Meg Richards – Potential Data Sources

by Meg Richards @ 2:17 am 17 January 2011


Each student, staff member, and faculty member that comes to or works for CMU has some amount of personal info made available by default with the LDAP servers. The front-end of this service can be seen at The information includes a person’s associated departments, majors, student level, primary affiliation, name, andrew id, and email address. Analyzing this data might let us draw some conclusions about the probabilities of getting a minor with a certain major; the declaration of a minor by a certain student level in a particular department; or even the likelihood of someone in a certain major to forward their mail to Gmail.

2. Foursquare API

Foursquare is a framework and service for location-based social networking. The Foursquare API allows you to pull information about venues, users,  user checkins at a venue, and tips for a venue in addition to allowing you to perform actions like a checkin. Using that data, you could get an idea of where you and your friends typically go or what users who visit a particular venue are also likely to visit.

3. CMU Service Monitoring Data

Mail, OLR, Portal, LDAP, Calendar, Blackboard, KDC, WebISO, and smattering of web servers that keep this university running each fall down occasionally. When that happens, the monitoring system leaps into action and alerts the poor sucker on coverage duty to go and fix whatever’s broken. The service, problem, and alert timestamp are all logged, and visualizing that data over a variable time granularity might lead to some interesting observations.

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