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Help & guidance Guides to Good Practice

Converting data formats

Peter Brewer (Laboratory of Tree-Ring ResearchUniversity of Arizona, USA), Esther Jansma (Cultural Heritage Agency and Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Version 1.1 – June 2016, Archaeology Data Service / Digital Antiquity, Guides to Good Practice

All the formats listed in table 2 are supported in the universal dendrochronological data conversion tool TRiCYCLE[1] (Brewer et al. 2011). TRiCYCLE is an open source, cross-platform tool available as a desktop application and also as a library for use within other programs.

TRiCYCLE makes use of TRiDaS as an intermediary in the conversion of data and metadata to/from the 24 data formats identified within the dendrochronological community. TRiCYCLE includes a reader for each supported format that translates the data and metadata into TRiDaS, as well as a writer for each format to translate from TRiDaS to the legacy formats. This architecture means that data and metadata can be converted back and forth between any combination of formats. It should, however, be noted that depending on the formats used the process can be ‘lossy’ in that a round trip conversion may not result in an identical file. The ambiguous nature of many of the formats (e.g. lack of measurement units) means that TRiCYCLE is forced to make assumptions, which although clearly presented to the user, may result in some degradation of information. Users must therefore take time to understand the limitations of each format.

[1] TRiCYCLE –