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Dan Pett - British Museum - Enriched Archaeological Records - Geomob Feb 2011

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Dan Pett - British Museum - Enriched Archaeological Records - Geomob Feb 2011

  1. 1. Geodata @ The British Museum Enriched archaeological records Daniel Pett dpett@britishmuseum.org / @portableant finds.org.uk
  2. 2. Recording: one chance  Our staff generally have one chance to record  Dissemination online is swift, cheap, easy  There is no other archaeological database of this size  It is underused for research at present  The data it contains can tell a thousand stories of our shared heritage
  3. 3. GPS co-ordinates if possible
  4. 4. All objects recorded online
  5. 5. The Staffordshire Hoard
  6. 6. Frome (Somerset) Hoard
  7. 7. Crosby Garrett (Lancashire) Helmet
  8. 8. Objects referencing place:The Staffordshire Moorlands trullaThis is a list of four forts located at the western end of Hadrians Wall;Bowness (MAIS), Drumburgh (COGGABATA), Stanwix (UXELODUNUM) andCastlesteads (CAMMOGLANNA). it incorporates the name of an individual,AELIUS DRACO and a further place-name, RIGOREVALI. http://www.finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/49791
  9. 9. Why is the spatial data so important?Without provenance: A museum cannot acquire an object Is it looted? Did the landowner give permission? Context has been lost, we don’t know thesignificance of the location of discovery.
  10. 10. "X" never, ever marks the spot. Indiana Jones: Last Crusadehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_hocking/3318676289/in/photostream/
  11. 11. All objects we have recorded• 1997 – 2010• Topography is an issue• Landowners and regulations can prevent discovery• Biases present in data collection eg. Staff illness, lack of car etc etc
  12. 12. Here be mountainsStaff based here
  13. 13. Using YQL• Reverse geocode for WOEID for each findspot against flickr.places• Get flickr shapefile if exists for WOEID• Obtain a co-ordinate for findspots where only place is known (lower weight for academic use though).• Obtain elevation via the geonames api (for viewshed analysis – surprisingly good!)• Find objects within bounding boxes• Query for archaeology images on flickr
  14. 14. Flickr shapefiles incorporated
  15. 15. Display problems• Public users can only see find spots at a resolution of 1km sq or 4 figure NGR• Some find spots have to be hidden from public view completely – we give a place a pseudonym• Maps make our finders and landowners jumpy• Zoom level had to be reduced for public users• WOEID can give away find location
  16. 16. Geoplanet data
  17. 17. Integration of old OS MapsLayer provided by National Library of Scotland: http://geo.nls.uk/maps/api/
  18. 18. Water NewtonrallyRoman town of Durobrivae
  19. 19. Re-use of OS and EH point dataBoth of these datasets came as CSV, now converted from grid refs to Lat/Lng andWOEID (and also elevation for centre point) if anyone wants them.
  20. 20. What archaeologists would like: A database of places – ancient & modern?• Ancient place names – Dates in use – Co-ordinates at that time – Affiliation (political) – Example database – Pleiades, NYU http://pleiades.stoa.org/• Modern place names

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