Wouter BOASSON / Erik BOASSON
(Boaedificat, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Facilitating the integration of, and searching through, datasets sharing a core set of properties, organised in similar, but not fully identical ways. This will help in performing analyses on data from various data sources, such as data resulting from different excavation projects.
Together with the option to merge separately edited databases with automatic conflict detection this will also enable the use of multiple databases in large research projects, e.g., with multiple teams in the field and working with subcontractors.
Museums, cultural historians and archeologists all suffer a set of common problems, among which: recording their objects in extensible, searchable datasets; collaborative editing of these datasets in joint projects or with multiple teams in the field; integrating data from multiple sources despite differences in the way this data is organised; and depositing completed projects in central archives that impose their own requirements.
Developing the system that will solve all these problems probably is equivalent to finding the holy grail; yet RAAP b.v. in The Netherlands is making an effort by enhancing the successful Odile system for administration and analysis of objects of archeological interest at a site. Two features stand out: collaborative editing with automatic handling of conflicts and full history for accountability, and searching across similarly, but not necessarily identically, organised datasets.
Collaborative editing with conflict resolving is aimed primarily at archeological excavations, to allow multiple teams in the field and in the office to work in parallel on a single dataset. This will also help with integrating data collected by subcontractors, or analyses performed by them, into a single result.
Searching through multiple datasets, from different sources but within the same knowledge domain, will help institutions embarking on joint research projects to work together more effectively and make better use of existing archives.
We will take you one step into this new world of searching through multiple datasets and of collaborative editing of merged datasets and the way the inevitable conflicts caused by parallel editing can be handled.
multiple datasets, modeling, integration, analysis, collaboration