Legacy Data – Open strategies for closed data
CAA-UK 2015, University of Bradford Graeme Attwood, Finnegan Pope-Carter
Archaeological geophysics surveys have been conducted by groups based in Bradford for in excess of 40 years. GSB Prospection (Part of the SUMO Group) combined with the School of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford have an archive of reports both analogue and digital stretching back this far, many of which have been viewed by only a select few. Spurred on by a project to catalogue the late Professor Arnold Aspinall’s project archive and a need to update GSB’s internal database and archiving systems, GSB and postgraduate students in the school of Archaeological Sciences have embarked on a project to digitise, re-georeference and disseminate work that can be made available in the public domain. The project is built primarily on open source software and database systems and wherever possible will be made available to those seeking to replicate the work we are doing.
The Open aspects of the project break down into three key tasks, these are:
• Bringing historic data into a format that can be utilised on current systems.
• Batch Process historical word, CAD and data archives to ensure the contents are converted to and stored in freely available formats. Historic archives have been lost when proprietary formats
• Salvage born digital data from archives only available in printed analogue formats. In salvaging archives that currently only exist in paper or legacy formats it safeguards the data for future use.
• Ensuring the location of surveys can be easily determined from datasets
• Compare digital mapping information with project metadata to verify georeferencing information
in historical CAD archives.
• If georeferencing information is incorrect automatically identify known features that correlate with open mapping data, to position the historic local grid within the world view.
• If no automated georeferencing is possible flag the site for review
• Make datasets available in the most appropriate way
• Categorise surveys to determine those that are commercially sensitive and those that have previously migrated into the public domain.
• If accurate georeferencing has been possible make data only previously available in printed form available on a google maps type service.
• If only an approximate georeferencing has been possible add a Pin to a map linking to a web viewable report.
• Undertake consultation to determine if the final display should contain data ‘tiers’ in order to protect uninvestigated archaeology.
The first tier being an approximate location pin with basic survey details, leading to a final tier of fully georeferenced data and interpretive plots that can be accessed on request. (20:34)