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6. Directory structure for data files

Here is a suggested structure for managing data files using the schema described in Section 5, “The schema”. This structure provides a reasonably modular approach to managing the data for one observer.

  1. Pick a root directory for your data files.

  2. For each year when field notes were taken, create a subdirectory whose name is the four-digit year.

  3. For each month, store the notes for that month in chronological order in a file whose name has the form YYYY/YYYY-MM.xml, where YYYY is the four-digit year number and MM is the two-digit month number.

For example, notes from January 2010 would be kept in file “2010/2010-01.xml”.

The advantage to structuring your data files in this way is that they can be managed by a single Python-language object, described in Section 21, “class BirdNoteTree: A complete set of notes”.