History Main / OmniscientDatabase

18th Nov '17 3:17:48 AM eroock
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Omniscient Databases almost always have a ViewerFriendlyInterface. If it's on paper or supernatural, it's a GreatBigBookOfEverything. See AkashicRecords for a related but {{older|ThanFeudalism}} trope. These are a special AppliedPhlebotinum used primarily in PoliceProcedural dramas, sometimes ones with a supernatural element.

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Omniscient Databases almost always have a ViewerFriendlyInterface. If it's on paper or supernatural, it's a GreatBigBookOfEverything. See AkashicRecords for a related but {{older|ThanFeudalism}} trope. These are a special AppliedPhlebotinum used primarily in PoliceProcedural dramas, sometimes ones with a supernatural element.
element. Compare Expositron9000.
24th Oct '17 9:54:30 AM bitemytail
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* ARI in ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' is connected in some way to the FBI database.
7th Oct '17 4:58:53 AM ApeAccount
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** One episode has Hal using Ziggy to help Sam set up an ambush on a man walking around a corner, complete with a precise countdown. Apparently Ziggy has recordings of every human being's movements everywhere ever down to the second.

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** One episode has Hal Al using Ziggy to help Sam set up an ambush on a man walking around a corner, complete with a precise countdown. Apparently Ziggy has recordings of every human being's movements everywhere ever down to the second.


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** The episode "Another Mother" had Ziggy somehow manage to identify that a particular character was a virgin and would be for the next six years.
22nd Aug '17 8:21:31 PM Angeldeb82
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No matter what sort of clue the Crime Scene lab has found (blood, wire, rope, oil, perfume, etc), ''somebody'' has manufactured a database designed to search through them all. Not only that, our heroes at the crime lab have purchased a copy of this software[[note]]not necessarily needed,
if the FBI/CIA/NSA already has a copy of the database - these organizations can be hacked within seconds by the average crime lab nerd[[/note]], the interface devices to input the data in question and have acquired the expertise to use this software (which has so far never been used in another one of their cases) with 100% accuracy on the first attempt.

to:

No matter what sort of clue the Crime Scene lab has found (blood, wire, rope, oil, perfume, etc), ''somebody'' has manufactured a database designed to search through them all. Not only that, our heroes at the crime lab have purchased a copy of this software[[note]]not necessarily needed,
needed, if the FBI/CIA/NSA already has a copy of the database - these organizations can be hacked within seconds by the average crime lab nerd[[/note]], the interface devices to input the data in question and have acquired the expertise to use this software (which has so far never been used in another one of their cases) with 100% accuracy on the first attempt.



A key aspect of this trope is that there must be a pre-existing compendium of all possible samples of whatever is being identified. In RealLife, forensics can indeed match samples of, say, paint or glass not only down to manufacturer but even to a specific batch, but this requires two samples: one sample from evidence, and another sample to compare against. This also means that in real forensics, the implications of this evidence are different; while crime dramas typically use the OmniscientDatabase to find a new lead from trace evidence, real forensics usually confirms identity after the police have already gotten a lead (i.e. the police already suspect the glass came from the suspect's house or workplace and can prove it by comparing them, as opposed to identifying where the suspect lives with no prior knowledge just from the glass sample).

to:

A key aspect of this trope is that there must be a pre-existing compendium of all possible samples of whatever is being identified. In RealLife, forensics can indeed match samples of, say, paint or glass not only down to manufacturer but even to a specific batch, but this requires two samples: one sample from evidence, and another sample to compare against. This also means that in real forensics, the implications of this evidence are different; while crime dramas typically use the OmniscientDatabase Omniscient Database to find a new lead from trace evidence, real forensics usually confirms identity after the police have already gotten a lead (i.e. the police already suspect the glass came from the suspect's house or workplace and can prove it by comparing them, as opposed to identifying where the suspect lives with no prior knowledge just from the glass sample).



Omniscient Databases almost always have a ViewerFriendlyInterface. If it's on paper or supernatural, it's a GreatBigBookOfEverything. See AkashicRecords for a related but [[OlderThanFeudalism older]] trope. These are a special AppliedPhlebotinum used primarily in PoliceProcedural dramas, sometimes ones with a supernatural element.

to:

Omniscient Databases almost always have a ViewerFriendlyInterface. If it's on paper or supernatural, it's a GreatBigBookOfEverything. See AkashicRecords for a related but [[OlderThanFeudalism older]] {{older|ThanFeudalism}} trope. These are a special AppliedPhlebotinum used primarily in PoliceProcedural dramas, sometimes ones with a supernatural element.



* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', Dream has a library of all the books that were never written. Including some famous real-world classics whose authors [[AuthorExistenceFailure died before they could finish writing them.]] It also has the books that you might dream of writing some day. Trippy.

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* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', Dream has a library of all the books that were never written. Including some famous real-world classics whose authors [[AuthorExistenceFailure died before they could finish writing them.]] them]]. It also has the books that you might dream of writing some day. Trippy.



* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' is the king of the OmniscientDatabase. They have demonstrated databases on blood, hair, rope, wire, shoe prints, tire treads, tire rubber compositions, and even clown makeup patterns. There was a LampshadeHanging in a sixth season episode, in which a character sarcastically suggested searching a database to discover the brand of a hot dog.

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* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' is the king of the OmniscientDatabase.Omniscient Database. They have demonstrated databases on blood, hair, rope, wire, shoe prints, tire treads, tire rubber compositions, and even clown makeup patterns. There was a LampshadeHanging in a sixth season episode, in which a character sarcastically suggested searching a database to discover the brand of a hot dog.



** Amusingly subverted in one episode where Greg is disappointed to learn that there is no hotdog database & winds up spending his entire year's food budget on various brands of hotdogs in an attempt to find a match to one found in a vic's stomach (He thought the department would re-imburse him. [[ButtMonkey They didn't]]).

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** Amusingly subverted in one episode where Greg is disappointed to learn that there is no hotdog database & winds up spending his entire year's food budget on various brands of hotdogs in an attempt to find a match to one found in a vic's stomach stomach. (He thought the department would re-imburse him. [[ButtMonkey They didn't]]).didn't.]])



** The Enterprise Main Computer carries all kinds of info like the launch codes to the Voyager probe built over 200 years earlier, or the command codes to every other Federation ship. And yet, when it would actually be useful for the computer to find a piece of obscure information, such as in "[[StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E2TheNakedNow The Naked Now]]" or "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E2Darmok Darmok]]", it takes hours. On the other hand, this matches real database performance - selecting a specific single record is far, far, FAR faster and easier than a complex query with plenty of cross-referencing, calculations on and parsing of retrieved data, and presumably multiple sources. "Darmok" also contains more than a little FridgeLogic, in that the database actually knew the stories they were talking about, and yet nobody had made the link before.

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** The Enterprise Main Computer carries all kinds of info like the launch codes to the Voyager probe built over 200 years earlier, or the command codes to every other Federation ship. And yet, when it would actually be useful for the computer to find a piece of obscure information, such as in "[[StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E2TheNakedNow "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E2TheNakedNow The Naked Now]]" or "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E2Darmok Darmok]]", it takes hours. On the other hand, this matches real database performance - selecting a specific single record is far, far, FAR faster and easier than a complex query with plenty of cross-referencing, calculations on and parsing of retrieved data, and presumably multiple sources. "Darmok" also contains more than a little FridgeLogic, in that the database actually knew the stories they were talking about, and yet nobody had made the link before.



* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'''s main characters are a secret organization with nationwide database records sorted by an ancient alien computer system. The team is capable of literally [[RetCon retconning]] anything by changing the database.

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* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'''s main characters are a secret organization with nationwide database records sorted by an ancient alien computer system. The team is capable of literally [[RetCon retconning]] {{retcon}}ning anything by changing the database.



** The Doctor is a living OmniscientDatabase. For later incarnations, there isnít a single episode in the new or old series where he met an alien, visited a planet, or saw a piece of technology he hadnít seen, invented, or met previously (with extremely rare exceptions, which he rather enjoys). In the new series, when a bunch of alien cops threaten him and Donna, he easily understands and berates them in the same language. The man is awesome. But then who knows what anybody might know after traveling the universe for a thousand years...

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** The Doctor is a living OmniscientDatabase.Omniscient Database. For later incarnations, there isnít a single episode in the new or old series where he met an alien, visited a planet, or saw a piece of technology he hadnít seen, invented, or met previously (with extremely rare exceptions, which he rather enjoys). In the new series, when a bunch of alien cops threaten him and Donna, he easily understands and berates them in the same language. The man is awesome. But then who knows what anybody might know after traveling the universe for a thousand years...



* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' is a walking-talking database, able to identify terrorists on sight, however there is also such a database under the Orange Orange used by Sarah and Casey. In "Chuck vs. Santa Claus" we see it pulls up the record of "Ned" who has no criminal record, and is listed as [[ViewerFriendlyInterface having never been married or divorced.]] You know how powerful a computer is when it categorizes you by things you haven't done rather than by what you have done. Then again, it is a [[TakeThat U.S. government computer...]]

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* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' is a walking-talking database, able to identify terrorists on sight, however there is also such a database under the Orange Orange used by Sarah and Casey. In "Chuck vs. Santa Claus" we see it pulls up the record of "Ned" who has no criminal record, and is listed as [[ViewerFriendlyInterface having never been married or divorced.]] divorced]]. You know how powerful a computer is when it categorizes you by things you haven't done rather than by what you have done. Then again, it is a [[TakeThat U.S. government computer...]]computer]]...



** Although the [[NewYorkCityCops NYPD]] police detectives usually make do with a humble whiteboard and footwork, this trope is taken to hilariously ludicrous extremes in the two-parter "Tick... Tick... Tick..." / "Boom!" in which the FBI have smart boards so amazing that they gradually go from matching driver's license photos to witness sketches to being able to pinpoint the exact location of a hostage (down to the room she's being held in) thanks to a blurry image of what might be a bridge and the ambient noise of a subway.

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** Although the [[NewYorkCityCops NYPD]] {{N|ewYorkCityCops}}YPD police detectives usually make do with a humble whiteboard and footwork, this trope is taken to hilariously ludicrous extremes in the two-parter "Tick... Tick... Tick..." / "Boom!" in which the FBI have smart boards so amazing that they gradually go from matching driver's license photos to witness sketches to being able to pinpoint the exact location of a hostage (down to the room she's being held in) thanks to a blurry image of what might be a bridge and the ambient noise of a subway.



** The man from TheMenInBlack in one episode has a database in a suitcase. It ''instantly'' pinpoints a man's location by using his cellphone then automatically finds a MagicalSecurityCamera in the area and maps a small part of the man's face onto a model, extrapolates the rest of his face from that, and pops up with an identity. Castle and Beckett are surprisingly unfazed by the technology.

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** The man from TheMenInBlack in one episode has a database in a suitcase. It ''instantly'' pinpoints a man's location by using his cellphone then automatically finds a MagicalSecurityCamera MagicalSecurityCam in the area and maps a small part of the man's face onto a model, extrapolates the rest of his face from that, and pops up with an identity. Castle and Beckett are surprisingly unfazed by the technology.



* Connor's magnum opus in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' is a database of the identifying traits of every dinosaur and other prehistoric animal known to man. It's just ''barely'' conceivable that Connor could have created such a thing single-handed if what he actually ''did'' was acquire copies of databases previously compiled by other researchers, tidy up and standardise the formatting and make them all searchable from a common web interface, but still rather unlikely.[[note]]Unless of course Connor was lying about doing it all by himself, which would be in-character for him in early Season 1.[[/note]] Accessing it on his laptop from just about anywhere without any apparent means of connecting to the Internet, on the other hand...

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* Connor's magnum opus in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' is a database of the identifying traits of every dinosaur and other prehistoric animal known to man. It's just ''barely'' conceivable that Connor could have created such a thing single-handed if what he actually ''did'' was acquire copies of databases previously compiled by other researchers, tidy up and standardise standardize the formatting and make them all searchable from a common web interface, but still rather unlikely.[[note]]Unless of course Connor was lying about doing it all by himself, which would be in-character for him in early Season 1.[[/note]] Accessing it on his laptop from just about anywhere without any apparent means of connecting to the Internet, on the other hand...



** That trope and its exploitation is the basic concept behind the show. Somewhat more [[JustifiedTrope justified]] than usual in that when Finch built the Machine, he was explicitly given access to every data feed the NSA could get its hands on (plus every electronic device the Machine itself hacked on the fly, plus data from an ingenious invention of Finch called "social networks" (aka Facebook), where people would voluntarily enter all kinds data about themselves), and now that he no longer has such access he often has to resort to asking Carter or Fusco to look through the NYPD databases on his behalf, which quite frequently turns out to be a dead end. So while the ''database'' may be omniscient, the cast's ability to make use of its omniscience is surprisingly limited given the premise of the show. In fact Finch deliberately set things up so the government could not use the Machine as a omniscient database. The government gets warning of impeding threats but is otherwise locked out of the Machine's data processing functions.

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** That trope and its exploitation is the basic concept behind the show. Somewhat more [[JustifiedTrope justified]] {{justified|Trope}} than usual in that when Finch built the Machine, he was explicitly given access to every data feed the NSA could get its hands on (plus every electronic device the Machine itself hacked on the fly, plus data from an ingenious invention of Finch called "social networks" (aka Facebook), where people would voluntarily enter all kinds data about themselves), and now that he no longer has such access he often has to resort to asking Carter or Fusco to look through the NYPD databases on his behalf, which quite frequently turns out to be a dead end. So while the ''database'' may be omniscient, the cast's ability to make use of its omniscience is surprisingly limited given the premise of the show. In fact Finch deliberately set things up so the government could not use the Machine as a omniscient database. The government gets warning of impeding threats but is otherwise locked out of the Machine's data processing functions.



** She also applied her knowledge to other tasks, such as constructing a spaceship from plywood, [[DuctTapeForEverything duct tape]], and a whole lot of FunctionalMagic.

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** She also applied her knowledge to other tasks, such as constructing a spaceship from plywood, [[DuctTapeForEverything duct tape]], {{duct tape|ForEverything}}, and a whole lot of FunctionalMagic.
28th Jun '17 11:17:06 PM PaulA
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* Subverted in ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith'': When the eponymous female character commands her subordinates to "search the database!", she gets rebutted with a snarky "For what? ''John Smith''?"

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* Subverted in ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith'': ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith2005'': When the eponymous female character commands her subordinates to "search the database!", she gets rebutted with a snarky "For what? ''John Smith''?"
5th May '17 12:00:37 PM Paranoia
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** Curiously averted, though, in a third-season episode in which Lilah Morgan has to dig through cabinets of files to find information on Angel.

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** Curiously averted, though, in In a third-season episode in which Lilah Morgan has to dig through cabinets of files to find information on Angel.Angel, it seems like the trope is being averted. At least until she's about to give up on finding the information she needs, at which point the clerk at the desk of the records room reveals ''herself'' as the example of this trope, able to magically access, search, sort, and recall all the information the firm has stored in their records. Lilah asks her a few simple questions and is immediately pointed to exactly the records and information she wants.
21st Apr '17 7:39:31 AM KayEss
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Added DiffLines:

** Sort of justified, as Batman owns a Cray. The specific model depicted in one comic has an amazing 8MB. For comparison: this very tvtopes page has about 1MB (including images). Well, on second thought, not justified at all. The Cray's power is number crunching, not database operation.
21st Apr '17 7:24:02 AM KayEss
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** That trope and its exploitation is the basic concept behind the show. Somewhat more [[JustifiedTrope justified]] than usual in that when Finch built the Machine, he was explicitly given access to every data feed the NSA could get its hands on (plus every electronic device the Machine itself hacked on the fly), and now that he no longer has such access he often has to resort to asking Carter or Fusco to look through the NYPD databases on his behalf, which quite frequently turns out to be a dead end. So while the ''database'' may be omniscient, the cast's ability to make use of its omniscience is surprisingly limited given the premise of the show. In fact Finch deliberately set things up so the government could not use the Machine as a omniscient database. The government gets warning of impeding threats but is otherwise locked out of the Machine's data processing functions.

to:

** That trope and its exploitation is the basic concept behind the show. Somewhat more [[JustifiedTrope justified]] than usual in that when Finch built the Machine, he was explicitly given access to every data feed the NSA could get its hands on (plus every electronic device the Machine itself hacked on the fly), fly, plus data from an ingenious invention of Finch called "social networks" (aka Facebook), where people would voluntarily enter all kinds data about themselves), and now that he no longer has such access he often has to resort to asking Carter or Fusco to look through the NYPD databases on his behalf, which quite frequently turns out to be a dead end. So while the ''database'' may be omniscient, the cast's ability to make use of its omniscience is surprisingly limited given the premise of the show. In fact Finch deliberately set things up so the government could not use the Machine as a omniscient database. The government gets warning of impeding threats but is otherwise locked out of the Machine's data processing functions.
21st Apr '17 7:17:22 AM KayEss
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No matter what sort of clue the Crime Scene lab has found (blood, wire, rope, oil, perfume, etc), ''somebody'' has manufactured a database designed to search through them all. Not only that, our heroes at the crime lab have purchased a copy of this software, the interface devices to input the data in question and have acquired the expertise to use this software (which has so far never been used in another one of their cases) with 100% accuracy on the first attempt.

to:

No matter what sort of clue the Crime Scene lab has found (blood, wire, rope, oil, perfume, etc), ''somebody'' has manufactured a database designed to search through them all. Not only that, our heroes at the crime lab have purchased a copy of this software, software[[note]]not necessarily needed,
if the FBI/CIA/NSA already has a copy of the database - these organizations can be hacked within seconds by the average crime lab nerd[[/note]],
the interface devices to input the data in question and have acquired the expertise to use this software (which has so far never been used in another one of their cases) with 100% accuracy on the first attempt.
18th Apr '17 3:28:25 PM Omegatron
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Not to be confused with the MagicalDatabase, which holds information on supernatural elements as well.



** This trope was lampshaded with:
-->"Can you believe someone put together a database of grille dimensions?"

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** This trope was lampshaded with:
-->"Can
in an early episode. Abby is matching wounds from being hit by a car grille to the car grille database, and asks Gibbs "Can you believe someone put together actually made a car grille database?" She then goes on to mention the database she used to find the car grille database-- a database of grille dimensions?"databases.
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