One of the first things we realized in 2010 at Pompeii was that while the iPads were working for our data recording, too many people wanted to use them at the same time. One person needed to record some elevations at the same time someone wanted to write down a description of the soil of the fill. Our immediate answer to that was: put two in each trench. It wasn’t until this spring that I began to wonder just how that would work. Even if I had a full network going at the site, which I don’t, I couldn’t keep the two iPads totally in sync with their various documents. So you couldn’t pick up iPad 53000-1 (I named them after their trench) for twenty minutes, add some data, put it down, and then pick up 53000-2 and expect to pick up where you left off. And if you couldn’t do that, how do you separate the duties that the iPads need to perform?

While speaking to the trench supervisors this spring about it, we seem to have come to the conclusion that we can separate the software and duties that each iPad will handle.

iPad 1 will usually be at the trench supervisor’s side. That will be the primary tablet for the notebook and matrix information. iPad 2 will be the database and drawing tablet. My concern is that the drawing and data recording will need to be done at the same time but I have been assured that this isn’t the case.

The two iPads will have access to the other’s data, but it will be up to four hours old. I can copy the database and the drawings from the first iPad to the second and copy the documents from the second iPad to the first, but the team members need to know what is editable on each iPad.

We will see how that works soon.