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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10

    Small Scale Modeling Local of Ecosystems

    This is actually a dual focus question: Part 1 is looking for information about current processes the science community uses for modeling of ecosystems, especially small scale. And part 2 is looking for how I should start studying to achieve my goal.

    Part 1 is about that simple: Do scientists who model ecosystems use databases? Like postgres? Or do they write their own programs? What can you tell me?

    Part 2:
    I'm looking longterm to create a database of plants, animals and foods with particular attributes which can be searched and sorted based on those attributes. Eventually I may also want this data and it's relationships to be accessible to third party programs for further processing. The idea being really to model ecosystems - ie plants grow foods, give and take nutrients, energy and water, etc.

    I'm thinking now I'll learn the basics of Access on some other little projects, but begin making the prototype information tables in excel (as they can be imported into most databases without any problem?) Learning Access is just because last time I tried to jump into Postgres I got really confused and discouraged.

    So basically:
    Is Access a good place to start?
    Is Postgres really as complicated as it seems?
    Can Postgres link up with other programs by generating user specified data files? Say... with Autocad? Could it generate information for autocad to interpert?
    What do scientists use to model ecosystems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    Access is probably not a good place to start, as its SQL implementation is not nearly as complete as that of a true database server such as MSSQL Server, and you are doubtless going to get into some complex SQL if you are modeling an ecosystem.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    Um... I wasn't gonna start modeling ecosystems right away. Geez... I can't even make a scheduling database

    But ok: SQL - I don't know what that is - I'll go read up.


    What do scientists use anyhow?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    Quote Originally Posted by Supaiku View Post
    What do scientists use anyhow?
    Bunsen burners, I think.

    Though seriously, my brother-in-law is a neuro-scientist with a Midwest University. He has a home-grown database for managing his data (mostly simply, if long, lists of events a measurements), though he is considering porting the thing over to a database server such as MSSQL or MySQL.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    From what I can figure they use regular databases (oracle, whatever...) and self written software.

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