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From the summer of 2001 through 2004 archaeologists excavated the historic Chinatown site in downtown Deadwood, SD. This project uncovered 60 features and nearly 200,000 artifacts. Over the course of three years lab technicians cataloged the materials and recorded their attributes in four Access databases. Unfortunately, the final data product was littered with problems that made analysis difficult if not impossible. To address this issue I initiated a project to build a GIS database of the Deadwood site.
This presentation is a narrative of how the Deadwood archaeological geodatabase was built. It begins with an overview of the original Access databases. Then the tools and methods used to ingest the databases into an ArcGIS environment are covered. Next, the structure of the geodatabase is reviewed. Then the some of the abilities of the new geodatabase are presented. Finally, the potential future of this new product is discussed.
The Deadwood archaeological database is a demonstration of the true strength of ArcGIS. Utilizing this platform users have the ability to convert massive nonspatial data into centralized GIS data. Regardless of the data source or industry ArcGIS can be used to create new data that in turn can be used to generate other information products.