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Speakers – Anthony Beck/David Stott
Computers, the internet and mobile phones have changed how archaeologists work. More importantly it has changed how everybody can access, use and contribute to archaeology.
This has altered public expectations on modes of engagement and resource access. This is resulting in an increased demand for access to this data. This phenomena is not solely about archaeology and heritage but is reflected in many areas of society. Some governments have recognised that taxpayers, as funders of data, should be allowed to access and utilise this data more easily. This has underpinned the Open Data movement.
At the same time companies and institutions, like Google and NASA, started making large datasets available on the internet. Some of these organisations provided Application Programming Interface (API's) and other services so that software applications could be built around their data. Such software services made it easier for people to use this data to make new things (derive content) and in turn share these things with their communities. This produced the crowd-sourcing and citizen-science movements. Crowdsoucing is where products, ideas, or content are created by soliciting contributions from a large group of people online. The community mapping system called Open Street Map is a good example of crowdsourcing.
Other people want to be more active. Projects like Galaxy Zoo, Ancient Lives and Old Weather have helped free data trapped in books or help scientists collect and analyse data. National Geographic have sponsored a project to help detect archaeological sites in Mongolia using high spatial resolution satellite images (exploration.nationalgeographic.com/mongolia/home). With lots of people working together a big problem can turn into a small problem. These people are 'citizen scientists'.
This presentation will describe these movements in more detail and provide examples of their implications for the heritage sector. A vision will then be set out for the future of a collaborative framework for heritage management. This will be framed in the implications it has for practice, engagement, research, curation and policy. Public participation is welcomed!