Getting Started


     Our goal is to extract structured data from over 9 million pieces of weather observations captured at McGill's observatory since 1863. We need your help to transcribe all that information!

Take a moment to watch the tutorial video below before getting started. 

If you need to go over one of the steps we have broken up the transcription process into 5 steps outlined below the transcription video. 

When you are ready, sign in and click on Transcribe to begin transcribing a page! 

If you run into any problems check out our FAQ's or Report a Problem



Step 1: Verify Page Metadata


  1. Check the date. The date is written on the top, right-hand side of the logbook.
  2. If date is wrong, then click the box next to “Wrong Date?” and enter in the proper date in the rectangle that will appear once that box is checked.
  3. Count the number of entries (rows) per date, and pick that number from the drop-down menu under “Number of Observations.”
  4. The rows correspond with a time. Generally, there is one entry every three hours, starting at 1:48AM.
  5. Once done, click “Submit Metadata and Start Transcribing”.

Note: If you have a logbook with Sums and Means rows, just ignore those rows. Do not include them when counting the number of observations, and when entering observation data.

Note: Sundays generally only have three entries.

Step 2: Set Up Your Transcription Environment


  1. If needed, you can reposition the Time Column Guide and the Column Label Guide so that the text is clear.
  2. Click “Transcribe” in the left-hand corner to begin.
  3. A pop-up will appear with tabs that should match up with the headings/labels in the logbook (ex: Anemometer, Barometer, etc).
  4. The transcription box is movable.


Step 3: Changing the Date & Time


  1. Click on the first tab (ex: Anemometer).
  2. Pick the date and time from the drop-down menu by clicking the clock icon. 
  3. The dates entered as metadata should be highlighted.
  4. You can also manually enter the dates and the time from the text box under “Observation Date and Time.”

Note: You cannot click on any other dates than those that are highlighted, or enter a random date.

Step 4: Start Transcribing 


You are ready to start entering data!!

  1. Start entering the observations.
  2. Only enter the data for one tab at a time.
  3. Press "Save" after entering the data in each tab before going on to the next tab.
  4. You will have to draw a highlighted box around the observations that you just transcribed.
  5. Do not include the date or time in this highlighted box.
  6. And repeat until the observations from every row have been entered!

Step 5: Highlighting


  1. You can edit the highlight box.
  2. Hover over the highlighted box to reveal three little icons on the left side and one red icon on the right side.
  3. You can edit the annotation (i.e. the data)
  4. You can resize the box. You must drag from one of the corners!
  5. You can reposition the box by dragging it.
  6. The red icon on the right side is to delete the annotation.

Step 6: Final Touches


  1. You can take a break whenever you want by clicking “Stop Transcribing” in the top right-hand corner.
  2. A pop-up will appear telling you to click the blue “Take a Break” button that appeared in the pop-up window.
  3. Clicking “Take a Break” will bring you to the “My Transcriptions” page, where you can view or continue any of your previous transcriptions.
  4. Once you have transcribed all of the data, click “Finish” in the top bar.