Summary and Setup

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, William Dyer, Frank Pabodie, and Valentina Roerich led expeditions to the Pole of Inaccessibility in the South Pacific, and then onward to Antarctica. Two years ago, their expeditions were found in a storage locker at Miskatonic University. We have scanned and OCR the data they contain, and we now want to store that information in a way that will make search and analysis easy.

Three common options for storage are text files, spreadsheets, and databases. Text files are easiest to create, and work well with version control, but then we would have to build search and analysis tools ourselves. Spreadsheets are good for doing simple analyses, but they don’t handle large or complex data sets well. Databases, however, include powerful tools for search and analysis, and can handle large, complex data sets. These lessons will show how to use a database to explore the expeditions’ data.



For this course you will need the UNIX shell, plus SQLite3 or DB Browser for SQLite.

If you are running macOS you should already have SQLite installed. You can run sqlite3 --version in a terminal to confirm that it is available. You can also download DB Browser for SQLite from their website

If you are running Linux, you may already have SQLite3 installed, please use the command which sqlite3 to see the path of the program, otherwise you should be able to get it from your package manager (on Debian/Ubuntu, you can use the command apt install sqlite3).

If you are running Windows, run installers as administrator. Additionally, make sure you select the right installer version for your system. We recommend that you use git for Windows. This is described in the UNIX Shell lesson. If the installer asks to add the path to the environment variables, check yes, otherwise you have to manually add the path of the executable to the PATH environmental variables. This path informs the system where to find the executable program.

If installing SQLite3 using Anaconda, refer to the anaconda sqlite docs.

After the installation and the setting of the paths, close the terminal and reopen a new terminal. This enables paths and configurations to be loaded.


Please download the database we’ll be using: survey.db