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Returning to Tides

Fred Viole shared a great “data only” R solution to the forecasting tides problem.

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The methodology comes from a finance perspective, and has some great associated notes and articles.

This gives me a chance to comment on the odd relation between prediction and profit in finance.

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Lord Kelvin, Data Scientist

In 1876 A. Légé & Co., 20 Cross Street, Hatton Gardens, London completed the first “tide calculating machine” for William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) (ref).

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Thomson’s (Lord Kelvin) First Tide Predicting Machine, 1876

The results were plotted on the paper cylinders, and one literally “turned the crank” to perform the calculations.

The tide calculating machine embodied ideas of Sir Isaac Newton, and Pierre-Simon Laplace (ref), and could predict tide driven water levels by the means of wheels and gears.

The question is: can modern data science tools quickly forecast tides to similar accuracy?

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