I saw them ranked high on another site and it seemed incredulous. If I didnt see that, I may have skipped "those old looking bumper cars" when I went to Knoebels. Heck, I probably would have never driven out of my way to go to the little park in Albany NY with Lusse's without that knowledge... I find these little quirky coasters and rides to be a nice treat compared to what we usually see.

    Personally, I could care less how these things are ranked, I like using the rankings as a "discovering" tool for these lesser known rides. If I want to know where a ride sits with the enthusiast community, I know where to go (Mitch's )

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven
    Also, with the way it's designed in the database, it's hard forcing comments on every ride since you can rate (and re-rate) rides and parks in your count maintenance page.
    I was agreeing with you up until there, you lost me on that. Perhaps you have made it too easy to rate a ride with that method?

    We have a minimum number of votes because you could have a list of 5 coasters that had one vote each, but all be rated 5 stars. It's not accurate.
    A minimum is understandable, but I don't see why you had to raise it from 5 to 20. Sure, it produced more "desireable" results, but is the goal of this site to align itself with what, say, the Golden Tickets deem as tops in the industry? Again, this is all my opnion, I'm not telling you how to run the site, just some curiosities behind the mayhem.

    If you take a statistics class or two, you will understand the concept of weighted averages.
    Thanks for the offer, but with my field I've already taken my fair share of classes in stats (with more to come, yay!)

    Since you brought it up, is there any sort of additional weighting placed into the algorithms?



    whew, sorry to be so long-winded. Sorry if you totally disagree with what I said or how I said it but I'm just really blunt at times

  16. #16
    Been Here Since the Begining Sir Willow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobFunland
    Personally, I could care less how these things are ranked, I like using the rankings as a "discovering" tool for these lesser known rides. If I want to know where a ride sits with the enthusiast community, I know where to go (Mitch's )
    It's funny that you point out Mitch's pole (which, of course, is being done right now), because his is actually the one place that an obscure coaster that's only had a few people ride it can really rise to the top since his rankings are done on a comparison basis- comparing how one person ranks a coaster in relation to the other coaster rankings on his same list. But as I understand it, it's a fairly complicated algorithm to do and it's based on the comparisons. Here it's not comparing how people feel about one coaster compared to another, but how they feel about a coaster overall. If I'm correct, it then takes the average score of the coaster once it's had so many rankings, and then compares them from there.

    Oh, and don't feel to bad about being blunt occaisionally. As Steven will be happy to tell you, I've had problems myself with that one in the past. Right Steven? And Alex? :P So yeah, sometimes I have a hard time myself knowing when to shut up and butt out. hehe
    Have you read my number 1 best seller? There will be a test! ~God
    Life with God is one thrill ride you'll never want to get off of.
    My park & coaster photos: Sir Willow's Smugmug pictures
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Bonfante Gardens, Holiday World, SFGrAm, Legoland and Disneyland | Wooden Roller Coaster: Phoenix,Thunderhead- Dollywood, NM Rattler, Raven & Legend- HW, Viper- SFGrAm, Giant Dipper-SCBB | Steel Roller Coaster: X!!, Goliath, Talon, Millenium Force, Montu, Kumba, others

  17. #17
    I'm the good looking one Steven's Avatar
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    Here's the thing with the raising of the minimum number of votes needed to be include in top stats (Internet Movie Database actually does this)...

    When we started out with the revamped DB... there were 0 votes across the board on all parks and rides. As people started to vote... the top 5 would change almost by the hour. When stats are inconsistent, they are not reliable.

    We then started to place a minimum number of votes of about 5 votes... it helped paint a more accurate picture. However, as the number of votes increase on rides and parks, the initial weighing of the top 5's return to an inconsistent state. When the DB revamp came out, Sir had pointed out the inconsistency.

    So, after reviewing the votes yet again, we found that we needed to adjust the weight. Since the last time we did it was in early 2004 (when we established the 5 vote minimum), we adjusted it to 25. Eventually, it can get adjusted to 50, or even 100.

    If you want to see what IMDB uses (they can adjust the number of votes on a movie to be listed as well)... go here (our formula is similar to IMDB's)...

    http://www.imdb.com/chart/top

    As a note... while I may not agree with it totally... I do think theirs is a pretty good ranking of the top 250 films based on their votes. At the same time, they do have a very easy ranking system, and since we have a member park/ride count integrated with the database, we found that it would just be convenient as well as encourage voting to add the voting for each park and ride on each page.

    As far as you and Sir Willow being blunt about things. I really don't mind (I can be as blunt back). I don't ask people to agree with me... I just ask people to see where myself and other staff are coming from because we do have to make decisions at the hip sometimes.
    Favorites: Amusement Park: Holiday World | Wooden Roller Coaster: Voyage | Steel Roller Coaster: Magnum

  18. #18
    Teh Band
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    Thanks for all of the feedback, I can accept where you are coming from and will remain content with what ThrillNetwork has right now.

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