Archaeological Drones

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a ‘disruptive technology’, a technology that forces us to rethink how we do (or used to do) things – from protecting white rhino to delivering pizza. Everyone who needs a bird’s eye view is now wondering how this technology can help them; farmers, structural engineers, ecologists and, of course, archaeologists.

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Hexacopter equipped to take near-vertical photographs

In theory, even a very minor archaeological site can now benefit from its very own aerial survey. But while the possibilities for archaeology are immensely exciting, many of the actual results are still disappointing; blurry aerial photos, images which may be pretty but which can’t be georeferenced and expensive cameras hitting the ground at terminal velocity.

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Introducing English Heritage Archaeological Monographs

EHMonographs_blogEnglish Heritage has a long tradition of producing high quality, well illustrated archaeological monographs about key sites and topics of importance to the understanding of the historic environment in England. Many of the past titles have long been out of print and yet are still of value for reference purposes. English Heritage is now making these titles available as ebooks (see the English Heritage Publishing catalogue for details) and as PDFs which can be downloaded for free from the ADS: English Heritage Archaeological Monographs archive page.
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HERALD Update

Over the summer holiday period we’ve continued to work away at trying to make sense of the results of the range of surveys we undertook earlier in the year. While completion of the reports is still a work in progress we wanted to give you a sneak preview into the results and the way in which it was forming out ideas about a new model for OASIS. The survey results have reinforced a few things that we already suspected.

We definitely:

  • need to maintain a consistent and continuing level of communication, engagement and training surrounding the system.
  • need a range of workflows to suit different people.
  • need to provide for different levels of interaction with the system, from a light touch to a comprehensive reporting system.
  • need to encourage the archiving and dissemination of grey literature.
  • need to include the museum curators in the process.
  • need to include the ability to record specialist data when and where appropriate.
  • need to work with data consumers to make import and export systems that are simple to use.

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New Guidelines for ADS Depositors

data_repositoryThe ADS, supported by funding from the Archives and Records Association, has recently revamped our Guidelines for Depositors.

The revamp reviewed the current ADS guidelines on digital archive deposition and developed updated guidance policies for depositors in light of the recent revisions to the Guides to Good Practice and the development of ADS-easy.

The revision to the ADS Guidelines for Depositors has produced a new user friendly interface designed after detailed consultation with users on the most intuitive and instructive way to present the guidelines.

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Digital Data Re-use Award

Internet Archaeology and the Archaeology Data Service have teamed up to provide an Award that recognises the outstanding archaeological research being carried out through the re-use of digital data.

The Digital Data Re-use Award offers archaeological researchers the chance to promote their work and win the opportunity to publish, free of charge, in the premier open access journal Internet Archaeology.
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Internet Archaeology Goes Fully Open Access

Internet Archaeology is pleased to announce  that it has become a fully open access journal.

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From this month Internet Archaeology’s 130 institutional subscribers from the UK, USA, Australia and Europe will no longer have to pay the £160 a year subscription and the £7 charge for individual articles is also being scrapped, making Internet Archaeology one of the first journals to transition from a subscription model to full open access. Several things have spurred this decision.
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Marie Curie post doctoral fellow Fabrizio Galeazzi joins ADS and the Centre for Digital Heritage

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Fabrizio 3D laser scanning at Las Cuevas site, Chiquibul Reserve (Belize).

This term ADS are pleased to welcome Fabrizio Galeazzi, a new Marie Curie post doctoral fellow, who will be working with us and the Centre for Digital Heritage.

Fabrizio comes to York having received a BA and MA in Archaeology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, specializing in Late Antiquity and Medieval Archaeology, and completing a Ph.D. in World Cultures/Heritage at the University of California, Merced. Fabrizio’s doctoral research investigated the potential use of 3D technologies for the analysis and interpretation of archaeological and heritage sites and how 3D documentation technologies, such as laser scanning and dense stereo matching techniques, are changing archaeological excavation practices.
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Keeping our Data Consistent

The consistency and integrity of data is essential for any digital archive. Therefore, for the past few months we have been running a series of programs to test the consistency of our file system and database and try to identify any other problems. This work started when we decided to develop a program to test all the checksums in our file system. The idea was to run the program every few months in order identify any checksums which had changed since the last run.

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Part of a checksum report.

In addition, the program would test the checksums in the file system against the checksums in the database so that we could be sure that they were synchronised. The program took a few weeks to develop and has now been run several times. Each run produces a report which shows any checksum changes in the file system and the database. Happily, there have only been a few checksums flagged up in the reports so far and usually there have been good reasons why they have been changed.

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ADS-easy giveaway!

ADS are giving away five of our new novelty ‘trowel’ usb memory sticks to the depositors of the next five completed ADS-easy archives. Archives must have been begun on or after August 18th 2014.

Winners will be announced as their new archive goes live on the ADS website.

Get depositing to be in for a chance to win!

And keep an eye out for Internet Archaeology giveaways too.

For more information or to check if you are eligible contact help@archaeologydataservice.ac.uk

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The ADS goes to the Houses of Parliament

parliamentary-office-science-technologyThe Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) hosted an exhibition in the Members’ Dining Room in the House of Commons on Tuesday (15th July) to which the ADS were very pleased to be invited to participate.

POST is Parliament’s in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. POST publishes 20-30 POSTnotes each year, along with occasional longer reports and short POSTboxes. They focus on current science and technology issues and aim to anticipate policy implications for parliamentarians.

This exhibition focussed on ‘Big Data’ was arranged in collaboration with Research Councils UK, which represents the AHRC, NERC and the five other leading public sector bodies that fund research in the UK. Readers of this blog will already know of the ADS’ close relationship with the AHRC, and that we are the smallest of NERC’s data centres with a remit for science based archaeology.
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