If you want to represent 290 million years as an integer (290,000,000):
- An UNSIGNED INT can store 4,294,967,295
- A UNSIGNED BIGINT can store 18,446,744,073,709,551,615
In your schema, I'd use a start_period and end_period instead of a
varchar. It's easier to sort and do math on.
You could factor out 1,000,000 from your dates and use a float to
represent the numbers. 290.000000 could represent 290 mya, while 0.01
represents 10,000 years ago. Just make sure there is enough precision
on your float.
On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:16:55 -0800 (PST), David Blomstrom
> I'm working on a geologic time database and want to
> ask a question about geologic time. Can/should you
> apply MySQL's date function to geologic time?
> In other words, if I create a field for the number of
> years ago a certain geologic period began or ended -
> say 260 million years ago - could I designate that
> field "Date"?
> I'll probably just designate a varchar field and enter
> data like this:
> Then I can add "million years ago" or "mya" in my PHP
> script. Some scientists also use the term BP ("Before
> Present," I think).
> Another thing I have to deal with is units of
> thousands. For example, the Pleistocene Epoch (Ice
> Age) ended about 10,000 years ago.
> I just wondered if anyone had any suggestions for
> dealing with geologic time. Thanks.
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