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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

World Factbook Project 2018

I have started work on the new World Factbook Tool for WiredPages. The interface will be located on the Reference page, same as in the past, however now- powered by a SQL/MySQL database.

I spent most of the afternoon [yesterday], loading the data to a local MySQL database on my Macbook, in preparation for the software development phase.

Some of the datasets [tables] were so large, I initially divided the data into separate files for the import. Initially, I did not use gzip files to import data, however if this had been the case I could have saved an hour or so during this phase of the project. The largest table (factbook_values.sql 5.5MB), was imported using a gzip file. I consider this an important lesson. That said, I did have to override some of the php.ini settings for phpmyadmin.

This new effort will incorporate parts of the software from the old interface [Java Servlet], including:

  • Data requests [user interface] are the same as shown in the illustration above.
  • Text output formats the same.
  • Rendering of graphics [World Flags]-- very similar.

The CIA World Factbook SQL gzip file I found in 2014, uses 2013 Factbook data. This data is relatively new [in terms of what the CIA releases to the public in this format (SQL)] and should be fine for this project.

I plan to submit a FOIA request for the latest available data, however since security issues prevent loading data to an online database, I am only concerned with development and testing of the new Java JDBC/Servlet in my local environment. If and when my security concerns are allayed- the installation of the new software and latest available database should be a breeze.

This post- provides notes on the development progress for this project.




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