The Archaeology Data Service would like to wish everyone a very happy World Digital Preservation Day. We’re excited to be raising awareness of Digital Preservation and celebrating the work that we do.
We’re looking forward to reading the DPC’s new edition of the ‘Bit List‘ of Digitally Endangered Species released today and hearing about how our fellow archivists and the #DigiPres community are participating.
We thought we’d address a few of the ‘endangered species’ of file formats on this year’s list and see how they relate to the data that we receive as an archive for archaeological data.
I’m finally at the end of my
internship here at ADS, which has flown by. I’ve learned a lot and have been
able to appreciate some of the intricacies of what goes on behind the scenes at
an organisation such as ADS.
I started off working on the library, starting off by updating the entries for Internet Archaeology. Which inspired me to write this blog post. I also did some tidying up of entries in the library. Doing this made me not only appreciate what a huge resource it is but also led to me falling down many, many rabbit holes. I especially love some of the publications from before 1850 and their illustrations. Looking at the older reports from local and regional archaeology and antiquarian societies also made me appreciate how the library also represents the history of British archaeology and how much of our discipline is built on these earlier efforts.
Throughout the month of May, the ADS has been investigating and debunking some of the myths and misconceptions that surround archives, digital preservation and the Archaeology Data Service.
You may have seen us using the Twitter hashtag #MythBustingMay to highlight some of these common misunderstandings, signpost useful resources and evoke the occasional PDF-related public outcry. The project has been well received and we hope has provided a useful insight into digital preservation best practice and the services the ADS provides.
As the month draws to a close and we hang up our deer-stalkers, we’ve decided to free ourselves of the shackles of 140 characters and compile a blog to discuss some of the key issues and ideas the project has highlighted.
It’s almost the weekend so obviously this was the right time have fun with some of the beautiful images to be found in the HMJ Underhill archive, compiled by Oxford University and available in our archives. Also I felt like brushing up on the old QGIS skills. So I decided to georeference some of these images and see how they match up with modern maps.
These images all come from the Underhill Archive available on the ADS Archive. The archive was put together by Deborah Harlan and Megan Price at the University of Oxford. It consists of hand painted glass slides of British megaliths as well as maps of ancient Britain and the areas surrounding prehistoric monuments.
It’s been six weeks since I started working at the Archaeology Data Service and went down the rabbit hole and into a world of checksums, AIPs, OMS, CMS and DROIDs. I knew fairly little about digital preservation before starting, so had no real idea of what I might be letting myself in for. Alongside trying to keep abreast of the plethora of acronyms, I’ve been involved in some interesting and varied projects so far and I’m very grateful for how welcoming the ADS team has been.
Following a BA in archaeology at the University of Durham, I moved to London to study the archaeology of Egypt and the Near East at UCL, with a focus on GIS and computational methods in archaeology. I developed an interest in archives and collections documentation during a placement at a museum during my master’s degree. Admittedly, I’d anticipated taking a more traditional route of working with material objects and I knew quite little about digital collections. Joining the ADS is my first foray into digital preservation and I’m excited to be learning about such an interesting subject and working with archaeological data. I’m especially looking forward to developing my technical skills; and of course still being able to have fun with GIS from time to time.
This blog post is the last in a series I have published following my investigations into the use and re-use of 3D data held within the ADS archive. This research included a user survey and case study investigations into web usage and citation tracking of specific archives that hold 3D data. This post presents my final thoughts and recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.
Over the past year I, (Michaela Mauriello) have been doing a work placement with the ADS as part of my MSc degree at the University of York in Digital Heritage under the Department of Archaeology.
I chose to work with the ADS for my degree placement because I had previous experience as an intern at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, where I developed an overall interest in the process of archiving and researching archaeological data. After arriving in York I became interested in the amount of 3D data found within the ADS archives and how this data was being used by outside sources and in publications; thus beginning this research.
The aims of this project was to investigate the use and re-use of archaeological 3D data found in the ADS through: web statistics and publication citation analysis, tracking disseminated 3D data, user survey, and a basic human-computer interaction evaluation of the ADS website. The objective of which was to provide a series of recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.
From this research, a series of blog posts have been created to show the process and conclusion of my findings.
This is the second post in my blog series on the use and re-use of 3D data from the ADS archive. Following the webs usage statistical analysis and the citation analysis explored in Part 1, I decided to carry out a user survey to explore what people are doing with 3D data and if they are even aware of that the ADS provides archives consisting of 3D data.
Over the last decade, archaeological 3D data has become more accessible to the public. There are online archives, similar to the ADS, where users can access this data for additional knowledge in specific artifacts and archaeological sites which have been recorded using various forms of 3D data. While this data can be viewed, some online archives do not have their data open for the public to download and re-use for their own purposes.
3D Data in the ADS Archives Questionnaire: Link
This questionnaire has been created by Michaela Mauriello, a University of York Digital Heritage Masters student, to investigate the activity and re-use of 3D data found within the ADS archive as part of a placement at the ADS. Specific archives provide photogrammetric, CT scans, laser scans and additional forms of data gathered while the project was in progress. The 3D data found within the ADS archives can be downloaded for personal re-use. This downloadable data and metadata can be used in projects and research by those interested in the particular subject.
The ADS utilizes an open sources 3D Viewer (3D Hop) allowing users to interact with 3D data found in archives providing photogrammetric data such as the ForSEAdiscovery. Two versions of the viewer were developed for the ADS and include: the Object Level 3D Viewer and the Stratigraphy 3D Viewer. The object 3D Viewer allows users to move the object to view all sides, zoom in and out of the scene as well as control the lighting in the viewer to see better details in specific areas of interest. The viewer for the stratigraphic data shows different layers found within the archaeological site. This can be seen in the Las Cuevas Project archive.
With the availability of 3D data found in the ADS archives, it is important to be transparent as to how easily accessible it is to find the archived 3D data. Based on previous statistical analysis performed between October and November 2018, there was limited access to the 3D data found in the ADS archives. This may depend on the visibility of the archive as once depositors submit their work it generally conveys the project has been fully completed and have since moved on to their next research interest.
Additionally, there is no current tab to access an archive that contains 3D data. This stems from the issue of the inability to fully query for 3D data. While it may appear to be beneficial to incorporate a tab to the main ADS archives web page, the question arises if it is actually desired by users. The questionnaire monitors this aspect of desirability through questions about the awareness of 3D data being available to view and download in the ADS archives.
The outcome of this survey will help the ADS prioritize 3D data and how it will be represented in the website. If desired, in the long term the inclusion of an easily accessible method to view the 3D data can lead into more traffic for the archive while increasing the viewership, use and re-use of various projects.
Go To Questionnaire [NO LONGER LIVE]
Since this post was published the user survey has been completed and the Questionnaire is no longer available. The results of the project can now be found in a series of blog posts.
As it’s World Digital Preservation Day I thought I’d finished the following blog about our work with managing the digital objects within our collection. Like most of my blogs (including the much awaited sequel to Space is the Place) these often languish for a while awaiting a final burst of input. To celebrate WDPD 2018, here we go….