Category Archives: Software Critique and Analysis

#9 Closer Look: ArcheoLINK Information System

A word about software posts: On this blog, I want to provide review type information about the myriad archaeology software out there, but also want to be clear about what precisely the review represents. In order from least to most rigorous, the different levels of software posts are: Closer Look, Hands-On, and Field Test. In “Closer Look” posts, I write about an application’s features and hypothesize about how an archaeologist might benefit from them. In “Hands-On” posts I write about my experience actually installing an application and trying out some of its basic features. In “Field Test” posts, I write about collecting or processing real data using the application.

Post updated 10/31/13 to include comments and clarifications from QLC, Inc. archaeologist and developer Michiel Kappers [shown in bracketed italics].

ArcheoLINK Background

 ArcheoLINK is a piece of software developed by archaeologists that aims to provide a complete system for archaeology project management, data recording, inventory, and analysis; in short, an Archaeological Information System (AIS). Dutch archaeologists Michiel Kappers, Willem Schnitger, and Elsbeth Westerman originally designed ArcheoLINK to meet their research and project management needs as heritage management archaeologists as well as for academic research in the Caribbean. The company Kappers et al. founded, QLC, Inc. recently created a US version of their software, ArcheoLINK-Americas, that is customized for American academic and CRM archaeologists. Kappers recently visited the Diachronic Design office and gave me a demonstration of both the latest version of ArcheoLINK, as well as some of the features they are currently developing. This post describes each of ArcheoLINK’s feature categories, as well as my thoughts on how field archaeologists might use these features. [Paragraph updated to differentiate between QLC, Inc., the company, and ArcheoLINK-Americas, the US version of the ArcheoLINK software.] Continue reading #9 Closer Look: ArcheoLINK Information System

FAIMS GIS

#8 Hands-On: FAIMS Mobile Data Collector App

A word about software posts: On this blog, I want to provide review type information about the myriad archaeology software out there, but also want to be clear about what precisely the review represents. In order from least to most rigorous, the different levels of software posts are: Closer Look, Hands-On, and Field Test. In “Closer Look” posts, I write about an application’s features and hypothesize about how an archaeologist might benefit from them. In “Hands-On” posts I write about my experience actually installing an application and trying out some of its basic features. In “Field Test” posts, I write about collecting or processing real data using the application.

Background

The Federated Archaeological Information Management System (FAIMS) project is an open source software project by the University of New South Wales in Australia. The project is a subset of the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) program, which aims to build new infrastructure for Australian researchers. The goal of FAIMS is to build a comprehensive information system for archaeology that allows archaeologists to collect digital data from sites using mobile devices, process them in local databases, archive data in digital repositories for long-term storage and future reanalysis, and easily exchange data with researchers across the world. The FAIMS mobile app runs on Android devices running version 4.0 or higher of the Android operating system.

 I recently worked on a project customizing the FAIMS data collector for a US CRM company  and creating data entry forms on the mobile application. I worked through the FAIMS cookbook, which explains how to create the different kinds of data entry fields, such as text boxes, calendars, dropdown menus, radio buttons, and even how to add in map layers and shapes using the FAIMS app’s internal vector GIS system (Figure 1).  Continue reading #8 Hands-On: FAIMS Mobile Data Collector App