One of our graduate students here at UC is investigating the movement of artifacts from the origin to archaeological find spot. She had been gathering her data in a FileMaker Pro database and wanted to be able to visualize the quantity of material either sourced or found in various cities. Since she already had a data table of cities with coordinates gathered from Google Earth, I decided to see if I could get FileMaker to talk directly to Google Earth. This database is the result.
The database consists of a table of cities, and a table of objects.
The objects have a field for Source City and a field for Find City. They also have a quantity. You can limit your query to anything: source city, find city, material, object type, dates, etc. You can view the summary results by either source or find city and export the result into a kml file that can be viewed in Google Earth.
This will work on an iPad as well, with FileMaker Go and Google Earth, but you will need to use an intermediary file manager (such as GoodReader) to change the extension from .txt to .kml.
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What I will be reading during the long Thanksgiving weekend.
OCHRE: An Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment
by J. David Schloen and Sandra R. Schloen
THIS book describes an “Online Cultural and Historical Research
Environment” (OCHRE) in which scholars can record, integrate,
analyze, publish, and preserve their data. OCHRE is a multiproject,
multi-user database system that provides a comprehensive
framework for diverse kinds of information at all stages of research. It
can be used for initial data acquisition and storage; for data querying
and analysis; for data presentation and publication; and for long-term
archiving and curation of data. The OCHRE system was designed by
the co-authors of this book, David Schloen and Sandra Schloen. The
software for it was written by Sandra Schloen.
Having access to the PARP:PS database was invaluable when developing the Sangro Valley Project’s database and paperless workflow (see my first post for an overview and this post for more background information). In that sprit of cooperation I have made available an unlocked version of the database originally developed for the SVP. The database – which we have dubbed “Cera,” the Latin word for a wax writing tablet – can be downloaded here (see licensing below and in the ReadMe file that comes with the database). You can no longer download a demo of FileMaker Pro 11 directly from FileMaker. The file will work with the demo of FileMaker Pro 12, but it will need to be converted first.
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#hth2012 is the hashtag for the High Tech Heritage 2012 conference currently being held at UMass Amherst. Lots of good tweets coming from that conference. I especially like Eric Kansa’s summary of Frank McManamon’s Plenery talk.
Bill Caraher blogging at The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World yesterday posted a link to a demo of a new iPad app for trench side data collection at PKAP. Actually he originally linked to this page on April 20 but yesterday he gave a little more information. This seems to be a custom app written by Sam Fee from Washington and Jefferson College.
Bill is more heavily invested in linking social media to his field project than most people I know and the description of his use of iPads reflects that.
This summer, we’ll extend our social and new media reach into the field. Messiah College – one of our three co-sponsoring institutions – will provide the project with iPads for the students to use in the field, the museum, and the hotel. They should be able to publish photographs, video, and reflections directly from the field.
So the iPads are to be used to document more than just the archaeology but their use will expand to allow the students to be able to record and upload their own thoughts during the project.
There are several people that I know who are writing custom apps for their field projects. Most of them are in testing stages and there is very little that I know about how they are accepted by the teams and how the data collected is integrated into the larger data workflow. But the best part about Bill’s approach to archaeology is that I won’t have to wait long to hear about it.