Tag Archives: GIS

TACOS: 21st Century Geospatial #HistEnv Data Management

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

TACOS – the event

On 14 May 2014 the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) hosted a one day seminar on behalf of FISH and HEIRNET at the University of York to discuss common issues facing the historic environment information sector and make progress towards a shared vision and agenda for historic environment information management.

The TACOS keynotes, discussions and demonstrations will build upon a ‘show and tell’ event (the NACHOS seminar) held at the British Museum in November 2012, which identified the need for integration of information sources in support of the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP). The seminar will investigate current historic environment information management practices and identify areas for improvement through cross-sector collaboration.

Aims

5 Taco plate by ulterior epicure

Tacos

The key aims of the seminar were to:

  • Encourage discussion between different groups that produce and manage historic environment information from across the sector (professional, research and voluntary to identify common goals and issues
  • Develop information sharing networks and working partnerships across the sector to pool resources in the areas of skills development and application of information technology

There’s more info on the event (aims, topics, etc) here.

Programme

The full programme for the day is here. The day was filled with really interesting talks on a range of topics focussing on three overarching themes:

  • Use of information and reuse of data (e.g. ‘Big Data’ projects reusing historic environment information/datasets, the role of information standards, the integration of different types of historic environment information built heritage information
  • Skills development (e.g. skill gaps in professional practice, university provision)
  • Use of new information systems and technology (e.g. access to information and technology, how skills development and training is accessed – potential barriers)

Watch Again

The whole event was recorded and published to YouTube by Doug Rocks-Macqueen. The playlist below includes all the videos from the day and the official Storify of the event is also embedded below.

Geosemantic Technologies

This section is a write up of my talk from the recent TACOS event which formed part of Session 3: Information Systems & Technology. The session was chaired by Keith May (English Heritage) and started with an excellent presentation by Ceri Binding (University of South Wales, Hypermedia Research Unit), an overview of the work he has been undertaking working with heritage vocabularies and Linked Data. The outputs of the Seneschal project have already had an impact in their short existence. Rather helpfully for me, Ceri covered all the basics of Linked Data, RDF and introduced schemas such as SKOS.

Video

Slides

My slides are available on Slideshare as usual:

Storify

I’ve written up the salient points of the event as pertaining to geosemantic tools, geospatial data and Linked Data.


http://storify.com/pauljcripps/tacos-2014

The official Storify:

 

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GSTAR @ CAA2014

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

On Thursday 24th April, I gave a presentation on my PhD research project (GSTAR) to the 2014 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference, Paris, France. The presentation formed part of the session S07 Ontologies and standards for improving interoperability of archaeological data: from models towards practical experiences in various contexts organised by Anne-Violaine Szabados, Katell Briatte, Maria Emilia Masci, and Christophe Tufféry. Reinhard Foertsch and Sebastian Rahtz chaired the session.

Some notes on the session can be found here.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The abstract describes the talk, which covered work to date in the first year of the project:

Much work has been undertaken over the past decade relating to the application of semantic approaches to archaeological data resources, notably by English Heritage and the University of South Wales. These two organisations, over the course of a number of projects, developed an archaeological extension to the CIDOC CRM ontology through the Ontological Modelling Project (Cripps & May, 2010), then applied this to a number of archaeological resources through the subsequent STAR project (May, Binding and Tudhope, 2011), implementing tools to facilitate integration of other resources through the STELLAR project (May, Binding, Tudhope, & Jeffrey, 2012), and now, in partnership with the Bespoke HER User Group, RCAHMS, RCAHMW and Wessex Archaeology, are implementing SKOS based vocabularies and associated tools to enable the augmentation of these semantic resources through the SENESCHAL project.

From the outset, it was observed that the spatial component of archaeological data would be a key element, archaeological data being inherently spatial in nature. To date, most current applications of spatial semantics in the heritage sector have focussed on place names and named locations for sites and monuments and object provenances. The GSTAR project aims to extend semantic approaches to archaeological data fully into the geospatial domain and is instead focussing on the detailed spatial data emerging from archaeological excavation and survey work and is investigating approaches for the creation, use, management and dissemination of such spatial data within a geosemantic framework, building on the CIDOC CRM, with particular reference to sharing and integration of disparate resources.

This paper will present work to date in the first year of the GSTAR project. This has been centred on the identification of suitable platforms and methods for the integration of semantic and geospatial data including comparisons of different approaches emerging from the Semantic Web and Geospatial research communities. Testing and prototyping has been accomplished using sample data from the Archaeology Data Service, making use of available geospatial and (geo)semantic tools, both FOSS and commercial.

Cripps, P. and K. May 2010. To OO or not to OO? Revelations from Ontological Modelling of an Archaeological Information System, in: Nicolucci, F. and S. Hermon (eds.), Beyond the Artifact. Digital Interpretation of the Past. Proceedings of CAA2004, Prato 13–17 April 2004. Archaeolingua, Budapest, pp. 59-63.

May, K., C. Binding and D. Tudhope 2011. A STAR is Born: Some Emerging Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources, in: Jerem, E., F. Redő and V. Szeverényi (eds.), On the Road to Reconstructing the Past. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). Proceedings of the 36th International Conference. Budapest, April 2-6, 2008. Archeaeolingua, Budapest, pp. 111-116 (CD-ROM 402-408).

May, K., C. Binding, D. Tudhope and S. Jeffrey 2012. Semantic Technologies Enhancing Links and Linked Data for Archaeological Resources, in: Zhou, M., I. Romanowska, Z. Wu, P. Xu and P. Verhagen (eds.), Revive the Past. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). Proceedings of the 39th International Conference, Beijing, April 12-16.. Pallas Publications, Amsterdam, pp. 261-272.

The presentation is available on Slideshare:

The presentation also prompted some positive comments on Twitter, which was lovely:

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Towards a Collaborative Strategy for sector information management (TACOS)

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

5 Taco plate by ulterior epicure

Tacos

I’ll be talking about geospatial topics relating to historic environment information management at this seminar on 14th May.  Another classic title for the event, following up on the successful NACHOS seminar. Watch this space for details of the forthcoming Burritos workshop…

More seriously, the event is described as:

On 14 May 2014 the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is hosting a one day seminar on behalf of FISH and HEIRNET at the University of York to discuss common issues facing the historic environment information sector and make progress towards a shared vision and agenda for historic environment information management.

The key aims of the seminar are to:

  • Encourage discussion between different groups that produce and manage historic environment information from across the sector (professional, research and voluntary to identify common goals and issues
  • Develop information sharing networks and working partnerships across the sector to pool resources in the areas of skills development and application of information technology

Topics:
The TACOS keynotes, discussions and demonstrations will build upon a ‘show and tell’ event (the NACHOS seminar) held at the British Museum in November 2012, which identified the need for integration of information sources in support of the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP). The seminar will investigate current historic environment information management practices and identify areas for improvement through cross-sector collaboration through three overarching themes of:

  • Use of information and reuse of data (e.g. ‘Big Data’ projects reusing historic environment information/datasets, the role of information standards, the integration of different types of historic environment information built heritage information
  • Skills development (e.g. skill gaps in professional practice, university provision)
  • Use of new information systems and technology (e.g. access to information and technology, how skills development and training is accessed – potential barriers)

I’ll be talking about my research and some of the opportunities now available for making better use of digital heritage information, particularly geospatial data. Hopefully this will complement the talks by Pater McKeague (RCAHMS), Ceri Binding (University of South Wales) and Dan Pett (PAS) in particular but will also touch on skills issues being discussed by Kenny Aitchison (Landward Research), Julian Richards (University of York) and Ed Lee (EH). It’s only a fifteen minute talk so I will try to focus on direction, overview and a bit of blue skies thinking; there’s more detail on many of these topics in my various publications.

The talks will be videod and streamed (where possible) and there will be social media channels too, so do keep an eye out on twitter. My slides will also be on my slideshare after the event.

Further details including the programme for the day can be found here and at the seminar website.

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Geosemantics; the story so far

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

Semantic Web Rubik's Cube by dullhunk

Semantic Web Rubik’s Cube by dullhunk

Into the second month of the PhD now and things are starting to coalesce and take shape. A framework for development, testing and deployment of proposed demonstrators is emerging and I’m making good headway demystifying the world of geosemantics (at least, it’s becoming clearer in my head!).

So, as well as continuing with the literature review, I’m knitting together a whole bunch of tools:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) – the programming language at the heart of it all
  • Maven - a project management and comprehension tool
  • Eclipse - open development platform
  • Jena – a Java framework for building Semantic Web applications
  • Oracle 11g - relational Database Management System (RDBMS) with Spatial and Semantic components
  • D2RQ – a system for accessing relational databases as virtual, read-only RDF graphs.
  • AllegroGraph - a graph database
  • Prolog - logic programming
  • Protégé - ontology editor and knowledge-base framework
  • GeoSPARQL – query language for geospatial data stored as RDF
  • ArcGIS - Geographic Information System for data preparation, processing, etc
  • GeoServer – open source GIS server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data.

I’ll be posting more along the journey. Next steps will be to complete the literature review, submit stage reports and use some real archaeological data. Exciting stuff!

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