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yak merchant
05-09-2002, 03:18 AM
I'm sure you guys have already discussed this one to death, but here it goes:

I'm starting the long journey of writing a program (for my own use, not to sell). Not new to horses, nor to writing software programs for gambling (been working on a college basketball program for the last two years). However I've never really gotten serious with the ponies, but now I need a new project.

This is by far the most advanced forum I've found on the subject so I'm hoping to contribute/learn. I'm almost finished with the first part which was to grap all of the semi-real-time odds off the Racing Channel every minute for select tracks. And parse them and dump them into a SQL server database for later analysis with OLAP cubes.

Now here's where I'm lost. I want to start building a database with Past Performances/Charts. Actually probably charts mainly because I want to roll my own speed and pace numbers. Now this is where I'm looking for suggestions. Here are some of the questions I have.

What are the differences between all the different past performance files? ie DRF, EQ, etc.

Are there differences in the Chart Files?

Has anyone ever attempted to parse the charts from Equibase's HTML files?

Is Handicappers Data Warehouse the only place that offers a subscription for data?

If so do they screw the files up so bad you can't use them for your own use?

Etc, Etc, Etc?

Look forward to hearing any insights you have on the subject.

Thanks in advance.

Yak Merchant

GameTheory
05-09-2002, 07:47 AM
I have an autodownloader for downloading charts & programs.

I also have a charts parser that parses Equibase HTML files. The parser is a work-in-progress, and will have a major new version coming out within a week (I think).

Current users will be happy to know this version will include the ability to parse the programs as well, and incorporate that info into the charts output.

You can now also create custom fields of your own making based on table lookups & formulas. So if you don't like how I've handled any of the fields, now you can make your own to your liking. (This part I'm done with -- working on the programs part now.)

The parser can emulate BRIS result files (it will do this even better this release because of the missing info that is in the programs), and with some work can be made to output just about anything that uses the charts as raw data. (On a single race to race basis, anyway.)


You can download both for free at:

http://www.chessopolis.com/not_chess_at_all/

Arkle
05-10-2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by yak merchant
Is Handicappers Data Warehouse the only place that offers a subscription for data?

If so do they screw the files up so bad you can't use them for your own use?

Etc, Etc, Etc?

Look forward to hearing any insights you have on the subject.

Thanks in advance.

Yak Merchant

You can't use HDW files for your own programs.

My question to HDW was this: "Can you tell me why you don't allow your customers access to the data they buy from you?"

Their answer was that the data was protected so that the program vendors, HTR, HSH, etc, could get a percentage of the cost of the files. Access is limited to the program you download for, although limited database access is available for use in the software vendors' datatbase programs, if they have them.
Some HTR users, for instance, have extensive databases, but my understanding is that the data included is selective, so in HTR and the rest, you cannot, for instance, create a database of Past Performances of all the horses in a race. It would be giving too much away, it seems.
Madness!
With BRIS you can get all the stuff, but the past cards are as costly as the future cards to download, so building a database can be expensive.
Possibly the only way to go.
Strange business...

Arkle

yak merchant
05-10-2002, 02:39 AM
Thanks guys.

G-theory. Looking at your parser/downloader now. Looks like you will be saving me about a billion hours of work. Much appreciated. I'm sure I'll have some questions/comments for you in the near future.

Arkle,

That doesn't make sense to me either. What difference does it make what I do with the data, hell if i print it out and hang it on my walls I should be able to if I paid for it. Maybe I'll just write them a computer program so I can get access to their data.

Probably going to use the charts and programs to roll my own numbers anyway, but that will take a year or two to get enough data for all the horses at all the tracks. But all I have to do is live, die and pay taxes.

Also, I think I read that some of you guys automated your betting process to You Bet. Something about Cherry Pickers? Won't need that for a long long time, but might as well start working on it.

GR1@HTR
05-10-2002, 09:39 AM
"Some HTR users, for instance, have extensive databases, but my understanding is that the data included is selective, so in HTR and the rest, you cannot, for instance, create a database of Past Performances of all the horses in a race. It would be giving too much away, it seems.
Madness! "


Not necessary a true statement. Just a misconception.

Zaf
05-10-2002, 09:30 PM
G-Theory,

I am going to take a look at your chart parser program also. I will try to configure it tonight.

The Chart Downloader is great. That alone is a huge time saver. I used to sit there and manually download charts.

Thanks for sharing & making these things available to your fellow horse player.

Zafonic

nucsub
05-14-2002, 11:31 PM
yes,
I have parsed the charts. You can check out the Track Performance and Race Results program www.jzambuto.com