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Japanese Garden Data Base

Posted by edzard 3b Canada (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 23, 04 at 20:14

another aside question from the usual conversations.
Considering that the Japanese Garden Data Base exists and serves as a repository of gardens/garden information, ..... is it what it should be?

What do we expect from it? What should it be focusing on? Is it functional, comfortable to use? In turn it also has a forum, though rarely used and seemingly for the more serious questions about gardens on more of an international scope from the url's I have seen.

This question comes from checking the last message on this board and realising that threads drop off the Board, one of the next to go being the "bibliography of Books We've Come across"...

what should the Database reposit? Archive what?
Articles? blueprints? details? histories? lineages? what?
What services should it be offering? or is it good as it sits? is it too big? too small? at what quality? --do we feel it has quality? is it 'bonafide'?
or is it just a marketing tool for gardeners researchers, products and a map of the worlds gardens?
How could it be the most useful for whoever it should be useful for? or is it already?

for those that have not heard of it, is the url.

thanks for responding to my curiousities,..... edzard

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Garden Data Base

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Japanese Garden Data Base

First of all Bob Cheetham has done a remarkable job here and I say that which a tremendous amount of gratitude. THE PLACE to start if you have a question by far. I would even go as far as saying that I would throw it a few $ just for the priviledge of obtaining some of the information he has pulled together.

Too big, nah.... Quality... it is pretty good. Bob has to keep the lights on so I am not bugged by the professional input. I might actually need to contact someone about something someday.

This may be getting weird but hear me out. His site is kinda like going to the libraries of old. Walk in, go down the aisles, find what you need, sit down, make sure you are quiet of course, finish up, leave.

Now compare it to this place...........walk in, duck a low flying book, overhear a loud conversation eschewing proper pruning techniques (had to throw that in), put your feet up, grab a Newcastle, overhear another conversation utilizing hoods of cars for proper stone transportation, grab some nori maki, break up a fight, start a conversation concerning pot stickers versus gyoza which ends up with people smarter than me ending with "nationalistic borrowing" or some kind of thing, another Newcastle, overhear another conversation in GREAT DETAIL on how to place stones near ponds, feeling happy, feeling good, try not get kicked out, etc......

In short, Bob has a great site but it is STATIC. You can pose the same question here and it is DYNAMIC and folks, I like it. I KNOW how hard it is to obtain some of the information that gets passed through here. I grew up in a Japanese environment. You show respect here, you get treated with respect. If you don't you get the silent treatment, given bad information, or get ridiculed. Karma. do you make the Database better? Stock it with more data. In the mortal words of my boss "it is what it is". After I leave the library, I'll spend the rest of the night at the corner listening to someone talk about poultry grade gravel versus chipmunk grade gravel and the merits of Ford hoods versus Chevy hoods. Still waiting for someone to take apart a rain chain and put it back together with pictures.


RE: Japanese Garden Data Base

Nachodaddy said:

" do you make the Database better? Stock it with more data. "

And I say, "Hear, hear!" But who's to do the stocking? Bob does, after all, have a day job. And here we are at GardenWeb, literally WALLOWING in information about Japanese Gardens. Is there a way to cross-polinate? Can I PLEASE put a few more mixed metaphors in here? :) Seriously though, if even a tenth of what we have here can be transferred somehow to JGDB, think of what a rich resource it could be!

Another thought: perhaps, to answer some of Edzard's questions, we should first ask ourselves (and others) what we use JGDB for. Personally, I spend most of my time there looking at the garden pages, reading descriptions and especially looking at the pictures. There can never be enough photos for me. Probably second on my list would be the bibliography.

Anyways, I guess what I'm saying is that in order to find out if it's doing a good job, we have to find out what job people are asking it to do. Make sense?


PS - I scanned through the bibliography thread here...what a trip down memory lane! However, it's reached saturation...I wonder if we can get Spike to make it into a faq and put it at the top of the page?

RE: Japanese Garden Data Base

Before this wraps up completely were there any other suggestions?
Michael & Susan,- thanks,...

RE: Japanese Garden Data Base

Hi, Edzard, and hello to everyone else (after a very,very long absence)!

I met Robert at the international symposium in Seattle and have volunteered to spend several hours per week entering/editing data for him. I imagine he'd be interested in other serious volunteers. Right now he does the whole thing by himself in his spare time --- no small feat, and quite a testimony to his dedication. I think it's a terrific resource and it can only improve with the input of more energy.


RE: Japanese Garden Data Base

I first looked at Bob's site trying to find nearby Japanese gardens to visit. I noted which ones he didn't have photos for, and I've sent him pictures of the Japanese gardens in my area. It seemed only fair when I wouldn't have found them as easily without his site. I would think quite a few of us could chip in this way. All I did was email him and ask if he'd like them, and he said yes. I set them up for immediate uploading, since I have Photoshop, which he appreciated for the time-saving it provided him, but that's not a requirement for contributing.

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