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The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden
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The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden

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# The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden …

# The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden

The Digital Archaeological Workflow (DAP) is a programme of work being carried out at the Information Development Unit at the Swedish National Heritage Board, in partnership with the major Swedish archaeological stakeholders. The programme aims to streamline the flow of archaeological data (and its associated metadata) between different actors in the Swedish archaeological process, and to ensure that this data is preserved in a sustainable and accessible manner. It aims to address a number of problems which have hampered the practice of archaeology in Sweden for some time, but which have now started to become more acute as digital technology saturates the processes involved.

There is no centralised register of archaeological fieldwork in Sweden, making it difficult not only to keep track of what is going on where, but also to know what fieldwork – if any – has taken place in connection to a particular site in the national sites and monuments record. Sweden also has no central digital archive for the storage of either archaeological fieldwork data or reports; as such records are now produced digitally, valuable archaeological data is thus increasingly at risk of being lost.

Furthermore, despite the fact that almost all of the data and administrative metadata surrounding archaeological work are digital-born, they are still handled according to analogue paradigms, particularly when information must be shared between different organisations. Sources of archaeological data which are currently made available digitally by various national and local bodies are not typically linked together. This leads to inefficiencies in information transfer, duplication of data and effort, and to information describing the same 'objects' being stored in different systems within different organisations.

The DAP programme intends to address these problems over the course of a five-year period, using standardised platform-agnostic data formats and protocols to streamline information transfer between organisations, by releasing a series of open taxonomies and ontologies for common Swedish archaeological terms and concepts on the semantic web in order to facilitate data interoperability, and by creating a secure digital repository both for the raw data and reports arising from fieldwork and research. We aim to make this information freely available as linked open data.

Our overall mapping of the current Swedish archaeological process is complete (although some details remain) and we are currently working on a conceptual model on which our future information architecture will be based. In parallell, we are also working to translate and release our existing (analogue) archaeological taxonomies to SKOS and release them as linked open data authorities, beginning with the Swedish monuments types thesaurus.

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  • 1. The Digital Archaeological Workflow: A Case Study from Sweden Marcus Smith marcus.smith@raa.se CAA 2014 – Paris
  • 2. The Problem •  No central fieldwork register
  • 3. ’Charles Babb parts storage’ – SDASM (flickr) The Problem •  No central fieldwork register •  No central digital archive for archaeological data
  • 4. The Problem •  No central fieldwork register •  No central digital archive for archaeological data •  Digital availability of fieldwork reports is patchy
  • 5. The Problem •  No central fieldwork register •  No central digital archive for archaeological data •  Digital availability of fieldwork reports is patchy •  Existing resources not linked ’silos’ – Doc Searls (flickr)
  • 6. The Problem •  No central fieldwork register •  No central digital archive for archaeological data •  Digital availability of fieldwork reports is patchy •  Existing resources not linked •  Inefficient information transfer (digital → paper → digital) How It Works – The Computer. The Output Unit. (Ladybird books)
  • 7. Goals for DAP •  Fully digitised seamless information transfer
  • 8. ’CERN storage servers’ – skimaniac (flickr) Goals for DAP •  Fully digitised seamless information transfer •  Digital archive for archaeological data
  • 9. Goals for DAP •  Fully digitised seamless information transfer •  Digital archive for archaeological data •  Access to source data
  • 10. Goals for DAP •  Fully digitised seamless information transfer •  Digital archive for archaeological data •  Access to source data •  Semantically linked data ’Anchor Men of the Mauretania’ Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (flickr)
  • 11. ’Come in We’re Open’ – jilleatsapples (flickr) Goals for DAP •  Fully digitised seamless information transfer •  Digital archive for archaeological data •  Access to source data •  Semantically linked data •  Openly licensed, re- useable data •  National ‘events’ register
  • 12. DAP so far… •  Government directive, with extra funding for five years •  LOD as a core idea; openness and transparency as core values •  Collaborative effort with the archaeological community •  DAP requires a new data infrastructure for us at RAÄ •  DAP requires a new way of working for archaeologists in Sweden: –  Technical challenges –  Licensing challenges –  Mindset challenges
  • 13. DAP so far… •  Already in place: –  SAMLA reports/PDF repository: http://samla.raa.se/ –  Processes mapped –  Conceptual modeling ongoing
  • 14. DAP so far… •  Already in place: –  SAMLA reports/PDF repository: http://samla.raa.se/ –  Processes mapped –  Conceptual modeling ongoing
  • 15. DAP so far… •  Already in place: –  SAMLA reports/PDF repository: http://samla.raa.se/ –  Processes mapped –  Conceptual modeling ongoing
  • 16. Actor/Role Organisation Organisation Legal framework Legal framework Legalframework Archaeological event Method Analysis Fieldwork Documentation Resolution Documentation Development Research event Actor / Role Assessment event Legal status Monument type Period Information management event Land management event Legal event Natural event Tangible Heritage Temporal Context Geographical Context Event Context Operative Context
  • 17. DAP so far… •  Already in place: –  SAMLA reports/PDF repository: http://samla.raa.se/ –  Processes mapped –  Conceptual modeling ongoing •  Still to plan: –  protocols & formats –  data mapping –  digital archive… •  To do straight away: –  rescue fieldwork data –  start a skeleton of an events register –  …and ‘master data’ such as ontologies, thesauri/controlled vocabularies!
  • 18. SOCH Swedish Open Cultural Heritage •  K-samsök – ‘Cultural Cross-Search’ http://www.ksamsok.se/
  • 19. SOCH Swedish Open Cultural Heritage •  K-samsök – ‘Cultural Cross-Search’ http://www.ksamsok.se/ •  Metadata aggregator & web service for cultural heritage institutions •  Monuments, buildings, museum collections…
  • 20. SOCH Swedish Open Cultural Heritage •  K-samsök – ‘Cultural Cross-Search’ http://www.ksamsok.se/ •  Metadata aggregator & web service for cultural heritage institutions •  Monuments, buildings, museum collections… •  40 institutions (≈25–30 million triples)
  • 21. (≈25–30 million triples) •  2.1 million artefacts •  880 thousand photographs •  830 thousand monuments •  440 thousand documents •  110 thousand historic buildings •  40 thousand personages •  2000 historical events •  1500 historic maps SOCH Swedish Open Cultural Heritage •  K-samsök – ‘Cultural Cross-Search’ http://www.ksamsok.se/ •  Metadata aggregator & web service for cultural heritage institutions •  Monuments, buildings, museum collections… •  40 institutions •  4.7 million database objects
  • 22. Structured Vocabularies •  SOCH publishes LOD… •  …but the majority of the classification metadata is still text strings, rather than URIs pointing to terms in authoritative controlled vocabularies •  We’re going to need a number of such thesauri in for the data a future DAP infrastructure is going to handle •  Perhaps even a full-blown ontology for Swedish archaeology…? •  Monuments types •  Legal status •  Events •  Periods •  Materials •  Built heritage •  Evidence types •  Techniques •  Artefact types •  …etc •  Extant/non-existent •  Internal/external
  • 23. Structured Vocabularies •  SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organisation System – an RDF application for structured vocabularies (also RDFS, OWL…) •  Initial idea: create SKOS versions of our vocabularies and put them out on the web. (Like SENESCHAL http://www.heritagedata.org/) •  But now: Need a proper system for managing these terms and publishing them in different ways: one central system for storing and managing the data, which can be consumed by a variety of systems (both internal and external) in a variety of formats. Of which SKOS would be one. •  Investigate user-needs: not many use SKOS today… but may do later.
  • 24. Who manages what data? •  Local authorities: resolutions •  Fieldwork units: field documentation; produce reports •  National Heritage Board: national monuments register, buildings register, monuments types thesaurus, etc; archive reports •  Forest Agency: forest sites •  Museums: finds •  Universities, SND: research data, analyses •  National Land Survey: geospatial data •  Law: legal terms/concepts, legal events •  We need to be able to manage the data we're responsible for •  We need to be able to connect to (fetch) data that external bodies are responsible for, and react when they change
  • 25. Challenges •  Ongoing DAP project to deliver a set of recommendations on how we should manage the structure and mapping of our master data taxonomies: practical protocols/praxis, and tools. •  Versioning and preservation •  We welcome suggestions and feedback - we're very much finding our way as we go! •  DAP is a massive undertaking, and we don’t want to reinvent the wheel if we can help it.
  • 26. DAP SOCH http://www.raa.se/dap http://www.ksamsok.se/ http://www.kringla.nu/ marcus.smith@raa.se @carwash

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