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You have until October 1, 2013.

Award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology

Digital technologies are driving important changes in archaeology.  Despite the increasing acceptance of digital technology in daily life, however, determining how to assess digital scholarship has proved difficult: many universities remain unsure about how to evaluate digital work along side more traditional forms of print publication when faced with tenure and promotion decisions.  Recognizing the value of digital scholarship, and aiming to encourage its practice, the AIA offers this award to honor projects, groups, and individuals that deploy digital technology in innovative ways in the realms of excavation, research, teaching, publishing, or outreach.

Criteria for Selection 
Nominations of projects and individuals are welcome. Nominations may be made by anyone, including the project director or the principal members of the team responsible for the digital creation. Nominations of collaborative projects are encouraged. At least one member of the leadership team, or any individual nominee, must be a member in good standing of the AIA. Please submit the AIA membership number(s) with the nomination.

Due Date for Nomination
September 15, 2013 Extended to October 1, 2013



Apple now offering older iOS device owners ‘last compatible version’ of apps

From Engadget:

With iOS 7 arriving tomorrow, Apple is extending some love to the owners of older iOS devices that have been left behind. New compatibility features, first spotted on Reddit, will now kick into action if you attempt to download an app that is not supported by your current firmware. Instead, the company now asks if you’d like to install the last compatible version, which, for some apps, can be over a year old.

I could have used this during the past summer when I had to reset a first-gen iPad but couldn’t install OmniGraffle.

According to FileMaker there is an issue between iOS 7 (due to be released on Sept 18) and FileMaker Go that affects the creation of a unique UUID number, which has the potential to wreak havoc on databases that rely on that unique number for syncing. This bug hits our own databases, as well as the copy of the database that is hosted at this blog.

Syncing from multiple copies of a database requires that each record have a very unique number. This is more than a straight serial number, since two separate copies of the database can each create a record in the same table which would give them the same serial number. Instead, our database relies on something more specific, a UUID which is generated from several types of information.

The UUID that we use is a  custom function written by Jereme Bante a few years ago named UUID.New. It creates a unique number for each record based on:

  • timestamp
  • recid (an internal number generated by FileMaker)
  • the NIC (or MAC) address of the device that created the record

This is stored as a custom function to allow all tables in the database access to it.

According to FileMaker, all iOS devices under iOS 7 will return the same NIC address,. This can theoretically return the same UUID for two records if two devices created a new record in the same table at the exact same time.

I am not very worried about this myself. The odds of two records returning the same UUID are pretty small. Also the syncing scripts that I have use items other than the UUID for matching. For instance each new record is given  _DeviceCreated and a _DeviceModified fields. Those are set to auto-enter a calculation [Get ( SystemPlatform ) & “-” & Get ( HostName )]. So unless both devices are iPads and are both named the same (which shouldn’t happen), they won’t supply the same data.

If you are worried about this bug you can switch from using the UUID.New function to another of Jereme Bante’s functions named UUID.Random which replaces the NIC portion of the UUID to a set of random numbers. Switching to this function won’t affect your old records and won’t require that you wait for FileMaker to fix FMGo.

It is hard to believe that anybody that reads this blog doesn’t read Bill Caraher’s Archaeology of the Mediterranean World blog but in case you haven’t noticed he has a summary of his iPad experience at PKAP.

This past summer my excavation on Cyprus experimented with using iPads to document our excavations in the field. Since 2003, I have co-direct the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project with Prof. R. Scott Moore of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Prof. David K. Pettegrew of Messiah College. Over this time, the three of us designed our archaeological methods, in-field procedures, and data structure. During the 2012 season, we embraced the opportunity to test and refine a web application developed by Prof. Sam Fee at Washington and Jefferson College. Messiah College generously loaned us the iPads. Our trench supervisors and excavators embraced the experiment. And Sam was willing to work within with our existing data structure, databases, and ontologies.

Details of the app that they developed are described in Near Eastern Archaeology (link to JSTOR but I had to download it from another of my University’s resources).

Gregory Tucker is our CAD specialist at PARP:PS. He and I have written a brief article for the CSA Newsletter titled Rethinking CAD Data Structures – Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia.

Harrison Eiteljorg, the CSA Director, created the CSA Layer Naming Convention for  documenting complex architecture from archaeological sites. At PARP:PS we used his naming scheme, as well as the variations by Eiteljorg and Paul Blomerus but modified for a slightly different purpose. Eiteljorg and Blomerus were working with spatial data after both field work and analysis. Our article documents how we are working with the data during excavation and with an eye towards creating a data structure that is more easily communicable to the larger excavation team. With this CAD structure we hope to move the spatial data beyond the CAD specialist.