Data logging is the practice of recording sequential data, often chronologically.
To log is a verbed derivative of the noun logbook; the verb form means to record in a logbook, and may have been coined in the 1820s.
The term logbook itself stems from the practice of floating a stationary "log" (actually a wooden block attached to a reel via rope) to provide a fixed point of reference for the purpose of measuring a ship's speed.
Computer scientists adopted the verb to log circa 1963 to describe the systematic recording of specific types of data processing events.
In computerized data logging, a computer program may automatically record events in a certain scope in order to provide an audit trail that can be used to diagnose problems.
Examples of physical systems which have logging subsystems include process control systems, and the black box recorders installed in aircraft.
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