|A typical defrag program - showing data allocations on a computer file system.|
The software would remove blocks from one location and write them in another.
Some files did not move at all (and you could see which blocks stayed).
|Famous shot, from articles: ZJ6752 (original) and also my follow-up.|
Bob Pisani acheived something neither you or I could manage -
getting television cameras inside the HSBC GLD vault.
1. All bars get represented on the chart, in order of appearance in the spreadsheet. If a bar is new to GLD we add it to the next available 'slot', which becomes a fixed position for that signature. If the bar disappears from the inventory we keep the space there but remove the color. If the same bar comes back, we recolor the pixel again. Similar to the defrag software, we'll show change over time so the animated chart uses one GLD source document per frame.
2. We know that gold tends to move around in pallets of 80 bars (1 tonne), so we'll clump the bars together in blocks of 80 (i.e. approximately 8 x 10 pixels ) in an attempt to show up the pallet movements.
3. The fundamental color for a pixel representing a gold bar is Yellow . Current bars being Removed or Added will be shown Magneta and Cyan respectively, which indicate 'current activity'. So, in the basic chart animation, a bar being removed is indicated by a flash of magneta then becomes white in the next frame to show it was removed; likewise a bar being added shows as Cyan and in the next frame it becomes a yellow pixel to indicate it is now on the ledger.
Those conditions make the following animated chart. You may wish to switch to the high-res version to zoom in and see the detail and the dates. The video starts from mid-2011 which is when we started collecting the GLD bar lists. Please bear in mind there is limit of reading error with this chart - I estimate it could be as high as 5 %, but I'm constantly refining the techniques and using the results to scrub the data!
Other formats available:
- Original WMV file (slightly better quality - Windows format, 8 mb).
- Original Source Image Files used for animation (zip file with PNG images, 24 mb)
Please feel free to ask questions in the comments but bear in mind this is the 'Basic Version' defrag chart. For those of you who have already seen this chart, I am actively working on a more advanced version - the next article will extend the concept substantially: "A different view of GLD (part 3 of 4)". Finally just to comment that this chart succeeds better than I hoped in terms of telling a unique story - it is really neat seeing the pallets move about.