Historic England

Introduction | Overview | Case Studies | Questionnaire | Formats | Workshop | Deliverables | Staff


The project design sets out a programme for investigating preservation (storage methods), reuse (usability) and dissemination (delivery mechanism) strategies for exceptionally large data files generated by archaeologists, researchers and cultural resource managers undertaking fieldwork and other research.

Wessex Archaeology The data in question is typified by large formats that have exceptionally large file sizes and in particular the technologies associated with their storage and delivery. The generation and use of such data for research is increasing in specific fields of archaeological and cultural resource management activity (maritime archaeology and surveying, laser scanning, LiDAR, computer modelling and other scientific research applications). Yet there is little understanding of the implications for cost and good practice in data preservation, dissemination, reuse and access. This lack of understanding is potentially exacerbated by the proprietary nature of formats generally used by the new research technologies now being used in archaeology and cultural resource management.

The project seeks to answer immediate questions regarding cost and to develop recommendations and strategies for archaeologists, researchers, cultural resource managers and archivists dealing with 'Big Data'.

The project recognises that computing capacity, both to create and to archive data, will continue to rise. The aims of the project consequently address generic and strategic issues as well as the immediate questions posed by 'Big Data' today.

The final report of the Big Data Project is now available for download - PDF (845 KB)