The OASIS form started collecting extra information about Geophysical surveys in 2004 when The Royal Commission for Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland (now Historic Environment Scotland, HES) funded the creation of an extra part of the OASIS form.
How is the data collected now?
When a user selects Geophysical survey under project type they then see
an extra section to complete. These completed survey details are then passed on to relevant national body (HES or Historic England), HERs, other data consumers and entered into the Geophysical Survey Database (GSDB) so it can be seen publicly. If a report is added to the OASIS record then this is also linked to the record in the GSDB. The metadata entered in the OASIS form for a geophysical survey is sufficiently detailed to accompany a digital archive that is submitted and allows the data to be reused.
So the survey details are added once to the OASIS form and used in multiple places. This ‘COPE’ Capture Once Publish Everywhere is the driving aim of OASIS.
Attached (Geophysics_fields) is a list of the fields currently collected by OASIS and the accompanying pick lists that are available for some of the fields. People are able to enter other terms as well as those in the lists and this has created some problems on the transfer of data to the Geophysical survey database.
How can you help?
And here we get to the point of this blog… we are in the final phase of consulting interested parties and would like to hear what documentation and metadata you think is necessary to make geophysical data more useful and reusable.
The information collected by the form was originally defined by HES, through consultation with the geophysics community, with additional contributions by Wessex Archaeology for marine remote sensing techniques and most recently via GeoSIG and those working within the profession, and is closely related to the ADS’ Guides to Good Practice. However it has sometimes been criticised as too complicated. As digital archivists and other information technologists will confirm there is often a level of disagreement between archivists and data creators on the amount of metadata needed to describe an archive/project. It is a slight aside but this video illustrates this rather well.
Alternatively, are the fields collected correct and the issue more to do with whether the person completing the OASIS form is not the same person as did the survey and so does not have access to the required information?
Please have a look at this document (Geophysics_fields) listing the fields and pick lists currently used in the Geophysics section of OASIS and let us know any changes you think need to be made.
Solid and Drift Geology
At the moment this is collected using drop down lists and relies on the person filling in the form to know the geology. We propose that this would be assigned automatically using the project location to bring the correct geology from the 1:625, 000 Solid and Drift Geology maps of the United Kingdom by Web Mapping Service (WMS).
Another question concerns Survey Extents
The grid reference provided through OASIS locates the position of your survey grid(s), but hinders successful relocation of your survey subsequently. The position and extent of the survey grid is a fundamental part of the recording process and this digital data is taken forward through to completion of the project report. In Scotland we are interested in uploading these spatial footprints to help develop a spatial index for a range of remote sensing techniques.
So please leave us any comments on these issues in the section below, this is your chance to influence the development of the new OASIS form.