Spatial_Heritage_and_Archaeological_Research_Environment (SHARE IT)

Spatial_Heritage_and_Archaeological_Research_Environment (SHARE IT)
share
it
Spatial Heritage & Archaeology Research Environment I.T.
Feasibly Project
PROJECT REPORT
Thematic Area: 6 Landscapes & Settlement
GRANT REF. NO. 16674
This project is supported by the Heritage Council under the Irish National Strategic Archaeological
Research (INSTAR) Programme 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................. 3
SECTION 1: PROJECT INTRODUCTION & METHODOLOGY ..................................................15
Background ..........................................................................................................................15
Objectives ............................................................................................................................16
Methodology .......................................................................................................................16
Project Partners ...................................................................................................................19
SECTION 2: A SURVEY OF DIGITAL PRACTICES IN IRISH ARCHAEOLOGY .............................20
Introduction .........................................................................................................................20
Approach .............................................................................................................................20
Profile of Survey Population ................................................................................................21
Access to the internet ..........................................................................................................22
Accessing digital datasets created by others .......................................................................22
Access to archaeological information in digital and other media .......................................24
Data creation within your organisation ...............................................................................25
Digital data archives .............................................................................................................27
Issues regarding the creation of, maintenance, and access to archaeological data ...........28
Summary...............................................................................................................................29
SECTION 3: REVIEW OF CURRENT BEST PRACTICES FOR THE LONG TERM ARCHIVING, DATA
STANDARDS, AND ACCESS TO DIGITAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE DATA .......................30
Introduction .........................................................................................................................30
Archiving Review .................................................................................................................30
Data Formats .......................................................................................................................38
Archive Processes .................................................................................................................45
Metadata & ISO Standards ..................................................................................................51
INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe)..................................................55
Cultural Heritage inclusion in metadata ...............................................................................57
Tools for Metadata ...............................................................................................................65
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SECTION 4: REVIEW OF WEB MAPPING TECHNOLOGY ......................................................68
Introduction .........................................................................................................................68
Spatial Data Infrastructures - SDI .........................................................................................68
Technical Components of an SDI ..........................................................................................69
Cultural Landscape SDI .........................................................................................................75
Summary...............................................................................................................................76
SECTION 5: WEB MAPPING APPLICATION (WMA) -SYSTEM DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS (SDS) 78
Introduction .........................................................................................................................78
Contributors .........................................................................................................................78
Development Tools...............................................................................................................79
System Processes..................................................................................................................79
Application & Data Security..................................................................................................81
Application Interface ...........................................................................................................81
Data ......................................................................................................................................87
APPENDIX 1: SHARE-IT Online Questionnaire ..................................................................................... 98
APPENDIX 2: Selected Interviews ...................................................................................................... 103
APPENDIX 3: Metadata Examples....................................................................................................... 108
Geophysics Data ................................................................................................................108
Aerial Orthoimage Data ......................................................................................................115
LiDAR Data ..........................................................................................................................121
APPENDIX 4: UCD DATA REPORT FOR SHARE-IT PROJECT.................................................................. 127
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This project is supported by the Heritage Council under the Irish National Strategic Archaeological
Research (INSTAR) Programme 2008. It was supported by the following organisations,: the Discovery
programme, The Digital Media Centre (DMC) DIT, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd & UCD School of
Archaeology. Many thanks to the support of ESRI Ireland and The archaeological Data Service (ADS).
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SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATIONS
A SURVEY OF DIGITAL PRACTICES IN IRISH
ARCHAEOLOGY
INTRODUCTION
Although there have been surveys carried out in the past, more recently there has been no explicit
attempt to gain a clear understanding on the use of digital practices in Irish archaeology. There are,
nevertheless, increasing amounts of digital archaeological information being produced annually.
The key objectives of our survey are to determine:
Existing approaches to sharing and re-use
Attitudes towards the re-use and sharing of archaeological digital information
The types of digital data being produced
The amounts of digital data in existence
Technology uptake in the discipline
Current archival strategies
Costing models for future archival strategies
We aimed to include as many people as possible. Following some consultation, we drew up an
extensive list including members from all of the following sectors and bodies:
Academic Staff and Students
Private contractors
Archaeology Societies
Public Bodies, including
Research Institutes
Museums
The National Road Authority
City and County Councils
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
The Heritage Council
We created the survey using the survey monkey questionnaire tool, and sent a copy to 634
respondents on the 13th of June 2008. We sent a remainder on the 19th of August 2008. In total, we
received 57 replies (a 9% response rate). The results were collated on the 5th of September 2008.
The questionnaire was divided into seven sections with a generalised summary presented below for
each section. Full analysis and explanation of the results is provided in Section 2.
PROFILE OF SURVEY POPULATION
96% of respondents are currently working in Ireland.
The largest number of respondents are engaged primarily in archaeological consultancy
(48.9%) or contract field archaeology (45%).
The lowest number of respondents (10%) work principally in the museum sector.
The role of respondents range from students and professors (in academia) to project
directors (21%) and heritage officers (5%).
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ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
96% of organisations provide broadband access for their employees.
2% still rely on 56k modem or dial up.
88% of respondents feel that the Internet (external email, web etc.) is useful to its activities.
ACCESSING DIGITAL DATASETS CREATED BY OTHERS
94% of respondents indicated that their organisation obtain digital archaeological
information created by others.
96% of respondents use digital governmental data available via the internet.
94% of organisations use computers to obtain archaeological information.
33% make use of both maps and research created by others.
The principal reason, as identified by 47% of respondents, as to why organisations do not use
more digital information is because it is not easily available.
As expected, both cost (43%) and the lack of software or hardware (41%) were also identified
as having a negative impact on the use and re-use of more digital archaeological content.
26% of organisations do pay to re-use other’s archaeological content.
The majority, approximately 80% indicated that every year their organisation purchase
mapping from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi). Mostly, archaeologists purchase OSi content
through a yearly subscription.
ACCESS TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION IN DIGITAL AND OTHER MEDIA
73% of responses indicated their organisation does indeed produce archaeological
content for re-use by others.
More than a quarter (26%) of respondents produce content in the form archaeological
reports.
Email, 58% of responses, is the primary method by which this information is
disseminated.
The web or online (50%) is the secondary method chosen by respondents.
CD or DVD (44%) is chosen as the tertiary approach.
59% of responses indicated that, in one way or another, they are committed to open
access.
DATA CREATION WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION
37% of respondents create digital versions of their data.
59% of respondents record digitally onsite - the majority use laptop computers (60%).
A large majority use some form of surveying equipment (54%), be it geophysical (23%), laser
scanner (9%) or total station (18%).
100% of participants create reports, and other text-based documents, with Microsoft Word.
The majority of respondents, 70%, make use of Microsoft’s Access program to create
catalogues or databases.
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66% of respondents employ Adobe Photoshop to create or edit graphic files.
40% indicated that they use no standards during inventory and documentation at all.
DIGITAL DATA ARCHIVES
When asked, do you currently archive your digital data (short and long-term)? 84.8% of
those who answered the question replied yes.
57.1% do not include metadata creation as part of their organisation’s data management
strategy.
37%, archive between 1 - 500 GB of digital data.
ISSUES REGARDING THE CREATION OF, MAINTENANCE, AND ACCESS TO
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA
When asked should licensed excavators be obliged to produce and archive full digital
datasets? 46% answered yes.
Out of the 63.2% who answered the question, 83.4% agreed with the use of some sort of
standardised vocabulary or thesauri.
When asked is access to digital data important for archaeologists and the discipline, overall?
97.1% stated yes.
85.7% of respondents agreed that the funding body should cover the cost of creating digital
archives.
94.1% of respondents agreed that national bodies should fund a digital archiving services.
RECOMMENDATIONS
There several important recommendations derived from the findings of the survey report:Firstly, there is a palpable need to produce some uniform means for delivering
archaeological content. Currently, the most preferred way of distributing content is by CD or
DVD. There may be some concerns regarding security, however, these can be addressed
with the provision of thorough security policies. Furthermore, as the large majority of
participants utilise broadband technology, bandwidth is no longer a predominate issue.
Another point that reinforces the establishment of an archaeological portal or national
archive is the fact that the majority of participants are committed to open access. This is a
sentiment that is worth encouraging, as without open access a large majority of content will
remain removed from the public domain.
Secondly, there is an increasing proclivity towards the use of digital methods to digital
cataloguing onsite. This is a trend that could only benefit the field and discipline as a whole.
The possibilities of harvesting, storing and cataloguing archaeology information digitally will
not only streamline the archaeologists work practice but also promote the reuse of digital
archaeological data.
Thirdly, while some archaeologists are aware of standards, the majority of those who took
part in the survey have no real understanding of the importance of standards. Moreover,
there are no national standards to support Irish archaeology. The debate about the use or
application of standards will always rage regardless of whether the use of one standard is
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preferred over another. Therefore, this is a puerile argument when discussing the creation
or uptake of standards in Irish archaeology.
There is an immediate need to develop guidelines with the aim of producing standards that
support the archaeologist in cataloguing and preserving data. Both guidelines and standards
should be supported by a professional body, and developed in an endogenic manner through
the actual work practices of the modern, digitally-proficient archaeologist. There is no
practical benefit in foisting standards onto practitioners who have an already heavy
workload. Furthermore, there is a tendency for projects, not necessarily Irish projects, to
indicate the adoption of a standard by applying the least possible criteria. This is not
something that should be encouraged, and only serves to frustrate those wishing to further
the discipline.
While the application of standards is an important and hopefully emerging area in Irish
archaeology, it is imperative to keep the archaeologists informed. Currently, there is little
indication that archaeologists are aware of, never mind, implement cataloguing or data
storage standards. Finally, there is need to conduct further research into costing models for
a national archive.
In light of recent events, the government will not necessarily bare the cost of a national
archive, and the idea that people will pay to use such an archive is not in keeping with
current Internet savvy costing models. Micro payments, as illustrated by Apple’s foray into
the app store, could provide some form of basis for a more elaborate costing model.
Nevertheless, it is important not to proceed with some fundamental copper-fastened
approach that will only inhibit use, after all the main goal of such an archive is to publish and
present Irish archaeology.
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REVIEW OF CURRENT BEST PRACTICES FOR THE
LONG TERM ARCHIVING, DATA STANDARDS, AND
ACCESS TO DIGITAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE
DATA
INTRODUCTION
The aim of this work package was to develop a data management strategy for the Share-IT project. To
accomplish this objective, a review of current Irish and International best practice was undertaken,
addressing issues relating to archiving, data standards and access of digital archaeological landscape
data.
ARCHIVING REVIEW
a) Some preliminary observations came from our review of best practice which emphasises the nature
and scale of the problem:
there has been a rapid growth in the creation of digital data
it highlighted the speed and ease of short-term data dissemination with little regard for the
long-term preservation of digital data.
digital data is fragile in ways that differ from traditional technologies, more easily corrupted
digital storage media have shorter life spans
technological advances are rapid, therefore the time frame in which we must consider
archiving becomes much shorter
b)There are a number of issues relating to the technology and specifically changes in
technology associated with digital data:Obsolescence - file formats, media, software and hardware, all vulnerable
Deterioration - Standard media used for the storage of digital data –have a finite lifespan
and can become corrupted
Loss of expertise -digital data without adequate documentation, and sensible naming
strategy relies on existing staff to understand it
c) Properly archived data will open up interdisciplinary re-use opportunities and maximise the return
from investing in data.
d) A number of common themes and issues came out when reviewing best practice: The fundamental importance of metadata and the adoption of international standards
The need to define an access constraint policy
The financial implications of archiving digital data, and the need to consider detailed cost
models
The OAIS (open archival information system) model provides the framework and terminology
for defining an archiving strategy.
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DATA FORMATS
The data being considered by share-IT project is limited to three data types, LiDAR, orthoimagery, and
geophysical survey.
A key data preservation issue is which file format is selected as the archival version, and is critical to
the longevity and future access to the data. Accepting the value of the OAIS reference model it is
simplest to consider the appropriate file formats in terms of the three information packages
(Submission, Archival and Dissemination). The archival information package is the version which will
be held in perpetuity, and as such need to be in a standard non-proprietary format such as ASCII. The
choice of this format is critical as the submission format must be able to migrate into it, and the
dissemination format be generated from it. A fundamental component of the archival information
package is the xml file containing the metadata.
ARCHIVE PROCESSES
A core component of an OAIS compliant archive is Archival Storage. This represents the part of the
archival system that manages the storage and maintenance of digital objects entrusted to the archive.
It ensures the appropriate structure of the file system, the necessary amount of storage available and
other issues related to the physical management of data storage.
RELATED ISSUES RAISED INCLUDE:•
•
•
•
•
Encouraging Data Submission - how will we encourage submission of data, and what are the
appropriate leverage mechanisms? Contractual obligation? Legislation? Voluntary?
Copyright – the need to prepare ‘Copyright and Liablilty Statement’
Access – define the rules of access, levels of access based on status? User logins?
Promotion of the digital archive – little point in preserving data unless it is re-used.
Cost – need to define a cost model based on the digital archive lifecycle.
METADATA & ISO STANDARDS
Metadata is often described as ‘data about data’ and is an integral part of the OAIS model.
International standards exist for defining metadata schemas, which are typically stored as xml
documents. Important standards related to geospatial data include:•
•
Dublin Core - a standard for cross-domain information resource description. A vocabulary of
fifteen properties for use in resource description. (ISO 15836:2003)
ISO 19115 defines the schema for describing geographical information and associated
services, including contents, spatial-temporal purchases, data quality, access and rights to
use. The standard defines more than 400 metadata elements, 20 core elements. The ISO
standards are revised and modified on a regular basis, ISO 19115:2003 is the current version
INSPIRE (INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SPATIAL INFORMATION IN EUROPE)
The INSPIRE Directive sets out to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services – those
associated with European environmental policy in the first instance – through the provision of a
European spatial data infrastructure. It has major relevance to this project as it:9
•
•
•
•
defines data standards for spatial data INSPIRE metadata schema is compliant with ISO
19115
the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government is one of the legally
mandated organizations
focused initially on environmental datasets but this can be extended and adapted to
encompass cultural heritage data in the future
it will have become the de facto standard to which everyone should aspire
CULTURAL HERITAGE INCLUSION IN METADATA
The adoption of the INSPIRE directive metadata standard, compliant with ISO 19115, will ensure the
geographical description of our datasets is completed to an international standard. Further thesauri,
or controlled vocabularies can be added to the Keyword component of the metadata schema.
Controlling how the cultural component is described using these resources enhances the ability of
users to search and retrieve our data in intelligent ways. More than one thesauri can be defined
within a schema and our research identified a number which could be adopted. Examples of cultural
heritage thesauri / controlled vocabularies include:•
•
•
•
The Getty Institute Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) - controlled vocabulary used for
describing items of art, architecture, and material culture. This thesaurus is compliant with
two further ISO standards:-ISO 2788 & ISO 5964
CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model CRM - definitions and a formal structure for describing
concepts and relationships used in cultural heritage documentation. Accepted as ISO
standard 21127
Monument Inventory Data Standard (MIDAS) - is the UK data standard for information
about the historic environment. It states what information should be recorded to support
effective sharing of the knowledge of the historic environment, and the long-term
preservation of those records. and its objective is to complement existing standards such as
CIDOC CRM
Humanities and Social Science Electronic Thesaurus (HASSET) - a subject thesaurus which
has been developed by the UK Data Archive (UKDA) over the past 20 years.
Controlled vocabularies are also applied to geographic placenames:•
•
The Getty Institute Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN) – hierarchal structured
definition of geographic descriptions for the world
Placenames Database of Ireland – English and Irish language thesauri, including county,
barony and townland names
TOOLS FOR METADATA
Given the creation of metadata has been identified as critical to the archiving model it is important to
identify the variety of free and commercially available tools to support metadata creation editing and
validation. Among those tested:•
•
INSPIRE Geoportal – online resource which allows user to create, validate and export as xml
document.
ESRI ArcCatalog - a flexible metadata creation and viewing application. Data is input into the
fields of a tab-based interface with mandatory fields indicated. Once created the metadata
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•
can then be viewed in a range international standard formats by selecting the appropriate
stylesheet
ISO Metadata Editor (IME) Tools - a number of IME application’s can be freely downloaded
from the internet
RECOMMENDATIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
The OAIS model should be adopted for the archival system.
A Submission Information Package guideline document should be created to assist data
providers achieve the appropriate standard of data compliance.
The metadata schema for ‘share-IT’ should be compliant with both INSPIRE and ISO 19115
and should have its keywords expanded to include a selection of Thesauri, to standardise
geographic placenames and cultural components.
‘Preferred’ data formats should be defined for each of our three data types:a. LIDAR
Archive – ASCII xyz, and xml metadata
Dissemination – ESRI ASCII raster file format
b. ORTHIMAGERY
Archive – GeoTIFF, and xml metadata
Dissemination – ESRI ASCII raster file format
c. GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Archive – ASCII xyz, and xml metadata
Dissemination – ESRI GRID raster file format
A comprehensive copyright and access policy should be developed in consultation with the
data providers and archaeological community (IAI).
The cost model needs to be examined and a strategy for financing the archiving process
considered in consultation with the wider archaeological community.
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REVIEW OF WEB MAPPING TECHNOLOGY
INTRODUCTION
•
•
The creation and use of digital spatial data within archaeology and its associated disciplines
has become increasingly prevalent over the past decade
Traditionally the technology utilised to use spatial data has been expensive desktop based
software solutions, but in recent years technological developments have enabled the
delivery and exploration of spatial data via the internet.
SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURES - SDI
EVOLUTION OF GIS
•
•
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Traditionally the term GIS has been used to describe the combined use of hardware
technology, software, data and people to explore, analyse and visualise spatial data
The concept of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) was created to define the supporting
mechanisms required for WebGIS. The term SDI is used to describe a series of technologies,
policies and agreements that facilitate the access to spatial data.
Sharing information and spatial datasets is, in general terms, the basic goal of any SDI, since
it considers that maximizing the access to spatial data is minimizing the production cost of
spatial information
TECHNICAL COMPONENTS OF AN SDI
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An SDI is not simply a single feature but a network of interconnected software, technologies,
data and policy.
There are four main components to the core of an SDI which allow spatial data to be:
authored, served, discovered and finally used.
AUTHOR
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Applications must be present to create and edit spatial data for other users
The creation of spatial data is still traditionally within the domain of the desktop GIS
however, with the increase of speeds and the advent of web feature services (see later) this
dominance will probably reduce.
Within the SDI authoring has another specific role and that is the creation of metadata
SERVE: THE OGC AND THE INTERPOERABILITY OF SPATIAL DATA
•
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The ability to serve spatial data created lies at the heart of the SDI.
There is no monopoly on the software we can use to create our spatial data or the resulting
formats created.
The OGC developed a consensus for the establishment of interoperability specifications for
spatial data. These OpenGIS® specifications have enabled users around the world to share
their spatial data, irrespective of software or platform,
Standards pertinent to this review include:-
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o
o
o
o
o
o
WEB MAPPING SERVICE (WMS) –A simple visual representation of data, e.g.
background mapping. e.g. jpeg.
WEB FEATURE SERVICE (WFS) – Objects represented by vector data. together
with there associated attributes for selection and querying.
WEB COVERAGE SERVICE (WCS) – Objects represented by raster data sets.
GEOGRAPHIC MARKUP LANGUAGE (GML) – This defines an extension of the
XML schema to enable the representation of geographical features.
KEYHOLE MARKUP LANGUAGE (KML) - has become an integral component to
Google Earth can include the representation of geometry within its code.
WEB CATALOGING SERVICE (CSW) - supports the ability to publish and search
geospatial metadata, services. This enables users to find services created by another
organisation.
DISCOVER: METADATA CATALOGUES/PORTALS
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Metadata catalogues or portals enable users to browse and discover spatial data based upon
underlying metadata schema
Supporting such catalogues are many actors at different levels of data creation and
administration. They include:o CATALOGUE CONTRIBUTORS – Provide metadata entries and associated spatial
datasets. In probably would be cultural heritage experts.
o CATALOGUE ADMINISTRATORS – Manage metadata for users. This could be a
technical person within a cultural heritage organisation where the spatial data
repository lies.
o CATALOGUE USER – The users who browse through the data or pose a specific
query to identify a suitable dataset.
There are different strategies for the implementation of catalogue services, dependent upon
the scale and scope of the service:o CONSORTIUM APPROACH – An organisation which provides spatial data loads
this information into a shared central publically accessible service.
o CORPORATE APPROACH – An organisation which provides spatial data loads this
data into a central internal service. is often suited towards large corporate
organisation.
o WORKGROUP APPROACH – Each department within an organisation is
responsible for the generation and maintenance of their own data and metadata
catalogue.
The selection of appropriate strategy will depend upon several factors, including: size of
organisation, technical expertise available, and access rights to information.
To explore the spatial data referenced through a cataloguing services there are two main
styles of interaction that take place:
o QUERY – A user specifies what they are looking for based upon a search criteria,
often in the shape of free text.
o BROWSE – User selects paths through categorised information, often related
hierarchically to each other.
USE: MAPPING CLIENTS AND APPLICATION
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Web mapping applications enable the visualisation of geospatial information using web
accessed software clients.
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•
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Mapping applications can take many different forms including:Dedicated user driven web mapping application
o These applications are often community driven and created.
o They require little or no additional software downloads to be carried by the user,
therefore they are highly suitable for an audience who has poor technical skills little
previous exposure to GIS.
General user driven web mapping application
o These mapping applications can be considered as the most similar to desktop GIS.
o They are usually a component within a larger SDI scheme, offering the mapping
interface to visualise data discovered within catalogue
Basic map tools, plus additional functionality such as search and measurement tools area
available
o Proprietary mapping applications
o This type of application is one that can be purchased or freely downloaded
o It offers the user an integrated mapping tool which although doesn’t give the full
performance of desktop GIS it enables the increased
SOFTWARE
A wide range of software solutions are available at differing costs. In the discussion as to which
system to chose, three questions must be considered:
1.
2.
3.
Does the software I use require a sustained level of financial support?
How many of components of an SDI do I wish to implement?
Does the software offer increased functionality that can be adapted and developed for your
particular purposes?
CULTURAL LANDSCAPE SDI
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Developing a Cultural Landscape SDI may ensure the protection of heritage by providing
accessible information on where things are and why they are important.
It deals with the heritage information in an integrated mode, which in scientific and
management terms is clearly more useful.
It enhances the social value of the scientific investigation, because the scientific knowledge is
openly and easily offered to society, which, in turn benefits the dissemination of heritage, its
protection, investigation and management.
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SECTION 1: PROJECT INTRODUCTION &
METHODOLOGY
BACKGROUND
Over the past 15 years much financial and professional effort has been invested in the collection and
analysis of spatial archaeological data by government, research and commercial sectors. Within this
digital domain asset, landscape data forms a substantial component and includes: aerial photography;
topographic surveys created by LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and digital photogrammetry; and
geophysical surveys.
27% of archaeological grants awarded by the Heritage Council (HC) have been to research
projects whose primary activity is the collection and analysis of spatial data (aerial survey,
LiDAR, geophysics). This figure doesn’t include the 34% of projects classed as “survey” which
also yielded some spatial data.
Extensive aerial survey and LiDAR surveys carried out by numerous governmental and
research bodies including The Discovery Programme, HC, UCD, NUI Galway, DoEHLG, and
Meath County Council,.
In 2007 alone, 264 detection licenses were issued by the DoHELG of which the majority
would be used for the primary collection of geophysical data sets.
Once this data is recorded and interpreted, the printed report is often seen as the final deliverable,
while the digital archaeological assets created often remain hidden and unused within the source
organisations, eliminating any possible knowledge transfer to the wider archaeological community. In
the current economic climate the possibility for the loss of archaeological information is great as the
digital data collected and held by commercial companies could potentially disappear.
Recently, several reports 1 2 3 4 reviewing the current archaeological research framework within
Ireland have highlighted concerns that exist within the archaeological community that require further
action. Following the completion of a HC funded landscape project5 it was noted that a review
examining the long term prognosis of the information derived from data projects should be
commissioned, with the possibility of creating a centralised geodata server. Specific concerns were
also highlighted in an open letter to the Heritage Council6, the RIA expressed that ‘an on-line guide to
air photographic collections’ should be a practical priority to the Heritage Council.
Major problems to the successful development of the knowledge society in Irish archaeology include:
Underdeveloped and poorly resourced research infrastructure.
The unconnected nature of archaeological information and key resources within the
archaeological research community
A lack of accessible and sustainable digital archives for archaeological data, with established
standards and metadata
An inadequate return on the investment in primary data collection, from both development
led and grant funded archaeological practice, resulting in the production of hidden
archaeological material
The solution for many of the highlighted problems is the creation of an effective complimentary ICT
strategy which provides easy access to primary research information whilst providing a sustainable
and robust digital archive that adheres to recognised international standards. Developments in
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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have provided researchers with new mechanisms to access
improved archaeological data sets. The tools within GIS enable the visualisation, cataloguing and
analysis of a varying scale of spatial data improving the investigative capacity of the researcher.
Creating a coherent infrastructure where high quality landscape data is easily accessible will maximise
the knowledge return from this resource and enhance future archaeological research.
OBJECTIVES
The projects main aims were to develop a strategy for the archiving and dissemination of landscape
archaeology data sets (LiDAR, aerial imagery and geophysics) using ICT. Specific aims included:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
A review the current spatial data policies within the commercial, institutional and academic
sectors
A review current best practices for the long term archiving and access to archaeological
landscape data
Developing a strategy for the creation of a Web Mapping Application to provide access to
digital landscape data
The development and implementation of a Web Mapping Application pilot for the delivery of
selected landscape data to the research community
Promotion and dissemination of the results of the project
Producing an exploitation plan for the long term development of the SHARE I.T. resource.
METHODOLOGY
The overall strategy for this project was formed by six interlinked work packages. Their content and
connectivity goes towards understanding, assessing, designing and implementing an appropriate ICT
solution for the sharing and reuse of spatial archaeological landscape data.
WP1: DOMAIN ANALYSIS
DELIVERABLE: DOMAIN ANALYSIS REVIEW SUMMARY REPORT
The first module aimed to clarify the current situation and state of the digital archaeological
landscape record that exists within the many commercial, government and research institutes within
the island of Ireland. Themes explored and answered included:
What is the current level of digital data creation in Irish archaeology?
What, if any, are the current data standards and practices of digital archiving within Irish
archaeology?
Is there any transfer or reuse of digital landscape assets, either internally or externally
currently being practised by archaeological organisations?
What are the policies on intellectual property and the reuse of data by other organisations
and individuals?
What are the desired views on the future delivery and sharing of digital data?
Components of this work package included the construction of a questionnaire to be completed by
the archaeological community.
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WP2: INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICE REVIEW
DELIVERABLE: RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICE REVIEW REPORT
The second module explored and reviewed the current best practices that have been adopted by the
cultural heritage sector and the wider professional community. Standards organisations specific to
cultural data such as the Archaeological Data Service (ADS) were consulted on their prescribed policy.
Time was also taken to investigate policy and standards outside of cultural heritage, such as
engineering. Questions included:
What are the adopted data formats and standards for the sharing and long term archival
preservation of digital spatial data?
Are there any prescribed metadata formats associated with the storage of digital
archaeological and spatial data that should be adopted?
Are there any standards organisations that can assist and integrate Irish digital spatial data
into an international framework?
Included in this review was an examination of current legislation governing the sharing and reuse of
spatial data, specifically the EU INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) directive7
that will soon come into force (May 2009). This legislative tool will affect public bodies and NGOs who
will be obliged to provide consistent access to spatial products and services.
WP3: SYSTEM ANALYSIS & DESIGN
DELIVERABLES:
1. REVIEW OF WEB MAPPING TECHNOLOGY
2. WEB MAPPING APPLICATION (WMA) - SYSTEM DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS (SDS)
This module of the project dealt with the technical preparation for the successful development of the
web mapping application pilot. Individual components included:
A review of Web Mapping Technology – A review of current state-of-the-art web mapping
applications and associated technologies. General web mapping and GIS portal were
reviewed and assessed, particularly those based upon the theme of cultural heritage and
archaeology. This was to provide guidance to enable the successful implementation of a
landscape web mapping application
System Design Specification (SDS) - A description of the software system including its
functionality and matters related to the overall system design was prepared as guidance to
WP4. Contents included: development tools, system processes, user interface, application
security including technical architectures, authentication and authorisation, database design,
application interfaces, data migration and data security
WP4: WEBGIS PILOT DEVELOPMENT
DELIVERABLE: WEBGIS PILOT AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION
This work package of the project was concerned with the construction of a web mapping application
pilot using the acquired knowledge gained from WP1-3. The methodology followed the setup,
development and multiple iterative testing phases of the web mapping application pilot. During this
process the WebGIS was seeded with core amount of landscape data from the Discovery Programme
17
(DP), Margaret Gowen & Co (MG) and UCD School of Archaeology (UCD-SA). Each sub-module of this
work package is described as follows:
1. SYSTEM SETUP: Initial setup of web server hardware and basic GIS software systems including
the establishment of sufficient web linkages and development of spatial database structure for the
efficient and effective digital storage of landscape assets.
2. SPATIAL DATA STANDARDISATION: Seed data from three organisations was prepared,
reprocessed and standardised to conform to the data criteria established in WP2. Where partners
require additional technical help (MG & UCD-SA), DP staff provided assistance to the archaeology
professionals.
3. MIGRATION OF SPATIAL DATA: Following on from WP4.2 data was uploaded into the
established spatial database. Data, were possible, was pre-processed to aid the rapid display of high
resolution data via the web.
4. APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT: Development of web mapping application and interface to create
a toolset for the online exploration and searching of spatial data. Included was the production and
refinement of cartographic rules that enable a standardised and intuitive presentation layer of the
spatial data. Testing was carried out by members of the three archaeological organisations (DP, MG,
UCD-SA)
WP5: DISSEMINATION
DELIVERABLE: PROJECT WEBSITE AND WORKSHOP
Dissemination of project information and results have take place using several methods including:
PROJECT WEBSITE
This was an essential component of the project the SHARE I.T. website and acted as the main conduit
for the flow of project information and deliverables. The website was established at the initial phase
of the project and explained the reasoning, methodology and aims of the project. Main components
of the website include:
Access to all deliverable documents created by the various work packages
References and links to all source material collated as part of the different reviews (WP1-3)
and further reading
Details of project related events
Initially the interface to the mapping application pilot was through the website but due to
software limitations this was removed
PUBLIC EVENTS
A half day workshop promoting both the project and issues in digital archiving was hosted by the
Discovery Programme. Additional information highlighting the event also enabled the project to
gauge user response to the proposal of a shared archaeological data infrastructure and some the
problems.
ADDITIONAL DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES
In addition to the core dissemination activities papers were presented at the several conferences and
workshops.
18
WP6: EXPLOITATION
For the web mapping application to have a sustainable existence following an INSTAR grant, a review
of possible funding mechanisms and supporting actions was commissioned. Extra funding, if available,
could be used to develop several aspects of the project including: the creation of a digital
archaeological archive, development of an archaeological SDI, training and education for
archaeologists in the generation of suitable metadata. Details from this WP fed into the final project
review document.
PROJECT PARTNERS
The consortium proposing the SHARE I.T. grant application will be constructed from several
organisations that each brings a series of skills and relevant knowledge to the project.
Lead Partners: Anthony Corns & Robert Shaw (The Discovery Programme, IT & survey)
Technical Partners: Evan McCarthy & John McAuley (Digital Media Centre (DMC), DIT)
Content providers and user testing
Keiron Goucher (Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.)
19
SECTION 2: A SURVEY OF DIGITAL PRACTICES IN
IRISH ARCHAEOLOGY
INTRODUCTION
Although there have been surveys carried out in the past, notably8, more recently there has been no
explicit attempt to gain a clear understanding on the use of digital practices in Irish archaeology.
There are, nevertheless, increasing amounts of digital archaeological information being produced
annually. Archaeologists are not only taking advantage of new surveying techniques, such as LiDAR
and geophysics, but also adopting fresh approaches to producing, accessing and manipulating
complex datasets. It is important for the discipline that this information be archived correctly and
made available so as to promote collaboration, research, knowledge sharing and help further the field
as a whole.
In this paper we firstly introduce the objectives of the survey. Secondly, we discuss the approach to
the survey. Thirdly, we explain the results of the survey, and present a summary of the findings.
Finally we present the seminal points from three separate interviews conducted as part of the SHAREIT project, in which we try to gauge attitudes to the development of a national archival strategy. This
survey was undertaken as part of the INSTAR SHARE-IT9 project with precisely these goals in mind.
The key objectives of the survey are to determine:
Existing approaches to sharing and re-use
Attitudes towards the re-use and sharing of archaeological digital information
The types of digital data being produced
The amounts of digital data in existence
Technology uptake in the discipline
Current archival strategies
Costing models for future archival strategies
APPROACH
We aimed to include as many people as possible. Following some consultation, we drew up an
extensive list including members from all of the following sectors and bodies:
Academic Staff and Students
Private contractors
Archaeology Societies
Public Bodies, including
Research Institutes
Museums
The National Road Authority
City and County Councils
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
The Heritage Council
We created the survey using the survey monkey questionnaire tool, and sent a copy to 634
respondents on the 13th of June 2008. We sent a remainder on the 19th of August 2008. In total, we
received 57 replies (a 9% response rate), which, although low, is suitably diverse as to broadly reflect
the current landscape of Irish archaeology. It was acknowledged, during initial discussions, that not
every participant identified would have access to the internet. However, we collected 634 email
20
addresses, and due to costs and the ease at which online tools support the creation and
dissemination of surveys, and later the analysis of results, we choose to focus attention solely on an
online approach. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the fact that the survey was conducted online
may have isolated certain parties and consequently contributed to a lower response rate. The
questionnaire did not seek to distinguish between the individual and the organisation. The approach,
rather, involved a single questionnaire targeted towards people who hold key positions, both as
individual archaeologists and as archaeologists at an organisational level. The results were collected
on the 5th of September 2008.
The questionnaire was divided into seven sections; each is dealt with separately below.
The first section identified the participant and the participant's organisation. Section two inquired
about the access that the organisation’s personnel have to the internet. The third section sought to
identify how each organisation obtains archaeological information in electronic format. Section four
asked for the participant's opinion on the levels of access that should be granted to archaeological
information obtained by other bodies, public, private and academic. Section five required the
participant to outline the software and hardware that their organisation uses to collect, catalogue and
indeed create archaeological digital information. Section six inquired about archival strategies, and
asked the participant to detail how their organisation archives digital versions of archaeological
information. Finally, section seven asked the participant's opinion on the general issues regarding the
re-use of digital archaeological information.
PROFILE OF SURVEY POPULATION
96.5% of respondents are currently active in Ireland, with the majority of responses coming from
counties Dublin (28%), Galway (14%) and Cork (7%). 15% of respondents indicated that they operate
nationwide while a further 3.5% of participants reside in the US. The largest number of respondents
engage primarily in archaeological consultancy (48.9%) or contract field archaeology (45.20%). The
lowest number of respondents (exactly 10%) work principally in the museum sector. The role of
respondents in their respective organisations, be it university, museum, library or consultancy, range
from students to professors and project directors (21.1%) to heritage officers (5.3%). Table 2-1
illustrates the range of activities that the respondent’s organisation engages in. Each was asked to
grade responses 1 - 5 in order of relevance (i.e. 1 having the highest relevance).
ORGANISATION
Archaeology consultancy
Contracting field archaeology
Local government archaeology
Museum
Library/archive
National body
University/college
1
48.90%
45.20%
25.70%
10%
26.70%
29%
38.20%
2
8.90%
2.40%
25.70%
6.70%
6.70%
6.50%
0%
3
4.40%
9.50%
2.90%
16.70%
16.70%
9.70%
2.90%
4
13.30%
7.10%
5.70%
10%
10%
12.90%
8.80%
Table 2-1 Roles which organisations fulfil in Irish archaeology
21
5
24.40%
35.70%
40%
56.70%
40%
41.90%
50%
ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
The second part of the questionnaire sought to identify how organisations and individuals access the
internet. The internet has become a staple part of many people’s work practices. Overall, all
respondents who participated in the survey have access to the internet. In fact, 96.4% of
organisations provide broadband-type access for their employees. Almost 2% (exactly 1.8%),
however, still rely on 56k modem or dial up. Another 1.8% are unsure of the type of access they are
provided through their organisation.
When asked, does your organisation feel that the Internet (external email, web etc.) is useful to its
activities? 87.5% of respondents indicated yes with 1.8% replying no. Some respondents left
additional comments indicating that the internet is a useful medium for disseminating information to
the public (1.8%), for research (1.8%) and to make datasets available publicly (1.8%). Others suggest
that is it impossible to be competitive without it as it has become both essential and fundamental to
their work practices.
ACCESSING DIGITAL DATASETS CREATED BY OTHERS
The third part of the survey focused on the re-use of digital archaeological information. 94.1 % of
respondents indicated that their organisation obtain digital archaeological information created by
others. In addition, 96% of respondents use digital governmental data available via the internet, 2%
don’t and another 2% are unaware of whether their organisation made use of such information.
While 94% of organisations use computers to obtain archaeological information, 6% of respondents
didn’t know how their organisation utilised such content.
Figure 2-1 illustrates how organisations who participated in the survey currently use digital information
created by others. 84.4% of respondents answered the question. Out of that population, 33.3% make
use of both maps and research created by others, while 17.6% utilise reports and 15.6% avail of
survey information (including LiDAR, aerial photographs and Geophysics).
Figure 2-1 How organisations currently use digital information created by others
There was a wide range of responses to the question how would you like to use digital data in the
future? Some answers (17.1%) indicated an increase in the use of digital information and practice in
teaching and learning e.g. one respondent wished to use digital data ‘in the classroom to support
learning’ while another suggested that ‘survey skills and Introduction to GIS are areas I would
specifically like to develop’ for research and teaching purposes [sic] (38.6% skipped the questions).
22
Other respondents answered similarly, suggesting that increasing the use of digital information will
help ‘to improve the information literacy of students’. Interestingly, several respondents (51.4%)
highlighted the lack of available digital content as problematic and the integration between data sets
and software systems as inefficient. One respondent, for instance, suggested there is a need for a
‘more seamless connections between different software systems’, while another asked ‘why reinvent
the wheel?’.
Likewise, other respondents discussed the ‘current copyright climate’ as ‘very prohibitive’, proposing
‘all future projects should have scope to purchase/use digital data; spatial or otherwise’. The public
circulation of content was also recognised with one respondent suggesting the use of technology ‘for
dissemination to the public’. Some respondents went as far as recommending possible solutions, ‘web
services providing free and dynamic link to organisation’s data sets’ [sic] or ‘the submission of reports
to a central archive’.
The principal reason, as identified by 47.1% of respondents, as to why organisations do not use more
digital information is because it is not easily available. As expected, both cost (43.1%) and the lack of
software or hardware (41.2%) were also identified as having a negative impact on the use and re-use
of more digital archaeological content (see Figure 2-2).
Figure 2-2 Reasons why organisations do not currently re-use archaeological information
48.1% of participants who answered the question, Does your organisation pay to re-use others' data?
(15.7% skipped the question), indicated that their organisation does not, at present, pay to re-use
other’s data. 25.9% of organisations do indeed pay to re-use other’s archaeological content, while a
further 25.9% suggested that this situation may possibly occur sometime in the future. People who
replied yes where asked to expand on their answer.
The majority, approximately 80% (Figure 2-3), indicated that every year their organisation purchase
mapping from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi). Some, approximately 10% of answers, indicated that
their institution’s library purchase academic journals. While another 5% purchase LiDAR data and 5%
didn't know. Mostly, archaeologists purchase OSi content through a yearly subscription, however,
others, mainly consultants, pay for this data per project basis.
23
Figure 2-3 Types of data reused by archaeology organisations
The final two questions in this part of the survey sought to gauge the levels of training that
organisations presently offer their staff, and the areas of interest, or types of training, that staff would
actually like to see covered. The response rates to both questions were 75.4% and 57.8% respectively.
The majority of responses, some 44.1%, indicated that their organisation provides training in GIS
based software. While 23.2% of organisations provide training in database systems, a large
percentage, 27.9%, provide no training what so ever. The majority of training takes place informally
and in-house. In fact, only one respondent mentioned the ‘use of outside continued professional
development (CPD) to meet Project requirements’ [sic]. Other forms of training cited include
Microsoft Office (9.3%), AutoCAD (4.6%), scanning (2.3%) and geophysics software (2.3%). The large
majority, 69.6%, of respondents, when answering the second question - what training they would like
to see provided in the future? - indicated GIS. While others suggested basic IT training (2.3%) and
databases (9%), one respondent felt that their organisation already has ‘training available for
whatever is required’.
ACCESS TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION IN DIGITAL AND OTHER MEDIA
The fourth part of the survey also sought to examine the re-use and sharing of archaeological
information. Here the focus of attention shifted from the organisation as consumer to the
organisation as producer. The first question asked does your organisation currently create digital data
for re-use by others? The question had a 77.1% response rate with a large majority, 73.3% of
responses, indicating their organisation does indeed produce archaeological content for re-use by
others. As expected, more than a quarter (25.8%) of respondents produce content in the form
archaeological reports. Other responses serve to illustrate the broad activity undertaken as part of
the archaeologist’s work practice. Several participants, for example, indicated that their organisations
produce image files (12.9%), LiDAR data (6.45%), geophysics data (9.7%), RMP (6.45%) and catalogues
and indexes (including databases) (6.45%) all for reuse by others. Two respondents mentioned that
their organisation will soon release the shipwreck inventories in digital format, while another
produces dendrochronological data, pollen data and archaeological archives.
24
Email, 58% of responses, is the primary method by which this information is disseminated. The web or
online (50%) is the secondary method chosen by respondents, with mailed CD or DVD (44.4%) chosen
as the tertiary approach. However, it appears that this is often predicated on the volume of
information or is, possibly, a requirement of the client. The final question in this part of the survey
attempted to gauge the attitudes of producers to copyright and access rights. 59.4% of responses
indicated that, in one way or another, they are committed to open access. Of this group, more than
one respondent (13.5%) required acknowledgement of use, while others indicated they are fully
supportive of open access once the content is being used in the ‘interest of science and
archaeological research’. Two participants pointed out that as the work is undertaken for a client it is,
in effect, the client’s property. However, both mentioned that this content may be accessed with
written permission as they wish to be as collaborative as possible. Other responses suggested that
some organisations release certain amounts of data to the public, while due to ‘legal or logistical
considerations’, some content remains privileged. Finally one respondent simply stated ‘copyright,
difficult to copy’ [sic].
DATA CREATION WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION
The fifth part of the survey attempted to gain a better understanding of the tools, processes and
archival strategies typically employed by the Irish archaeologist. To this end, the section primarily
focused on the use of technology in the discipline. Overall there was a below average response rate to
the questions (38% - 66%). This may be because the questions specified the more practical aspects of
archaeology, such as physical cataloguing or indeed survey.
The first question asked if the respondent’s organisation created digital data. The answer is illustrated
in Figure 2-4. While 36.8% of respondents create digital versions of their data, 7.9% create no digital
data whatsoever and 44.7% re-use digital data.
Figure 2-4 Data creation and re-use
Interestingly, 58.3% of respondents record digitally onsite (63.1% answered the question). Out of this
population this majority use laptop computers (59.9%). While a further 13.6% use PDAs. Other
equipment utilised during this process is GPS (31.8%) and digital camera (31.8%). One respondent
indicated the use of a pen computer, while another makes use of a voice recorder. As expected, a
25
large majority use some form of surveying equipment (54.5%), be it geophysical (22.7%), laser
scanner (9.1%) or total station (18.1%).
TEXT-BASED REPORTS
100% of participants create reports, and other text-based documents, with Microsoft’s word program
(56.1% answered the question). While one response mentioned the use of Adobe Photoshop, another
suggested the use of Microsoft Access and a third the use of excel. Three respondents (9.5%) utilise
acrobat reader to create PDF-based reports.
CATALOGUES/DATABASE
Similarly, the majority of respondents, 69.6%, make use of Microsoft’s Access program to create
catalogues or databases (only 57.9 of participants answered the question). While 54.5% utilise
Microsoft Excel for such work, 3% use ArcGIS and a further 3% have adopted D-space.
IMAGES/GRAPHICS
65.6% of respondents employ Adobe Photoshop to create or edit graphic files (there was only a 56.1%
overall response rate to this question). 50% of those who responded also utilise Adobe Illustrator,
while a further 25% make use of Autocad. Interestingly, only two of the participants, who use Adobe
products, have also taken up the open-source image processing application Gimp. Several other
graphic applications were mentioned, AutorTrack, Rapidform, VRWorks, IrfanView and Microsoft
Office Picture Manager for example, however the uptake of each was minimal (3.2%).
SURVEY/GIS
A large majority of responses, 75%, indicated the use of ARCview or other ESRI related products to
survey, view and process their GIS information. Others, 36%, suggested the use of AutoCAD, often in
tandem with ESRI or other proprietary GIS-based software (Penmap 4.1%, Trimble Geo Office 4.1%,
Topcon Tools 4.1%, Geosite 4,1%). The organisations of two respondents’ have adopted MapInfo.
Figure 2-5 illustrates the means by which organisations locate spatial data. The majority, 75.8%, use
OSI 12 figure, while 54.5% make use of GPS.
26
Figure 2-5 The means by which organisations locate spatial information
When asked, please list all standards you use during inventory and documentation?, only 38.6%
answered, and of that group 40% indicated that they use no standards at all. One participant
answered ‘huh?!’ [Sic]. The other 60% use a variety of different approaches. One response indicated
that their organisation use an ‘in house standard (informally)’ [sic]. 8% of responses suggested the use
of the MIDAS data standard, another 8% use ISO metadata standards, while one participant suggested
that in the future their organisation intends to review policy on metadata standards. Several other
responses highlighted both English Heritage (8%) and ADS in York (4%) as providing excellent
resources on the adoption of Metadata standards.
DIGITAL DATA ARCHIVES
The intention of this part of the survey was to examine current approaches to archiving data and to
evaluate general opinion towards more comprehensive archival strategies. When asked, do you
currently archive your digital data (short and long-term)? 84.8% of those who answered the question
replied yes. However, it is worth noting that only 57% of participants chose to answer the question.
Furthermore, when asked have you adopted any recognised standards in the archiving of digital data?
66.7% simply stated no with one respondent adding ‘shockingly!’ [sic]. Although three responses
stated yes (9.1%), none of the respondents chose to elaborate on their answer. Another suggested
that their organisation uses ‘standardised file naming’.
One respondent mentioned that their organisation is, at present, in contact with ADS to archive a
database. Another suggested that their organisation is undergoing ‘ASCII based schemes based upon
ADS recommendations’ [sic]. A further 57.1% do not include metadata creation as part of their
organisation’s data management strategy. Of the 42.9% who do, however, one respondent frankly
answered ‘you what’?!’ [sic], two were unsure (14.3%), another simply stated no, and a further four
respondents (28.6%) specified that they may adopt some metadata standard in the future. While one
respondent specified the use of Dublin Core, another mentioned that their organisation has adopted
27
the inspire standard for spatial data. Finally one respondent asked ‘what is metadata?’ The final
question attempted to measure the amounts of digital data being produced within Irish archaeology.
As illustrated in Figure 2-6, the majority, some 37%, archive between 1 - 500 GB of digital data. Having
said this, 43.9% chose not to answer the question.
Figure 2-6 Amounts of data archived by Irish archaeology organisations
ISSUES REGARDING THE CREATION OF, MAINTENANCE, AND ACCESS TO
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA
The final part of this survey sought the participant’s general opinion regarding how digital data is
created, archived and finally accessed. The approach, therefore, was to broach the subject of
archiving and access in a more qualitative fashion. Having said this, the majority of respondents chose
to answer with either yes or no. The response rate varied between 56.1% to 63.2%. The participant
was asked a series of questions, six in all, that covered subjects such as cost, architecture and
strategy.
When asked, should licensed excavators be obliged to produce and archive full digital datasets? 46%
answered yes. Only 3.5% disagreed with the measure (41% skipped the question). The next question
tried to measure attitudes towards the use of standard, formal vocabularies, such as English Heritage
thesauri. Out of the 63.2% who answered the question, an overall majority of 83.4% agreed with the
use of some sort of standardised vocabulary. 11.2% were in disagreement, however, with one
respondent highlighting, in pragmatic terms, the issue of flexibility when introducing a shared
vocabulary. This is an important issue, and helps to explain the emergence of less-restrictive
approaches to subject-based indexing, such as social-tagging10.
When asked is access to digital data important for archaeologists and the discipline, overall? 97.1%
stated categorically yes, while the other 2.9% inquired who would gain access to this data? The next
several questions focused on the cost of creating, maintaining and providing access to archaeological
datasets. Firstly, 85.7% of respondents agreed that the funding body should cover the cost of creating
digital archives. In addition, however, only 35.4% thought that the cost of maintaining a digital archive
28
should lie with the funding body. The overall majority (53%) indicated that either it is not feasible or
that the cost should be borne by some government agency or central body.
Participants were then asked should costs be passed on to those wishing to re-use data in digital
archives? The question produced a wide range of answers. While 23.5% stated yes, a further 18.8%
stated no. Most respondents, however, qualified their choice of answer. Some suggested a minimal
cost, dependent on whether the person accessing the data is doing so in a commercial or research
capacity (17.7%). Others, 10%, raised the subject of publicly funded projects creating, maintaining and
providing free access to project data. One respondent simply stated ‘needs discussion’. Finally when
asked, should national bodies fund digital archiving services? Reflecting previous answers, 94.1%
responded yes.
SUMMARY
The majority of those who undertook the survey work primarily as archaeology consultants or
contract field archaeologists. The majority of this population, 96.4%, are provided with broadbandtype access to the internet by their organisation. 94.1 % of respondents obtain digital archaeological
information created by others. However, 47.1% of respondents highlighted the lack of availability as
the reason they do not make use of more digital information. 25.9% indicated that their organisation
pays to reuse, mostly OSi (80%), data. 44.7% of respondents currently re-use digital data created by
their own, and other organisations.
When asked about archiving, there were mixed results. While 84.8% archive their digital data in some
format, 66.7% indicated that, at present, their organisation employ no recognised standards
whatsoever. Nevertheless, 37% currently archive between 1 - 500 GB of digital data. Finally, 46%
agreed that licensed excavators should be obliged to produce and archive full digital datasets.
However, 94.1% of responses suggest that national bodies should be responsible for maintaining and
providing access to digital archives.
29
SECTION 3: REVIEW OF CURRENT BEST PRACTICES
FOR THE LONG TERM ARCHIVING, DATA
STANDARDS, AND ACCESS TO DIGITAL
ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE DATA
INTRODUCTION
The aim of this work package was to develop a data management strategy for the Share-IT project. To
accomplish this objective, a review of current Irish and International best practice was undertaken,
addressing issues relating to archiving, data standards and access of digital archaeological landscape
data.
The review involved contacting organisations identified to be managing similar datasets, and where
possible meetings or telephone interviews were arranged to discuss the issues and strategies. From
these meetings a number of important international methodologies and standards emerged.
The complexity of developing such a data management strategy became apparent as our research
progressed, with important concepts and issues being introduced that took our review beyond our
original project remit. They have been incorporated into the following sections of this chapter to
satisfy the development of a robust data management strategy
ARCHIVING REVIEW
In recent times the rapid growth in the creation of digital data has highlighted the speed and ease of
short-term data dissemination with little regard for the long-term preservation of digital data.
However, digital data is fragile in ways that differ from traditional technologies, such as paper or
microfilm. It is more easily corrupted or altered without recognition. Digital storage media have
shorter life spans, and digital information requires access technologies that are changing at an everincreasing pace. Because of the speed of technological advances, the time frame in which we must
consider archiving becomes much shorter. 11
‘The creation of stable, consistent, logical, and accessible archives from fieldwork is a fundamental
building block of archaeological activity’ – Hedley Swain, Museum of London12
Fortunately nearly all those interviewed during our research agreed with sentiments of this
statement. It was generally accepted that only by creating such a structured high quality archive can
the evidence, which has been the basis for our archaeological interpretation and understanding, be
preserved, re-examined and re-used in the future. Given the often destructive nature of the
archaeological process, data may often be irreplaceable, and in the case of landscape data it often
presents a unique ‘snapshot’ in time, an exceptionally valuable resource.
30
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE OF DIGITAL INFORMATION?
Digital data presents a range of challenges very different to those of archiving traditional paper
records, where, if controls of temperature and humidity are maintained it becomes a largely passive
process. On the contrary, digital archiving is an active process in that it requires regular management
and cannot simply be left in static storage.13 For a number of reasons a coherent digital archive
strategy is needed.
There are a number of issues relating to the technology and specifically changes in technology
associated with digital data:-
OBSOLETE FILE FORMATS
Backwards compatibility, although a common aspect of most software companies when releasing
new versions, cannot be guaranteed into the future. There is a debate as to the real extent of this
problem but a number of examples have been highlighted that indicate it is a real issue, e.g. the latest
major update to Office 2007 silently disables the ability to open many files that Office would
previously handle. They include formats such as Corel Draw, but worryingly for many people also
include older MS Office formats, such as Excel 97 and Word 97.14
DETERIORATION OF STORAGE MEDIA
Standard media used for the storage of digital data – tapes, disks, CDs, DVDs have a finite lifespan and
can become corrupted. The original manufacturer’s claims of ‘indestructible’ CDs are now replaced by
most cautious estimates on lifespan as low as 20 years15 An example of this issue dates back to the
1975 NASA Viking mission to Mars which was searching for evidence of life. The data was compiled by
scientists and stored for future generations on magnetic tape. Yet despite the best efforts of NASA
using climate controlled storage by the 1990’s the tapes had become brittle and begun to crack.
Furthermore the tapes which could still be read were in a format which could no longer be de-coded.
The data was only salvaged by painstakingly tracking down old printouts and retyping the data.
OBSOLETE MEDIA
There are already examples of storage media which are effectively obsolete. It has been a number of
years since computers had a 5¼” drives as standard, and many computers being manufactured now
no longer have 3½” drives.
OBSOLETE SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
The problem of obsolescence continues with software which cannot be run on modern computers,
example Wordstar, and of obsolete hardware needed to run software or read the data. An example of
this was the BBC Doomsday project in 1986 which only ran on BBC Micro computers, now obsolete,
and was recorded on 30cm laser discs, and obsolete media.
31
LOSS OF EXPERTISE
A crucial factor, often overlooked is the fact that digital data may be stored in ways which only make
sense to the current or previous staff, but lack the adequate documentation, and sensible naming
strategy others would need to make sense of it. As staff leave the organisation the knowledge, and
hence the accessibility of the data may disappear with them. An example of this was the Newham
Museum Archaeological Service, active in archaeological fieldwork across London for over 10 years,
accumulating significant amounts of data until abrupt closure in 1998. Staff went on to new posts, the
computers on which much data was stored were sold off by the council and only a last minute salvage
operation ensured the entire contents of hard disks were copied onto floppy disks. When these disks
were eventually examined issues of data corruption and obsolete software occurred but the biggest
problem was the lack of documentation. The ADS (more later in section) was able to save much of the
data through time consuming hard work, a cost which could’ve been avoided if good practice shad
been adopted at the point of creation.16
Such an eventuality is a real possibility in Irish archaeology given the current economic climate. If
funding is withdrawn from an organisation holding archaeological data whether, or how well data is
archived and stored is dependent on the diligence of the staff involved. An example was the Irish
Archaeological Wetland Unit (IAWU) in UCD which was closed in 2005 but has thankfully archived its
data within the School of Archaeology due to the attentiveness of the unit’s director.
Evidence such as the DPC survey results shown in Table 3-1 below shows that these issues are already
having an effect on many organisations
Beyond these technical issues there are a number of more altruistic reasons why we should be
archiving digital data
YES
NO
Don’t Know
Don’t want to
answer
Does your organisation have
any inaccessible data?
36%
29%
31%
4%
Has your main type of data
been lost?
28%
43%
29%
Any data in danger of
becoming obsolete?
48%
21%
27%
Are any file formats that have
been used now obsolete
38%
35%
27%
4%
Table 3-1 Source, 2005 Digital Preservation Coalition survey
ENABLING FUTURE RE-USE OPPORTUNITIES
The ability to re-use data has considerable benefits in academic research and, ultimately to the wider
community. For researchers the benefits of fast access to a wider range of data sets, archived to a
reliable and documented standard will be significant. It opens the possibility of a more
interdisciplinary approach, with researchers having the option to access and share data from remote
locations. Our ability to re-analyse data in the future as intellectual theories and understanding
evolves will depend on the quality of the digital archive.
32
The following institutions and organisations were consulted in a review of best practice in digital
archiving; their main foci are briefly outlined below. This review contributed to an improved overall
understanding of the structures required in digital preservation, and contributed to the design of an
appropriate archiving strategy for geospatial archaeological data.
DIGITAL HUMANITIES OBSERVATORY (DHO)
The DHO, a project of the Royal Irish Academy, was established to manage and co-ordinate the
increasingly complex e-resources created in the arts and humanities. It aims to enable research and
researchers in Ireland to keep abreast of international developments in the creation, use, and
preservation of digital resources. It will fulfil these objectives by:
•
•
•
serving as a knowledge base in Ireland via consultations with project partners;
setting national standards to ensure the interoperability, preservation, and long-term
accessibility of digital resources;
establishing a central repository which will provide access to a wide variety of
interdisciplinary, multilingual, and multimodal digital resources created on the island of
Ireland
MIDA – THE MARINE IRISH DIGITAL ATLAS
The Marine Irish Digital Atlas (MIDA) 17provides a single source where people interested in coastal and
marine information can visualise and identify pertinent geospatial datasets and determine where to
acquire them. MIDA offers both digital geospatial data and information, incorporating text and
multimedia elements, related to coastal and marine resources in Ireland. Integrating the latest
advances in web-based mapping techniques, the atlas is built around an interactive map, which allows
anyone to identify, visualise, and query those datasets relevant to their interests. The atlas displays
data layers from numerous coastal and marine organisations both within Ireland and abroad, thus
providing the best single resource for finding and viewing existing Irish coastal and marine data.
The key goal of the MIDA project has been to develop a Marine Irish Digital Atlas as an updateable
web GIS based data archive and informational resource.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) - ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
CENTRE
The Environmental Research Centre (ERC) was established under the National Development Plan
2000-2006 to allow for a more structured approach to environmental research and to provide
stronger environmental support to the plan. Its overall purpose is to help ensure that development is
environmentally sustainable. The aims of the ERC may be listed as follows:
•
•
•
•
to allow for a more structured approach to environmental research,
through the development of advanced innovative techniques
and systems, and addressing priority environmental issues,
thereby supporting environmentally sustainable development.
In addition, the EPA collates all datasets generated during the research projects. The ERC ensure
safekeeping and management of these valuable datasets. Detailed information (Metadata) on these
datasets can be obtained from the ERC website18. All datasets will be made available usually upon a
12-month period after the publication of the final report.
33
SAFER-Data is a web-based interface to the Environmental Data Archive maintained by the
Environmental Research Center (ERC) in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
SAFER-Data provides a user friendly interface for a variety of users:
•
•
•
Public Users - those interested in finding out about environmental research, exploring data,
and possibly downloading data and/or reports to their own computers for further studies
Researchers - both researchers looking for data and information about other research
projects and also researchers uploading their environmental data and information for
archival on the Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data System
EPA Users - interested in exploring information about environmental research currently
being carried out and results of research projects which have concluded.
COIMBRA GROUP
Founded in 1985 and formally constituted by Charter in 1987, the Coimbra Group is an association of
long-established European multidisciplinary universities of high international standard committed to
creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefit of its members,
internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to
society. It is also the purpose of the Group to influence European educational policy and to develop
best practice through the mutual exchange of experience.
Amongst its aims are to be recognized as an expert body, able to advise its members and EU
institutions on various matters relating to higher education, such as Information Technology (IT) as
applied to new teaching methods and lifelong learning.
LIFE (LIFE CYCLE INFORMATION FOR E-LITERATURE)
LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a collaboration between University College London
(UCL) and the British Library.
The LIFE Project has developed a methodology to model the digital lifecycle and calculate the costs of
preserving digital information for the next 5, 10 or 100 years. For the first time, organisations can
apply this process and plan effectively for the preservation of their digital collections.
The LIFE Project has completed its second phase ("LIFE2"), an 18 month project running from March
2007 to August 2008. The LIFE2 Project Final Report and supporting documentations can be viewed
from the LIFE2 Documentation Page.19
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA SERVICE (ADS)
The ADS was founded in 1996 for the purpose of preserving digital data produced by archaeologists
based in the UK, and making it available for re-use.
The ADS supports research, learning and teaching with high quality and dependable digital resources.
It does this by preserving digital data in the long term, and by promoting and disseminating a broad
range of data in archaeology. The ADS promotes good practice in the use of digital data in
archaeology, it provides technical advice to the research community, and supports the deployment of
digital technologies.
34
The ADS is at the forefront of developing national and trans-national resource discovery, data
aggregation and data dissemination technologies in archaeology. The ADS has extensive expertise in
the fields of digital curation, heterogeneous data set mapping (including geospatial data) and digital
data standard development and application in the arts and humanities sector.
BIG DATA PROJECT: PRESERVATION AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR
EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE DATA FORMATS: 'BIG DATA'
In 2004 the ADS was commissioned by English Heritage to examine the particular issues and problems
associated with the preservation and management of large data formats in, culminating in a report on
‘Big Data’ published in 200720. The project design set out a programme for investigating preservation
(storage methods), reuse (usability) and dissemination (delivery mechanism) strategies for
exceptionally large data files generated by archaeologists, researchers and cultural resource
managers undertaking fieldwork and other research.
The data in question is typified by large formats that have exceptionally large file sizes and in
particular the technologies associated with their storage and delivery. The generation and use of such
data for research is increasing in specific fields of archaeological and cultural resource management
activity (maritime archaeology and surveying, laser scanning, LiDAR, computer modelling and other
scientific research applications). Yet there is little understanding of the implications for cost and good
practice in data preservation, dissemination, reuse and access. This lack of understanding is
potentially exacerbated by the proprietary nature of formats generally used by the new research
technologies now being used in archaeology and cultural resource management.
The project seeks to answer immediate questions regarding cost and to develop recommendations
and strategies for archaeologists, researchers, cultural resource managers and archivists dealing with
'Big Data'. The project recognises that computing capacity, both to create and to archive data, will
continue to rise. The aims of the project consequently address generic and strategic issues as well as
the immediate questions posed by 'Big Data' today.
OAIS - REFERENCE MODEL FOR AN OPEN ARCHIVAL INFORMATION SYSTEM
(OAIS)
The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) was formed in 1982 by the major space
agencies of the world, including NASA, to provide a discussion forum for common problems in the
development and operation of space data systems. One outcome has been the recommendation of
standards for the preservation of space related data through the OAIS reference model. It defines the
basic functional components of an archive and provides a comprehensive framework for describing
and analysing preservation issues.
“An OAIS is an archive, consisting of an organization of people and systems that has accepted the
responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a Designated Community” (CCSDS
2002, 1-1)
In 2002 OAIS was approved as ISO standard 1472121, to establish a system for archiving information,
both digitalized and physical data.
Our discussions with ADS and subsequent research of their publications, in particular the ‘Big Data’
project emphasised the benefit in using the OAIS as an archiving model. This is particularly the case
when collaborating with external organisations as it provides a language and a set of terms that can
35
aid communication. OAIS emphasises the requirement for ongoing management and administration
in digital preservation, i.e. the need for life cycle management, a theme which is covered in more
detail later in the chapter. The full OAIS ‘blue book’ 22 presents in detail the recommendations. For
this report Figure 3-1 and the following table describing the key components of the framework give a
brief introduction to how the system is designed.
Figure 3-1 OAIS Functional Entities (taken from CCDSD 2002, 4-1)
OAIS TERMINOLOGY
Description
Producer
The role played by those persons or client
systems, which provide the information to be
preserved..
Submission Information Package (SIP)
An Information Package that is delivered by the
Producer (in this case the archaeologist) to the
OAIS for use in the construction of one or more
AIPs.
Geophysics Example: raw DAT (.DAT), Geoplot
software files (.geo), geoTIFF (.tif), pdf report
Note: This is usually in a commercial proprietary
software format
Ingest
The OAIS entity that contains the services and
functions that accept Submission Information
Packages from Producers, prepares Archival
Information Packages for storage, and ensures
that Archival Information Packages and their
supporting Descriptive Information become
established within the OAIS.
Archival Information Package (AIP):
An Information Package, consisting of the
Content
Information and the associated Preservation
Description Information (PDI), which is preserved
within an OAIS.
36
Geophysics Example: ASCII comma delimited
text file (.txt), metadata file (.xml)
Note: This should be in a non-proprietary format,
such as ASCII text
Archival Storage
The OAIS entity that contains the services and
functions used for the storage and retrieval of
Archival Information Packages.
Data Management
The OAIS entity that contains the services and
functions for populating, maintaining, and
accessing a wide variety of information. Some
examples of this
information are catalogues and inventories on
what may be retrieved from Archival Storage,
processing algorithms that may be run on
retrieved data, Consumer access statistics,
Consumer billing, Event Based Orders, security
controls, and OAIS schedules, policies, and
procedures.
Access
The OAIS entity that contains the services and
functions which make the archival information
holdings and related services visible to
Consumers.
Dissemination Information Package (DIP)
The Information Package, derived from one or
more AIPs, received by the Consumer in response
to a request to the OAIS.
Note: This is the content that users will see and
will be supplied in a format they can currently
use. This may evolve over time to suit evolving
user requirements but the function of the OAIS
will ensure it can be generated from the AIP
Geophysics Example: GIS layers – shapefile
(.shp), geodatabase (.mdb), raster grid, geoTIF
Table 3-2 Selected OAIS terminology (taken from CCSDS-2002-1.7.2)
The OAIS standard identifies the following 6 mandatory responsibilities that an organization must
discharge in order to be considered OAIS compliant:The OAIS must:
•
•
•
•
Negotiate for and accept appropriate information from information Producers.
Obtain sufficient control of the information provided to the level needed to ensure LongTerm Preservation.
Determine, either by itself or in conjunction with other parties, which communities should
become the Designated Community and, therefore, should be able to understand the
information provided.
Ensure that the information to be preserved is Independently Understandable to the
Designated Community. In other words, the community should be able to understand the
information without needing the assistance of the experts who produced the information.
37
•
•
Follow documented policies and procedures which ensure that the information is preserved
against all reasonable contingencies, and which enable the information to be disseminated
as authenticated copies of the original, or as traceable to the original.
Make the preserved information available to the Designated Community.23
DATA FORMATS
The data being considered by share-IT project is initially limited to three data types, LiDAR,
orthoimagery, and geophysical survey. These datasets not only have a geo-spatial graphical
component (i.e. a map) but also have associated underlying data files, and potentially a cultural
interpretation component.
A key data preservation issue is which file format is selected as the archival version, and is critical to
the longevity and future access to the data. Accepting the value of the OAIS reference model it is
simplest to consider the appropriate file formats in terms of the three information packages defined
in Table 3-2. The archival information package is the version which will be held in perpetuity, and as
such need to be in a standard non-proprietary format such as ASCII. The choice of this format is
critical as the submission format must be able to migrate into it, and the dissemination format be
generated from it.
This section will consider the formats commonly associated with each of our data types defined in the
stages of the OAIS model.
GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY DATA
DATA DESCRIPTION
Geophysical survey applies scientific techniques to remotely gather information about the location
and characteristics of subsurface archaeological features. These techniques measure physical
attributes (e.g. resistance to electrical current, or magnetic variations) and result in a matrix of data
points.24 The results from a geophysical survey will include the raw data files from proprietary
software, a plot or image file (with geo-referencing information), and potentially an interpretative
vector plan. It is important to distinguish between the processed results, such as the image file) which
is the end result of a number of filtering and statistical calculations.
38
Figure 3-2 Magnetic Gradiometry survey from Killukin, Co. Roscommon (The Discovery Programme, MRS project)
The OAIS reference model can be used to identify the data formats appropriate at the three
information package stages.
SIP POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
Dat files, Geoplot files – proprietary file formats from the datalogger and initial processing stages of
software such as Geoplot.
ASCII x,y,z – As with LiDAR (above) this is the standard for raw data files and is the common approach
(e.g. ADS).
GeoTIFF – see orthoimagery (above).
JPEG format – see orthoimagery (above).
ESRI Shape files - an industry standard geospatial data format, and compatible with most GIS
software. This is currently the format used to store vector interpretations of geophysical survey at the
Discovery Programme.
DXF files –AutoCAD drawing exchange format, a proprietary format developed for enabling data
interoperability. This format is suitable for storing the vector interpretations of geophysical survey.
39
AIP POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
ASCII x,y,z – As with LiDAR (above) this is the standard for raw data files and is the common approach.
The AIP should include the processed and unprocessed raw data.
Note: The AIP for all data formats must include the xml file containing the metadata, a concept
which will be covered in detail later in the chapter.
DIP POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
GeoTIFF – (see orthoimagery) this is often the basic dissemination format for geophysical survey data
but it is limited in use in that it denies access to the actual surveyed values, it is simply a depiction. It
has serious constraints such as it must be a full rectangle and has no inherent transparency. This
creates s serious problem when viewing multiple geophysical images with overlapping polygons.
ESRI GRID – this raster format is a more powerful dissemination format as it contains the data values
recorded in the survey, from which a raster image can be created.
ESRI Shape files – (see SIP above), used for interpretation and displaying gridlines.
DXF files – (see SIP above), used for interpretation and displaying gridlines.
ORTHOIMAGERY
DATA DESCRIPTION
Orthoimages are the geometrically corrected and geographically referenced images which result from
photogrammetric processing. They are high resolution digital images, normally created as TIFF data
files. The storage of these data types conforms to the standards applied to image files in general,
however they contain a spatial component which needs to be accommodated within the format. The
photogrammetric processing also generates a DSM (see previous section), which is required to
produce the orthoimage.
The OAIS reference model distinction between the SIP, AIP and DIP is less clearly defined with this
image data. The preserved archive format may well turn out to be the appropriate dissemination
format partly due to the widespread adoption of and familiarity with standard image formats.
40
2
Figure 3-3 An orthoimage tile (1 km ) from the Roscommon aerial project, part of the Discovery Programme's Medieval Rural
Settlement project.
AIP - POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
GeoTIFF - TIFF files which have geographic (or cartographic) data embedded as tags within the TIFF
file. The geographic data can then be used to position the image in the correct location and geometry
on the screen of a geographic information display. GeoTIFF is a metadata format, which provides
geographic information to associate with the image data. But the TIFF file structure allows both the
basic metadata and the image data to be encoded into the same file.25 This is the currently used
format at the Discovery Programme for orthoimagery created from PCI Geomatica 10
photgrammetric software. Although widely adopted by the community at large, this format is owned
by Adobe Inc. and as such is deemed proprietary, adversely affecting its suitability as an archive
format.
JPEG2000 format – the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) committee has addressed many of
the limitations of the original JPEG format and its latest format, JPEG2000 has emerged as a new
standard for the effective preservation of digital image data. The format is published as International
Standard ISO/IEC 15444 Part 126
41
The particular advantages from an archiving perspective are:-27
•
•
•
•
•
Metadata - the format embeds metadata within the file in a standard XML compliant
environment. This allows for the possibility to incorporate descriptive information within the
file.
Lossy and lossless compression (with high quality lossless decompression available naturally
through all types of progression)
Progressive transmission by quality, resolution, component, or spatial locality
Multiple resolution representation (images are decomposed into multiple resolutions in the
compression process). This will dramatically increase the speed of display for large images,
particularly important for high resolution data.
No limit on file size, significant as image resolution increases.
(JPEG was the original JPEG committee standard for images (IS 10918-1) developed more than 15
years ago. It is generally not considered as an archive quality format primarily due to loss of quality on
compression, and generation loss issues28)
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGS) has adopted this format and defined the means by which the
OpenGIS® Geography Markup Language (GML) can be used within the JPEG2000 format, GMLJP229 .
GML is an xml schema used to describe geographic information, including elements such as
coordinate system, coverage, unit of measure, and also vector based objects (e.g. points, lines, and
polygons).
GMLJP2 is intended to handle a variety of imaging use cases including the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Single geo-referenced images. GML describes the geometry and the radiometry.
Multiple geo-referenced images of the same type. GML describes the geometry and the
radiometry of the constituent images. Examples include a stereo photographic pair, a
triangulation block of images, or image mosaics.
Multiple geo-referenced images of various types. GML describes the geometry and the
radiometry of the constituent images. Examples include combinations of images such an
optical image, FLIR and SAR images for target identification.
Ortho-rectified images with or without associated digital elevation models.
Digital Elevation Models that incorporate terrain-based constraints.30
With support at this level in the GIS community this format is rapidly being established as an industry
standard for image archiving. This should be monitored with a view to its adoption as an archiving
standard.
LIDAR (LIGHT DETECTION AND RANGING)
DATA DESCRIPTION
LiDAR is an optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find
range and/or other information of a distant target from an aerial platform, usually a plane or
helicopter. Millions of height points are gathered, known as point clouds, from which detailed 3D
surface models can be constructed. The laser returns more than one signal from the surface it strikes,
and by filtering routines a data set for the first and last return can be generated, defining the DEM
(surface model including trees and buildings) and a DTM (the ground surface or ‘bare earth’ model.
42
Figure 3-4 Hillshade model of the DTM for the Hill of Tara high resolution LiDAR survey, The Discovery Programme
SIP- POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
Data is unlikely to be gathered directly by archaeological organizations but will be supplied from
specialist providers. The relationship between the data provider and the user will often determine the
data format options available. Licensed data providers such as national mapping agencies often
provide existing data simply in the form of processed DEM and DTM grids. These are continuous
height surfaces generated from processing the point cloud data. Commissioning new data will enable
the user to specify the formats required, and result in access to ascii data files - one from the first
return, and one for the last return. This data will contain additional information:Intensity value -
the strength of the laser return signal, determined by the surface
characteristics
RGB value -
the 3 spectral channel values which make up a digital image data
43
The strength of data in this format is that it enables the user to control the generation of DEM and
DTM surfaces and presents the data in a raw form, albeit with a considerable amount of processing
and computation to arrive at these data sets – the laser component, GPS position, INS calculations
have all been processed to deliver the point cloud data in WGS84coordinates (or transformed to a
local system such as Irish Grid).
Large file size, and the impact on submission mechanisms, is a consideration with LiDAR data. Even
when tiled into smaller blocks ascii files will be in the order of 0.5GB, with similarly sized grid files. A
project could easily be supplied with 50 – 100GB data. Submission has generally been made via
portable media, such as DVD or Hard Drives.
There may also be an argument for storing the pre-processed raw data in the event that
improvements in algorithms allow better models to be achieved from the data. This should be
considered after consultation with the data provider.
AIP- POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
The preserved data must include the full data set before the creation of the DTM to ensure that
improvements in processing algorithms over time can be applied to the data.
LAS format - The LAS format is a public file format for the interchange of LIDAR data between vendors
and customers. This binary file format is an alternative to proprietary systems or a generic ASCII file
interchange system used by many companies31
ASCII xyz – This is considered the standard format for text files. LiDAR data supplied by BKS to the
Discovery Programme is in this format. Unlike the LAS format, ASCII can be easily understood by other
software and opened easily to view and read by users.
Xml – metadata file, to be discussed later in the chapter.
DIP - POTENTIAL DATA FORMATS
The dissemination of LiDAR data is often an extracted visual representation of the data rather than
the data itself. A common example would be disseminating a prepared hillshade model, providing a
more accessible and useful product to the user. The range of dissemination format options could be
extended to GIS geodatabase files if the user has the expertise to exploit them.
ESRI ASCII raster file format - a simple format that can be used to transfer raster data between
various applications. It is basically a few lines of header data followed by lists of cell values. This is
the format used by the UK Environment Agency.
DML - the Doppler Markup Language. This format is based on the XML- Markup-Language which is
commonly used to describe data formats in the World-Wide-Web. The format has the advantages
that it is ASCII and can be edited with any standard editor under Unix or Windows32
44
ADDITIONAL INFO AND DATA PROVIDED
LiDAR data providers offer a range of additional services, orthoimagery (which will be covered in the
next section) is available as standard and video footage from the flight may also be available.
It should be noted that LiDAR is a developing technology and currently only the discrete returns of
the laser pulse are analysed. Research into exploiting the entire full-waveform signal will result in new
data format requirements in the future.
ARCHIVE PROCESSES
A core component of an OAIS compliant archive is Archival Storage. This represents the part of the
archival system that manages the storage and maintenance of digital objects entrusted to the archive.
The Archival Storage function is responsible for ensuring appropriate types of storage, the
appropriate structure of the file system, the necessary amount of storage available and other issues
related to the physical management of data storage.
Figure 3-5 Functions of Archival Storage (taken from CCDSD 2002, 4-3)
DATA INGEST
Data ingest, or data acquisition is an important component of an OAIS system, however the OAIS
model does not cover pre-ingest activities and assumes that agreements are in place before
Submission Information Package (SIPs) are ready for transfer.
PRE-INGEST ACTIVITIES
The following information comes from33 and emphasises the important of a coherent pre-ingest
strategy:-
45
“....the pre-ingest phases for producer-archive interaction that lead to new material being accepted to
the archive are:
•
•
•
•
the Preliminary Phase, also known as a pre-ingest or pre-accessioning phase, includes the
initial contacts between the Producer and the Archive and any resulting feasibility studies,
preliminary definition of the scope of the project, a draft of the submission information
package (SIP) definition and finally a draft Submission Agreement;
the Formal Definition Phase includes completing the SIP design with precise definitions of the
digital objects to be delivered, completing the Submission Agreement with precise contractual
transfer conditions such as restrictions on access and establishing the delivery schedule;
the Transfer Phase performs the actual Transfer of the SIP from the Producer to the Archive
and the preliminary processing of the SIP by the Archive, as it is defined in the agreement. The
transfer and validation phases are often carried out partially in parallel, as there is iteration
when all the information to be submitted is not submitted at once;
the Validation Phase includes the actual validation processing of the SIP by the Archive and
any required follow-up action with the Producer”.34
They conclude pre-ingest functions are an essential component of an efficient and effective system.
ENCOURAGING DATA SUBMISSION
Pre-ingest and SIP activities will clearly have cost implication to organizations considering submitting
data to any potential Irish digital archive. This raises the question of how will we encourage people to
submit data to the system, and what are the appropriate leverage mechanisms?
One possible approach could be to insert a contractual obligation to recipients of grants or state
funded contracts that data must be submitted on completion of the project. This would embed the
cost of delivery with the project, and ensure high standards of quality control. In terms of geophysical
survey current legislation requires that to fulfil the terms of a licence a report must be submitted to
the DoEHLG on completion of the work. This may present the opportunity for the legislation to be
adjusted to include the requirement to also supply the data files along with the report. Legal
obligations to supply data may also result from initiatives such as the EU INSPIRE directive, discussed
later in this chapter.
An alternative approach is to allow the momentum of data and the quality of the system to
encourage participation without recourse to legislation or contractual obligation. A good argument
can been made that if a webGIS as proposed by this project is developed, promoted and seeded with
quality data then organisations will see the value in using it, wish to be associated with it, and be
prepared to take on the task (and cost) of preparing data to the required standard.
46
ACCESS AND RIGHTS POLICY
One of the aims of the share-IT project is the dissemination of geo-spatial data, therefore our
objective has to be to maximise use of the system. However we need to consider the intellectual
rights and copyright implications of making data available via a webGIS system.
COPYRIGHT
A range of approaches to the issue of copyright were observed noted during the review of best
practice. MIDA (the Marine Irish Digital Atlas) confronts this issue by way of a ‘Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) for its data contributors. The precise specification is adjusted to meet the
needs of the supplier, creating a document in which the conditions that govern data supply, access
and exploitation are fully laid out. Typical principles include:•
•
•
The spatial dataset provided by a data owner may be displayed in the web-based GIS. This
will be displayed as the data owner provides them, or generalised in a way that the data
owner and the Coastal & Marine Resource Centre (CMRC) agree upon.
Spatial dataset cannot be downloaded from the web-based GIS unless the owner has given
prior consent.
The contact details of the data owner will be provided in the metadata and therefore will be
available over the Internet to atlas users who are interested in acquiring a copy of the spatial
dataset.35
The ADS requires users to accept both a Copyright and Liability Statement and a Common Access
Agreement (see appendix I) before accessing its ArchSearch + Data resource.
The OAIS model recognises the importance of copyright, “An archive will honour all applicable legal
restrictions. These issues occur when the OAIS acts as a custodian. An OAIS should understand the
copyright concepts and applicable laws prior to accepting copyright materials into the OAIS. It can
establish guidelines for ingestion of information and rules for dissemination and duplication of the
information when necessary.”
The large part of archaeological activity in Ireland is undertaken under licenses issued by the
Archaeological Licensing Section of the National Monuments Service at the Diehl. The submission of
the results in the form of a report is a condition of the license, and as such the results are in the public
domain. Whether this system could be extended to include the data files which support the published
reports is something which needs further consideration.
Currently a vast amount of archaeological work is being undertaken in advance of infrastructural
projects, commissioned by state bodies such as the National Roads Authority. This data is being paid
for by the state and it would seem appropriate that it be made available once the planning process
has been passed, and the project completed.
As will be discussed later in this chapter, the metadata must clearly state the conditions attached to
access and copyright, and must deal with the issue of quality assurance.
USER COMMUNITY
The OAIS model identifies the ‘Designated Community’ as the set of consumers who should be able to
understand the preserved information. It also emphasises that this community will evolve or change
over time.
47
Archives can allow different access to information or data depending on the user status. It may be
that general open access is only given to basic levels of data and simple viewing tools, with different
access and functions such as downloading facilities available to those registered or even paying
subscription. This was noted with the SAFER-Data web-based interface of the EPA. They identified
three categories of user, controlled by a registration and login system:•
•
•
Public Users - those interested in finding out about environmental research, exploring
data, and possibly downloading data and/or reports to their own computers for further
studies
Researchers - both researchers looking for data and information about other research
projects, and also researchers uploading their environmental data and information for
archival on the Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data System
EPA Users - interested in exploring information about environmental research currently
being carried out and results of research projects which have concluded
PROMOTION OF DIGITAL ARCHIVING
The success of a webGIS such as that proposed by the share-IT project is dependent on high volumes
of data being submitted. This is a reason in itself for the share-IT project to actively promote the value
of digital archiving.
The ADS express the view ‘that there is little point in preserving data unless it is reused’ (Mitcham and
Richards, 2008), and activity promote the dissemination of data through its web interface. Options
range from pages with downloadable files to interactive maps and searchable online interfaces.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
It should be clear from this chapter that archiving data involves costs from the data preparation and
ingest stage, through to the long term costs of the digital archive lifecycle.
Two costing models from separate organisations were investigated:-
ADS COST MODEL
Archiving costs are calculated on the basis of 4 key elements:•
•
•
•
Management and Administration – i.e. negotiating with depositor, processing the deposit,
licences. This normally involves 2 - 3 days of effort
Ingest – migrating data to preferred formats, creation of metadata, and entry of data to
system. Cost dependent on number and complexity of files
Dissemination – basic data delivery via simple file download is included in the price of data
ingest, but special interfaces such as searchable databases or interactive maps may cost up
to €15000 depending on functionality.
Storage – (this includes the ongoing periodic process of data refreshments) Archives have to
periodically upgrade systems - hardware and software - to take advantage of technological
advances. (ADS have progressed through 3 generations of equipment during 10 years).
36
The ADS has developed formulae to estimate the cost of archiving data over variable time periods,
which include the costs of refreshing data, costs of physical equipment, and factor in decreases in
these costs over time, shown in Table 3-3.
48
Retention Period
Cost
Cost (pence per MB)
5 years
R+E
9 + 4 = 13
10 years
R – DR + E – DE
9 -3 + 4 – 1 = 9
15 years
R – DR + E – DE
9 -6 + 4 – 2 = 5
20 years
R – 3DR + E – DE
9–9+4–3=4
Cumulative (pence per MB)
13
22
22
27
30
ongoing
Table 3-3 Retention cost model where R= refreshment cost, DR = decreasing cost of refreshment, E = cost of physical
37
equipment, DE = decreasing cost of equipment (adapted from ADS)
As the table shows, the conclusion from the ADS project was that a cost of (applying figures from the
Big Data project) a one of charge of 30p per megabyte would cover ongoing preservation costs
beyond 20 years. However, no account is taken of the number of files to be archived; e.g. 1 large file
of 1GB size would involve significantly less effort than archiving 1000 smaller files of 1MB, although
the total file size would be the same. Some adjustment to this model to account balance volume and
number of files would be an improvement.
Applied to a small geophysical survey undertaken recently by the Discovery Programme which has
generated 97MB of archiving data, the cost for preservation is around €30.
LIFE (LIFE CYCLE INFORMATION FOR E-LITERATURE
The LIFE Project has developed a methodology to model the digital lifecycle and calculate the costs of
preserving digital information for the next 5, 10 or 100 years.38
There are 6 main lifecycle elements which are broken down further into lifecycle elements, similar to
the OAIS functions, as shown in Table 3-4.
LIFECYCLE CATEGORIES
LIFECYCLE ELEMENTS
Acquisition (Aq)
Selection
(or pre-ingest)
IPR
Licensing
Ordering and invoicing
Obtaining
Check-in
Ingest (I)
Quality assurance
Deposit
Holdings Update
Characterization
Metadata (M)
Descriptive
Administrative
49
Access (Ac)
Adding / maintaining links
User support
Access mechanism
Storage (S)
Bit-stream storage costs
Preservation (P)
Technology watch
Preservation tool cost
Preservation metadata
Preservation action
Quality assurance
Table 3-4 Breakdown of the elements in the LIFE model
The LIFE model elements defined are not compulsory, but rather provide a framework within which to
work that will be applicable to most situations. The accuracy of the output however is dependent on
the sub layers and customisation added alongside the amount of real data that you have to put into
the calculator. The more data you collect or have, the more accurate the model becomes.
39
Figure 3-6 L is the complete lifecycle cost over time 0 to T. (from Lifecycle Information for E-literature )
From Figure 3-6 it can be seen that apart from the data acquisition costs all the other categories
involve ongoing costs throughout the complete lifecycle. In terms of the share-IT project this is an
important observation, which has to be understood in the context of identifying an appropriate
hosting organisation.
Table 3-5 presents an example of costing using the LIFE model from the National Archives and Royal
Library, Denmark. It gives a comparison of the costs of archiving 20,000 original film negatives (13TB)
by either creating and archiving digital copies, or new film copies.
LIFE Costing Model
20,000 copies (13TB)
TIFF
Uncompressed
105mm film
€134,886
€134,886
€0
€180,201
€1,889
€1,889
€2,283
€1,194
€35,910
€326
€922
€0
€175,890
€318,496
Production (Digitisation)
Production (Film Output)
Acquisition
Ingest
Archival storage
Preservation Planning
TOTAL
40
Table 3-5 LIFE Model costs from Danish National Archive / Royal Library example
50
Table 3-5 LIFE Model costs from Danish National Archive / Royal Library example
40
This LIFE example equates at slightly less than €9 per image. Other examples taken from case studies
on the LIFE website quote costs between as little as £3 per image from the example of simple
archiving of newspaper images to £30 for complex digital visual media.41 There is clearly an element
of cost associated with a project set up, and economies of scale will apply.
This improved understanding of the cost of archiving, and the models to help calculate the costs
suggest it may be appropriate for projects to include this as a component in future grant applications.
This would see the digital archiving of research assets become an integral part of overall project
design and budget.
METADATA & ISO STANDARDS
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO METADATA
Metadata is often described as ‘data about data’42. Its purpose is to provide context for data and to
facilitate the understanding and management of a specific dataset. This is a similar function to that of
a legend, north arrow and scale bar on a map. It provides the ‘who, what, where, why, when and
how’ information which allow users to judge the quality or reliability of the data.
Metadata is an integral part of the OAIS model. It is the ‘Descriptive Info’ component shown in Figure
1 at both Ingest and Dissemination sides of the model.
Metadata contains different levels of information which are all contained in the final schema. Three
broad levels of metadata can be identified:•
•
•
Discovery – the minimum information to convey the nature and content of the resource.
Exploration – the information to ensure data is appropriate for purpose.
Exploitation – the information required to access, transfer, and apply the data in an end
application.
DUBLIN CORE
The Dublin Core metadata element set is a standard for cross-domain information resource
description. It provides a simple and standardised set of conventions for describing things online in
ways that make them easier to find. Dublin Core is widely used to describe digital materials such as
video, sound, image, text, and composite media like web pages. Implementations of Dublin Core
typically make use of XML and are Resource Description Framework (RDF) based.43
The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource
description.44 The 15 metadata elements are,
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Title
Creator
Subject
Description
Publisher
Contributor
51
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
Date
Type
Format
Identifier
Source
Language
Relation
Coverage
Rights
ISO 15836:2003 defines the Dublin Core metadata element set which deals with cross-domain
information resource description.
Qualified Dublin Core enables the extension of the core metadata element set to include additional
schema such as controlled vocabularies. The ADS recommend the use of Dublin Core and have refined
and defined how the elements should be created. 45In particular they defined the schema for Subject
as the Thesaurus of Monument Types (RCHME 1995). However they note the flexibility of Dublin Core
allows elements to be repeated, so to increase potential interoperability additional Subject
element(s) could be added, possibly the Getty AAT controlled vocabulary to give an international
dimension. The following fictional example (adapted from the ADS) shows the way in which Dublin
Core might be used to describe a typical resource from the humanities. 46
DC.title.main
Excavations at 2 Ordnance Terrace, Chatham
DC.creator.corporateName.1
Canterbury Archaeological Trust
DC.creator.postal.1
92a Broad Street
DC.creator.town.1
Canterbury
DC.creator.phone.1
+44 227 462062
DC.creator.role.1
contact
DC. subject
TMT
dwelling, house, detached house
DC.description.short
Excavations undertaken in advance of development examined
the remains of a Victorian domestic dwelling, and uncovered
previously unexpected Roman remains preserved beneath the
cellar. The house is reputed to be the childhood home of
author Charles Dickens.
DC.publisher.corporateName
Canterbury Archaeological Trust
DC.date.accessioned
ISO8601 1997-06-24
DC.type
ADS
DC.format.fileSize.1
DC.identifier
process
720
ADS
150
52
DC.identifier
CAT
1984.11
DC.identifier.url
http://blah/data.dbf
DC.identifier.url
http://blah/drawing1.dxf
DC.language
ISO639 en
DC.coverage.placeName
DC.rights
Chatham, Kent
AHDS
free
XML SCHEMA
As noted, metadata is usually presented as an extensible markup language (XML) document. An XML
schema is a description of a type of XML document with constraints on the structure and content
beyond the basics imposed by XML itself. As the word extensible implies an xml schema has the
flexibility to be extended or altered to suit the specific needs of particular user communities. Not
surprisingly standard schema has been adopted for geospatial datasets and has been adopted by the
International Standards Organisation (ISO).
GEOSPATIAL METADATA
Geospatial metadata; a specific form of metadata, is applicable when objects have an explicit or
implicit geographic extent. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), USA has a good
definition:‘A metadata record is a file of information, usually presented as an XML document, which captures the
basic characteristics of a data or information resource. It represents the who, what, when, where, why
and how of the resource. Geospatial metadata are used to document geographic digital resources
such as Geographic Information System (GIS) files, geospatial databases, and earth imagery. A
geospatial metadata record includes core library catalog elements such as Title, Abstract, and
Publication Data; geographic elements such as Geographic Extent and Projection Information; and
database elements such as Attribute Label Definitions and Attribute Domain Values.’47
ISO
Many different metadata schemas exist specifically designed for digital objects. They can be general
such as Dublin Core, or more specialised, but they are normally extensions to the Dublin Core schema.
Our review of best practice revealed a strong emphasis on geospatial metadata standards and the
adoption of particular ISO standards to achieve this. By adopting an ISO standard users are able to
know what to look for in the schema and are then better able to use the data, understanding its
suitability and possible restriction.
The ISO 19100 is a series of standards for defining, describing, and managing geographic information.
Standardization of geographic information can best be served by a set of standards that integrates a
detailed description of the concepts of geographic information with the concepts of information
technology. A goal of this standardisation effort is to facilitate interoperability of geographic
information systems, including interoperability in distributed computing environments. From this
53
series one particular ISO metadata standard appeared to be almost universally recognized and
adopted
ISO 19115
defines the schema for describing geographical information and associated services,
including contents, spatial-temporal purchases, data quality, access and rights to
use. The standard defines more than 400 metadata elements, 20 core elements. The
ISO standards are revised and modified on a regular basis, ISO 19115:2003 is the
current version.
The UK GEMINI project [representing the Office of e-Envoy, the UK data archive, and the Association
of Geographic Information (AGI)] defined a metadata schema compliant with ISO 19115. It defined
the following 29 elements to record metadata for geographic datasets:•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
1 Title – name given to the data set
2 Alternative title –Short name, acronym or alternative language title
3 Originator – person or organization having primary responsibility for intellectual content
4 Abstract – brief free text narrative summarising the dataset
5 Date – date and time for the content of the dataset
6 Frequency of update – frequency with which modifications / deletions are made
7 Presentation type – mode in which the data is represented
8 Access constraints – restrictions and legal prerequisites for the access of the data
9 Use constraints- restrictions and legal restraints on using the data
10 Topic category – main themes of the dataset
11 West bounding coordinate – west limit of dataset, longitude decimal degrees, -ve west
12 East bounding coordinate – east limit of dataset, longitude decimal degrees, +ve east
13 North bounding coordinate – north limit of dataset, latitude decimal degrees, +ve north
14 South bounding coordinate – south limit of dataset, latitude decimal degrees, -ve south
15 Extent – extent of the dataset by subdivision of country e.g. admin area, postcode
16 Spatial reference system – name or description of spatial referencing used in the dataset
17 Spatial resolution- description of the spatial granularity of the data
18 Supply media – type of media in which the data can be supplied
19 Data format – format in which the data can be provided
20 Additional information source – source of further information about the dataset
21 Supplier – details of the organisation from which resource can be obtained
22 Date of update of metadata – date on which metadata last changed
23 Sample of dataset – location where a sample of the dataset is stored
24 Dataset reference date – reference date for the dataset
25 Dataset reference language – language used in dataset
26 Vertical extent information – vertical domain of the dataset
27 Spatial representation type – method used to represent the spatial aspect of the data
28 Lineage – info about the events or source data used in the construction of the dataset
29 Online resource – info about online resources from which resource can be obtained48
For each of these elements precise details of what and how each element of the schema is to be
recorded is listed in a sequence of annex tables, with the relationship to the ISO element shown,
Table 3-6 shows the information for element 17, Spatial Resolution.
54
MetadataElementName
SpatialResolution
Definition
Descriptionofthegranularityofthedata
EquivalentISO19115
61:MD_DataIdentification.spatialresolution>spatial
resolution.distance
Elementnumber:name
ComparisonwithISO19115element
Equivalent
Obligation(MandatoryorOptional)
Optional
Occurrence
1
DataType
INTEGER
Domain
Integer>0
Comment
Equivalenttogroundsampledistance
Table36ExtractfromUKGEMINIAnnexA,17SpatialReferencedetails
Where applicable, information recorded into a schema should adopt the appropriate ISO standard to
enable full integration with international standards. An example of this would be how we enter date
information into the Gemini schema should be based on:ISO8601
advises numeric representation of dates and times on an internationally
agreed basis. It represents elements from the largest to the smallest
element: year-month-day: YYYY-MM-DD 49
INSPIRE(INFRASTRUCTUREFORSPATIALINFORMATIONINEUROPE)
Accepting the value of and necessity for ISO 19115 compliant metadata has become more significant
following the implementation of the European Union INSPIRE directive.
THE NEED FOR INSPIRE
The general situation on spatial information in Europe is one of fragmentation of datasets and
sources, gaps in availability, lack of harmonisation between datasets at different geographical scales
and duplication of information collection. These problems make it difficult to identify, access and use
data that is available, which in turn leads to ill-informed decision making.
Fortunately, awareness is growing at national and at EU level about the need for quality georeferenced information to support understanding of the complexity and interactions between human
activities and environmental pressures and impacts The INSPIRE initiative is therefore timely and
relevant but also a major challenge given the general situation outlined above and the many
stakeholder interests to be addressed.
INSPIRE is complementary to related policy initiatives, such as the Commission proposal for a
Directive on the re-use and commercial exploitation of Public Sector Information. 50
55
WHAT IS INSPIRE?
The INSPIRE Directive sets out to improve the efficiency and efficacy of public services – those
associated with European environmental policy in the first instance – through the provision of a
European spatial data infrastructure. INSPIRE is a Directive which mandates Member States to
provide their public authority datasets and services so that they can more easily be used by other
public organisations in the country concerned, in adjacent countries if required, and by the EC itself
for policy making, reporting and monitoring. It is a set of principles and rules that each country must
now choose how to implement - it will not necessarily need legislation.51
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ARE EFFECTED?
The directive is specifically targeted towards public bodies (national and regional agencies) involved in
environmental data. The INSPIRE website contains a database of Legally Mandated Organisations
(LMO’s), and this lists 6 Republic of Ireland organisations (160 are listed Europe wide):•
•
•
•
•
•
Marine Institute (http://www.marine.ie)
Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (http://www.epa.ie)
Coastal & Marine Resources Centre (http://cmrc.ucc.ie/)
Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) (http://www.osi.ie)
Property Registration Authority of Ireland
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (http://www.environ.ie/en/)52
Although INSPIRE does not directly mandate commercial companies or non-governmental
organizations, if OSi and DoEHLG adopt the standards of the directive then it will have become the de
facto standard to which everyone should aspire. As stated the directive is focused primarily on
environmental datasets but this can be extended and adapted to encompass cultural heritage data in
the future.
INSPIRE IMPLEMENTATION
REGULATION../…/EC implementing Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
as regards metadata53 specifies, in detail, the metadata requirement for INSPIRE compliance.
Category
Element
Short description
IDENTIFICATION
Resource title
characteristic and often unique name
Resource abstract
brief summary of the content of the resource
Resource type
type of resource being described
Resource locator
link to additional information
Unique resource identifier
value uniquely identifying resource
Coupled resource
Identifies the target spatial data sets of the service
Resource language
the language(s) used within the resource
Topic category
high level to assist in grouping and topic based searching
Spatial data service type
to assist in the search of spatial data services
CLASSIFICATION
56
Keyword value
commonly used word to describe the subject
Originating controlled vocabulary
the citation for the controlled vocabulary
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
Geographic bounding box
the extent of the resource in geographic space
TEMPORAL REFERENCE
Temporal extent
time period covered by resource
Date of publication
publication or entry date – could be both
Date of last revision
date resource last revised, if ever
Date of creation
date of creation of the resource
Lineage
statement on process history / quality of data set
Spatial resolution
level of detail of the data set
Specification
citation of implementing rules to which data conforms
Degree
degree of conformity of the resource
Conditions of access & use
free text description
Limitations on public access
free text – if none then entered as text anyway
Responsible party
organisation responsible for establishment, management etc
Responsible party role
the role of the responsible organization
Metadata point of contact
Organization responsible for creating/ maintaining metadata
Metadata date
when the metadata record was created or updated
Metadata language
language in which the metadata elements are expressed
KEYWORD
QUALITY & VALIDITY
CONFORMITY
CONSTRAINTS
ORGANIZATIONS
METADATA
Table 3-7 The INSPIRE metadata elements, grouped by category
The INSPIRE metadata schema is compliant with ISO 19115 / 19119 containing 27 elements grouped
into 10 broad categories, see Table 3-7
METADATA GEOPORTAL
INSPIRE provides a metadata editor (http://www.inspire-geoportal.eu/InspireEditor/) which allows
users to either create or validate metadata records and then save them as xml files. The editor has a
validation function which will which will display errors if mandatory elements are missing, Figure 3-7.
57
Figure 3-7 - The INSPIRE Geoportal showing the input TAB for Geographic metadata. The 10 tabs contain the other
prescribed elements
INSPIRE DATA THEMES – GEMET THESAURUS
The INSIPRE spatial data themes are controlled by the GEneral Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus
(GEMET) thesaurus, which defines core general terminology for the environment.54 The current list of
themes either includes our share-IT datasets directly, as in the case of orthoimagery, or indirectly in
the case geophysical survey, or LiDAR digital elevation models.
CULTURAL HERITAGE INCLUSION IN METADATA
The adoption of the INSPIRE directive metadata standard, compliant with ISO 19115, will ensure the
geographical description of our datasets is completed to an international standard. However, as
INSPIRE is environmentally focused the schema has to be extended to acknowledge the cultural
component which may accompany our data. Interpretations and classifications are often an integral
part of our data.
Thesauri, or controlled vocabularies can be added to the Keyword component of the metadata
schema. Controlling how the cultural component is described using these resources enhances the
ability of users to search and retrieve our data in intelligent ways. More than one thesauri can be
defined within a schema and our research identified a number which could be adopted.
58
EXAMPLES OF CULTURAL HERITAGE THESAURI / CONTROLLED VOCABULARIES
THE GETTY INSTITUTE
The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of
the visual arts. Its Research Library with special collections of rare materials and digital resources
serves an international community of scholars and the interested public.55
It provides a number of thesauri which provide controlled vocabulary necessary in developing
standardised languages.
1.
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN)56
This identifies ‘place’ based on hierarchal relationships, with the superordinate ‘whole’ and
its subordinate ‘members’ or ‘parts’. Table 3-8 shows an example of this hierarchy to define
the geographic description of Newgrange.
Top of the TGN hierarchy (hierarchy root)
.... World (facet)
........ Europe (continent)
............ Ireland (nation)
................ Leinster (province)
.................... Meath (county)
........................ Newgrange (historic
site)
Table 3-8 TGN hierarchal data structure, example of Newgrange (from
http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/)
The relationships in TGN include hierarchical (as Table 3-8), but also equivalence and
associative relationships
2.
Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
This is a controlled vocabulary used for describing items of art, architecture, and material
culture. This thesaurus is compliant with two further ISO standards:ISO 2788 & ISO 5964 – both provide guidelines for establishing and developing monolingual
thesauri. Table 3-9 shows the AAT hierarchical structure defining the term ‘hillforts’.
59
Terms:
hillforts (preferred, C,U,D,American English-P)
hillfort (C,U,AD,American English)
forts, hill (C,U,UF,American English)
hill-forts (C,U,UF,American English)
hill forts (C,U,UF,American English)
Facet/Hierarchy Code: V.RK
Hierarchical Position:
Objects Facet
.... Built Environment (Hierarchy Name)
........ Single Built Works (Hierarchy Name)
............ <single built works (Built Environment)>
................ <single built works by specific type>
.................... <single built works by function>
........................ fortifications
............................ forts
................................ hillforts
Table 3-9 AAT extract for the term Hillfort (from: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/)
60
CIDOC CONCEPTUAL REFERENCE MODEL CRM
CRM provides definitions and a formal structure for describing the implicit and explicit concepts and
relationships used in cultural heritage documentation...to promote a shared understanding of cultural
heritage information by providing a common and extensible semantic framework that any cultural
heritage information can be mapped to. It is intended to be a common language for domain experts
and implementers to formulate requirements for information systems and to serve as a guide for
good practice of conceptual modelling. In this way, it can provide the "semantic glue" needed to
mediate between different sources of cultural heritage information, such as that published by
museums, libraries and archives.57
CRM has been accepted as ISO standard 21127, guidelines for the exchange of information between
cultural heritage institutions. In simple terms this can be defined as the curated knowledge of
museums.58
CIDOC CRM is an extremely complex model for cultural objects and maybe something which could be
adopted at a later stage. Initially this would be too complex to incorporate into a proposed metadata
schema, which should be kept relatively simple, if we want to ensure it is completed by users.
ARCHAEOML
This is this XML schema of the University of Chicago Online Cultural Heritage Research Environment
(OCHRE) user interface59. OCHRE is a web database system for research on cultural heritage making
information accessible and searchable. The XML element hierarchies defined in ArchaeoML include
archaeological descriptions consisting of observations about ancient landscapes (roads, canals, fields),
settlement sites (architecture, stratigraphy, botanical and faunal remains), and artifacts (including the
physical properties and contexts of inscribed artifacts).
MONUMENT INVENTORY DATA STANDARD (MIDAS) HERITAGE
MIDAS Heritage is the UK data standard for information about the historic environment, developed
for and on behalf of the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH). It states what
information should be recorded to support effective sharing of the knowledge of the historic
environment, and the long-term preservation of those records. The structure of MIDAS is shown
below, and its objective is to complement existing standards such as CIDOC CRM and UK GEMINI. The
MIDAS data standard has a three level structure,
•
•
•
Themes
Information Groups
Units of Information.
61
Figure 3-8 An overview of the structure of MIDAS heritage (from http://www.englishheritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/MIDAS_Heritage_Part_Two.pdf)
Figure 3-8 shows the six main themes with the associated information groups. Of particular relevance
to the share-IT project is the Monument Information Group, which is part of the Heritage Asset
Theme. The units of information designated mandatory for this group are defined in Figure 3-9.
Figure 3-9 The mandatory units of information which are requires for the monument information group (from:
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/MIDAS_Heritage_Part_Two.pdf)
62
FISH maintains an online collection of wordlists called INSCRIPTION60 and they are organised by the
MIDAS unit of information they relate to. For the example of monument four online wordlists are
prescribed,
•
•
•
•
Defence of Britain Thesaurus Operational
Thesaurus of Monument Types Operational
English Heritage Thesaurus of Maritime Craft Types Operational
English Heritage Historic Aircraft Thesaurus
Incorporating wordlists from INSCRIPTION into an information system will improve standards of
indexing and data retrieval.
For an information system to be said to be MIDAS Heritage compliant it has to have the functionality
to store and export the mandatory units of information. However in the documentation relating to
compliance it is made clear that it is an adaptable approach that is anticipated. MIDAS Heritage is
seen as a set of closely integrated data standards rather than one single standard, and it is not
expected that an information system would cover all the information groups.
FISH have developed an interoperability toolkit61 to help with attaining MIDAS compliance, and
attaining the objectives of sharing, archiving and migrating data between systems. The toolkit has
three main components,
•
•
•
MIDAS XML - The heart of the Toolkit is a W3C XML schema which provides a common
format for the storage, processing and exchange of historic environment information.
Data Validator - This online application validates the content of MIDASXML files.
Historic Environment Exchange Protocol (HEEP) – A web services protocol that supports the
querying of the MIDAS Heritage compliant information systems using the internet.
HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCE ELECTRONIC THESAURUS (HASSET)
HASSET is a subject thesaurus which has been developed by the UK Data Archive (UKDA) over the past
20 years. Coverage is fuller in the core subject areas of social science disciplines: politics, sociology,
economics, education, law, crime, demography, health, employment, and, increasingly, technology.
These continue to be developed and are subject to addition and change as the holdings grow.62
IRISH CULTURAL HERITAGE CONTENT
The use of international thesauri provides a good standardised approach but this need to be
supplemented to take account of the Irish context of the datasets. For this some de facto standards
do exist which could be adopted such as the DoEHLG monuments database which contains terms for
describing archaeological monuments.
63
Figure 3-10 Placenames Database of Ireland showing the information available for the townland of Tulsk, Co Roscommon
For a controlled list of Irish place names the Placenames Database of Ireland 63 provides an excellent
resource. This joint initiative between FIONTAR (DCU) and An Brainse Logainmneacha (Department of
Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs) has made available through the Internet, a database of Irish
placenames that have been approved by the Placenames Branch, searchable under both Irish and
English versions, see Figure 3-10.
It is important to remember that more than one controlled thesauri can be incorporated into the final
schema, and that doing so will greatly improve the interoperability of the data. These provide a
controlled environment to enable better access, searching and interrogation of the resource.
64
TOOLS FOR METADATA
There are a variety of free and commercially available tools to support metadata creation editing and
validation.
INSPIRE GEOPORTAL
See Figure 3-7
ESRI
The ArcCatalog component of ArcGIS has a flexible metadata creation and viewing application. Data is
input into the fields of a tab-based interface with mandatory fields indicated. Once created the
metadata can then be viewed in the following range of international standard formats by selecting
the appropriate stylesheet,
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)64
FGDC Classic
FGDC ESRI
FGDC FAQ
FGDC Geography Network
ISO
ISO 19139
ISO Geography Network
xml
ISO METADATA EDITOR (IME) TOOLS
A number of IME application’s can be freely downloaded from the internet. A good example is that
available from INTA (National Institute for Aerospace Technology), Earth Observation Department (
remote sensing area) in Spain. 65
IME is an application focused on making it easier to understand and work with ISO19115 and
ISO19139 standards, and validate the interoperability of xml files metadata.
It defines four steps to geographic Information metadata creation,
1.
2.
Profile definition
Metadata editor – according to the data type defined by ISO 19115
65
Figure 3-11 - IME 4.1 2007 I.N.T.A xml editor
3.
4.
XML generation – file generation according to the ISO 19139 schema
HTML generation – to facilitate the data visualization
METASCRIBE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA)
This tool is designed to reduce significantly the effort required to produce metadata compliant to
FGDC standards. It works on a template basis, taking advantage of the fact that records are generally
very similar in content with only a few fields changing from one record to the next.
Figure 3-12 - Extract from a MetaScribe template (from,
http://www.csc.noaa.gov/metadata/metascribe/example_template.html)
The user must create a metadata template which the MetaScribe website describes as ‘not a trivial
task’. The template is then proofed or validated by MetaScribe, with any errors reported. Once a valid
template is created for a given data type, the user can create multiple records quickly and easily.
66
TK METADATA EDITOR (TKME)
Tkme is an editor for formal metadata which, as with MetaScribe, aims to ensure conformance with
FGDC standard. 66Its aim is to verify the syntactical structure of a file and then to re-express the
metadata in various useful formats such as indented mp compatible text documents, SGML or XML.
67
SECTION 4: REVIEW OF WEB MAPPING TECHNOLOGY
INTRODUCTION
The creation and use of digital spatial data within archaeology and its associated disciplines has
become increasingly prevalent over the past decade. Data sets ranging from archaeological
excavation plans recording stratigraphic relationships to the high resolution LiDAR models detailing
the three dimensional nature of an archaeological landscape and its monuments have enabled
archaeologists and other interdisciplinary experts to catalogue, analyse and visualise cultural heritage
information. This information can then be used to discover trends and explain archaeological theories
and concepts. Traditionally the technology utilised to use spatial data has been expensive desktop
based software solutions, but in recent years technological developments have enabled the delivery
and exploration of spatial data via the internet. This report aims to highlight these technological
developments and explore their use in the delivery of spatial data and examine the underlying
support factors that are required for their successful implementation. Initially this section was
intended to simply look at web mapping application but, as can be seen from the discussion that
follows, there are many other facets to be explored that simply how can visualise spatial data.
SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURES - SDI
EVOLUTION OF GIS
Traditionally the term GIS has been used to describe the combined use of hardware technology,
software, data and people to explore, analyse and visualise spatial data67. The term often refers to
the use of GIS by the individual (desktop GIS), or within a centralised organisation such as government
departments (Intranet GIS). The cost of purchasing and maintaining the technology and training users
to correctly collect data and utilise the software was often expensive68 and prohibited the use of GIS
by individuals. However, as technological developments of the internet have enabled GIS users to
browse and utilise spatial data held by external organisations, the definition of WebGIS was coined to
describe this new delivery method. Although the development of WebGIS went hand-in-hand with
the development of traditional GIS it was noticed that an overarching definition that included the
supporting mechanisms was required, thus the concept of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) was
created
The term SDI is used to describe a series of technologies, policies and agreements that facilitate the
access to spatial data. According to the GSDI Cookbook,
“The term ‘Spatial Data Infrastructure’ is often used to denote the relevant base collection of
technologies, policies and institutional arrangements that facilitate the availability of an access to
spatial data. The SDI provides a basis for spatial data discovery, evaluation and application for users
and providers within all levels of government, the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, academia
and by citizens in general”69.
Besides, a SDI is more than a single data set or database, since it “hosts geographic data and
attributes, sufficient documentation (metadata), a means to discover, visualize, and evaluate the data
(catalogues and Web mapping), and some method to provide access to the geographic data”70.
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Sharing information and spatial datasets is, in general terms, the basic goal of any SDI, since it
considers that maximizing the access to spatial data is minimizing the production cost of spatial
information71. Each discrete data set is stored only by the organisation that created it; as in the case
of national and government bodies, or with an elected archive for smaller independent data creators
and served out to be shared by the community as a whole. The benefits for this are numerous and
include:
The financial and technical cost of maintaining the data lies with the creator and provider,
not with the user
Elimination of the duplication of effort in the generation and maintenance of spatial data
The currency of the data much greater as the user’s data is consistent with that of the data
creators (unlike downloaded data)
Consequently, SDI is coherent with sustainable development policies and the democratisation of data
access. This is especially pertinent for spatial data that has already seen public finances contributing
to its generation, which in areas in economic regression, like rural ones, is particularly significant and
useful to all agents involved in its management.
TECHNICAL COMPONENTS OF AN SDI
As stated previously an SDI is not simply a single feature but a network of interconnected software,
technologies, data and policy. Within the grouping of technology and software a simplified model can
be used to describe the individual entities and the interaction and communication of data between
them. There are four main components to the core of an SDI which allow spatial data to be: authored,
served, discovered and finally used. Figure 4-1 illustrates the main components and functional data
flows. Within this report all technical components will be described, however, specific focus will be
applied to the discovery and use of spatial data.
DISCOVER
PORTAL
AUTHOR
USE
Desktop GIS
Browser
SERVE
OGC Services
Figure 4-1: Schematic diagram of the components of a SDI based solution for information sharing
69
AUTHOR
With an SDI, applications must be present to create and edit spatial data for other users down the line
to visualise and analyse. The creation of spatial data is still traditionally within the domain of the
desktop GIS system as the high resolution digital resources required don’t suit the limitations of
internet band width. However, with the increase of speeds and the advent of web feature services
(see later) this dominance will probably reduce.
Within the SDI authoring has another specific role and that is the creation of metadata that is
associated with spatial data. It is here that the cultural heritage expert can have effective input in
describing the resources they have created. The creation of this data should be formally included in
the process of all data collection and during the time period of data creation to ensure accuracy. A
more in-depth discussion of metadata can be found in section 3.
SERVE: THE OGC AND THE INTERPOERABILITY OF SPATIAL DATA
The ability to serve spatial data created within another room, building or country without difficulty
lies at the heart of the SDI. Using powerful GIS server technology and associated spatial databases,
users can seamlessly integrate spatial data. However, there is no monopoly on the software we can
use to create our spatial data or the resulting formats created. The ability for individuals to share
spatial data came about due to the efforts of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The OGC is a
non profit organisation founded in 1994, which together with 369 international companies,
government agencies and academic developed a consensus for the establishment of interoperability
specifications for spatial data. These OpenGIS® specifications have enabled users around the world to
share their spatial data, irrespective of software or platform, and have brought about the one of the
key enablers of WebGIS and SDIs. In total there are currently 28 standards in operation at present,
several of which are pertinent to this review and are detailed below:
WEB MAPPING SERVICE (WMS) – Enables the production of maps from spatial data and
distributes them over the internet in the form of a geo-referenced image, e.g. jpeg. These often form
the basis for many online mapping sites including Google Maps. This service is suitable for people who
wish to get a simple visual representation of data, e.g. background mapping.
WEB FEATURE SERVICE (WFS) – Similar to a WMS, however, mapped objects represented by
vectors data: points (a SMR site), lines (a river) and polygons (field boundary) maintain their structure
and are available, together with its associated attributes for selection and querying. This service is
suitable for queries (e.g. select the monuments which are classified as “Crannog”) and gives the user
the ability to create, delete and edit spatial feature via the web (i.e. online tool to enable the creation
of a uniform country wide HLC dataset)
WEB COVERAGE SERVICE (WCS) – Similar to a WMS, however, mapped objects represented by
raster data sets: aerial imagery, digital elevation model (DEM) and other continuous data set
(CORINE). User can then interrogate this data for further spatial analysis. This selection of provision
would be highly suited to the creation of geophysics, orthoimagry and LiDAR map services to be
consumed by the public.
GEOGRAPHIC MARKUP LANGUAGE (GML) – This defines an extension of the XML schema to
enable the representation of geographical features. Within GML geometries such as points, lines and
polygon can be represented, however it does not support raster coverage data or topology.
70
KEYHOLE MARKUP LANGUAGE (KML) - Also based upon the XML schema, GML allows for the
annotation of maps and images and the creation of navigation paths for users to explore spatial data.
It is for this reason that the use of KML has become an integral component to Google Earth and is the
adopted standard for the delivery of user content to its globe mapping application. OGC and Google
have now agreed to harmonize GML and KML so KML can include the representation of geometry
within its code.
Note, all the above specifications also have associated metadata schemes attached for their discovery
and use.
WEB CATALOGING SERVICE (CSW) - Unlike the previous specifications, the CSW supports the
ability to publish and search geospatial metadata, services and related resources. This enables users
to efficiently find services created by another organisation.
DISCOVER: METADATA CATALOGUES/PORTALS
As more organisations and individuals increase the amount of spatial data they create effective ways
to organise, describe and access this data becomes progressively more difficult. For efficient decision
making access to this resource is paramount. Metadata catalogues/portals enable users to browse
and discover spatial data based upon underlying metadata schema and the inherent spatial signature
of geographic data. Within a catalogue service, classification systems are employed to group together
similarly themed data sets either by geographic location, dominant theme (e.g. elevation data) or
data producer (e.g. OSi).
USER INTERFACE
User enters search criteria in user interface
poses query to
CATALOGUE GATWAY
Search request is passed to catalogue gateway
and processes result against registered catalogue
servers
searches multiple
CATALOGUE SERVER
delivers entities of
Catalogue server selects suitable metadata
match
Retrieved metadata describes spatial data match
and appropriate use and access information
METADATA
refers to
SPATIAL DATA
Figure 4- 2: Diagram describing the basic usage of distributed catalogue services and related SDI component
71
72
Supporting such catalogues are many actors at different levels of data creation and administration.
Outlined below is their description and possible placement within the cultural heritage sector.
CATALOGUE CONTRIBUTORS – Provide metadata entries and associated spatial datasets. In this
case these would be cultural heritage experts.
CATALOGUE ADMINISTRATORS – Manage metadata for users. Can edit and delete user created
metadata to enable good quality control, which is integral to successful take up of service. This could
possibly be a technical person within a cultural heritage organisation where the spatial data
repository lies.
CATALOGUE USER – The public or interested party who browse through the data or pose a specific
query to identify a suitable dataset. When considering an appropriate user interface care must be
taken to include the wide range in technical skills and interest of the customer. Here our user could
be anyone from a member of the general public to a post graduate student.
There are different strategies in the implementation of catalogue services, often dependent upon the
scale and scope of the service and each with benefits and disadvantages. Below are their descriptions
with associated schematic diagrams
CONSORTIUM APPROACH – An organisation which provides spatial data
CATALOGUE SERVER
loads this information into a shared central publically accessible service. A
positive aspect to this model are it encourages collaboration between
organisations to share each other’s data, however, this could be a negative
factor if the catalogue contributors fail to formulate any common approach
or standards. Another positive factor is the technical overheads of
A
B
C
implementing this strategy are weighted with the catalogues host and
therefore contributors will not require the full technical structure to add
ORGANISATIONS
data. Problems do exists with this methodology in that care must be taken that synchronisation of the
various organisations data is maintained.
CORPORATE APPROACH – An organisation which provides spatial data loads
this data into a central internal service. This solution provides a focused
collection of information on a single service and is often suited towards large
corporate organisation. This method is useful when some form of restriction
needs to be placed on the creation of, and access to metadata.
CATALOGUE SERVER
ORGANISATION
WORKGROUP APPROACH – Each department within an organisation is
responsible for the generation and maintenance of their metadata
catalogue. This model has the advantage that a high level of data
synchronicity exists between spatial data and its associated metadata as
both data sets are organised by the same personnel. However, technical
expertise is required within each department for this model to be
successful.
ORGANISATION
DEPARTMENTS
72
B
CATALOGUE GATEWAY
CS
CS
CS
A
B
C
The selection of appropriate strategy will depend upon several factors, including: size of organisation,
technical expertise available, access rights to information, and level of synchronisation between
metadata and spatial data. One important factor in the synchronisation is the long term availability of
the spatial resources referenced by the metadata. Unless assurances are given that individuals and
individual organisation comprehensively archive their digital spatial data a centralised approach must
be advised. In reality a hybrid between a consortium and corporate approach would be the moist
suitable. Government organisations and national bodies will control their own central catalogue
service but for smaller organisations with poor technical resources the adoption of the consortium
model is preferred.
CATALOGUE USER INTERFACE
For the user wishing to explore the spatial data referenced through a cataloguing services there are
two main styles of interaction that take place:
1. QUERY – A user specifies what they are looking for based upon a search criteria, often in the
shape of free text. This method is often preferred by the expert user who knows specifically what
they are searching for, however one must accommodate the novice user too. Often two query
interfaces are utilised (standard and advanced) to solve this problem. It can often be the case with
query interfaces that a small map application is available for the user to delimit the spatial extent of
their search. An example of a query could be an archaeologist wishing to know what aerial imagery
was available before and after the construction of a road.
2. BROWSE – User selects paths through categorised information, often related hierarchically to each
other. This method is often used by the novice who is not quite sure what they want but are aware of
the theme. An example of this method could be a user is interested in discovering what LiDAR data
exists within Ireland. Usually the categories are based upon the underlying thematic nature of the
data, e.g. cadastral mapping data, environmental data etc. For larger national catalogue services data
may also be grouped by data provider.
Within the scope of cultural heritage data, application of the keyword vocabularies described in
section 3 could be used to create a hierarchical catalogue, e.g. the browsing of data based upon the
GEMET metadata classification schema. Special interest sections often exist on larger catalogues, and
sections highlighting new or data relevant to a current event is displayed.
The results from the queries and browsing selection are often displayed in several styles, again aimed
at the range of users that could possibly use the service. These include:
An HTML based summary document outlining the main descriptive information about the
data discovered, allowing the user to instantly gauge whether the service is suitable for use.
Other data presented may include data purpose, content keywords, the data provider and a
small thumbnail image representation of the data.
A styled representation of the full xml metadata record to allow the user to examine the full
details of the data available
If a suitable mapping application is available the user is given the opportunity to launch their
discovered data set within the browser window
The ability to get access to additional resources that support the data set, e.g. web site of
project, contact details of data creator. Or if function available add to a user defined map
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USE: MAPPING CLIENTS AND APPLICATION
Web mapping applications enable the visualisation of geospatial information using web accessed
software clients. Expectations both from the general public and from specific users have increased
due to the prevalence of the internet in serving geospatial information on the web73. Users require
sophisticated interactive applications that allow them access to tools.
Mapping applications can take many different forms including:
DEDICATED USER DRIVEN WEB MAPPING APPLICATION
These application are often community driven and created to answer a specific group of questions or
visualise a specific collection of spatial data with an under lying theme. These applications are
accessed through web browser interfaces such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox and
are therefore easy to implement. They require little or no additional software downloads to be
carried by the user, therefore they are highly suitable for an audience who has poor technical skills
little previous exposure to GIS. A current example that has been recently implemented to great effect
is the City of Boston Solar Energy Mapping system 74 which allows public users to access the solar
energy potential of their local neighbourhood, using a simple easy understood graphical mapping
interface. Although this application is not specifically design for use in cultural heritage, the concept
of describing a highly technical issue such as solar potential to the general public has been effectively
carried. There are limitations to this approach in that if the application has been overdesigned to the
point of limiting the addition of spatial data required by the user.
GENERAL USER DRIVEN WEB MAPPING APPLICATION
These mapping applications can be considered as the most similar to desktop GIS. They are usually a
component within a larger SDI scheme, offering the mapping interface to visualise data discovered
within catalogue services, often created for somebody with a general non-specific user profile. Basic
map tools, plus additional functionality such as search and measurement tools area available for the
user to employ on their datasets. The ability to combine, add and alter the visual order of datasets
often lend this option to the viewing of dispersed and diverse data sets, often the case for the
landscape studies.
Over the past 3 years the emergence of server component architecture has enabled the full
complexity of desktop GIS, including its tools and functions to available online through a server
online. The sophistication of the tools is limited only by the effort required for their implementation;
and where spatial data sets are large, the necessary internet bandwidth for their successful
visualisation. Examples of such technology include ESRI’s ArcGIS Server (proprietary) and Map Server
(open source).
PROPRIETARY MAPPING APPLICATIONS
This type of application is one that can be purchased or freely downloaded from a software company
by the user. It offers the user an integrated mapping tool which although doesn’t give the full
performance of desktop GIS it enables the increased functionality and data manipulation which is
required by some users. It can range in complexity from planimetric visualisation (thin clients), to
sophisticated 3-dimensional interfaces (thick clients) such as Google Earth.
74
One of the main benefits for employing this approach is that many of these applications come with
global datasets freely available for use within the application. Software such as ESRI ‘s ArcGIS Explorer
allow users to not only use free background mapping aerial imagery but also the opportunity to
import data from their own developed collections (e.g. Pinkerton’s 1812 global map is available freely
for from ESRI’s online resource centre 75).
An additional benefit from some of the better, freely available mapping applications is the large and
often helpful user community that supports them. This community can be often the source of
numerous individually created data sets, often thematically grouped for viewing ease (e.g. Google
Earth Community has a specific group for those creating data sets that have a historical significance),
and often show new or innovate uses of the technology to provide mapping solutions e.g. Virtual
Alabama76 , solution for the management of homeland security data uses Google Earth as its mapping
interface.
One consideration in the adoption of such software technology is the requirement upon the user to
install and run the necessary application on their machine. This “thin client” approach passes some
amount of the processing to the user’s machine and therefore cannot be as dependable as a server
side solution.
SOFTWARE
To implement all or some of the components outlined above there is a wide range of software
solutions that address the problem in very different ways and at differing costs. In the discussion as
to which system to chose, three questions must be considered:
1.
2.
3.
Does the software I use require a sustained level of financial support?
How many of components of an SDI do I wish to implement?
Does the software offer increased functionality that can be adapted and developed for your
particular purposes?
The answers to these questions can be dependent on numerous factors that must be assessed at the
inception of possible landscape SDI development. An example would be the development of a custom
designed mapping application interface, which is part of an overall SDI. The first option considered
could be to employ freely available open source software as the basis for the application (e.g.
MapServer). However this would come with the limitation of little or no official technical support and
increased development cost and long term in-house maintenance (increased employment costs). In
comparison adopting a commercial product (e.g. ESRI ArcGIS Server) will often provide a solution
which can be easily implemented with technical support for the software developers. However, the
long term cost of sustaining this approach would produce higher capital costs for the project. It is also
often the case that proprietary software allows for the easy production of a final “polished” product
as you are paying a premium for the pre-development that has occurred.
CULTURAL LANDSCAPE SDI
Developing a Cultural Landscape SDI may ensure the protection of heritage facing other agents and
activities potentially dangerous to its safeguard, in the sense that it provides enough information to
illustrate to other agents where things are and why they are important. Nevertheless, conventional
SDIs have been shaped in contexts different from the research and management of Cultural
Landscapes. Therefore, the integration of Cultural Landscapes within SDIs demands the discussion of
techniques and methods that allow the interoperability of European cultural landscapes data. One
important issue here is that the diachronic dimension of cultural landscapes, especially it’s historical,
75
archaeological, territorial and social aspects must be taken in account when defining the structure of
the SDI, for instance, in the organization of the datasets and in the creation of specific cultural
landscape metadata (see Section 3). It is this foundation that emphasizes the difference between
having a simple archaeological web mapping service and having a real Cultural Landscape SDI, with all
the advantages mentioned before, intrinsic to SDIs. The main advantage of a Cultural Landscape SDI is
that the Heritage information is not dealt like a mere sum of points, lines and polygons with historical
information attached. Instead it creates a service that deals with the Heritage information in an
integrated mode, which in scientific and management terms is clearly more useful. A Cultural
Landscape SDI enhances the social value of the scientific investigation, because the scientific
knowledge is openly and easily offered to society, which, in turn benefits the dissemination of
heritage, its protection, investigation and management.
SUMMARY
It can be shown that the efforts made by the GIS community, with the assistance and guidance of the
OGC has made over the past 14 years has brought spatial technology to a point where the sharing of
spatial data across the world and disciplines has become seamless and available for all to use. The
democratisation of spatial data, and the technology which supports this is available for use now. The
ability to use and promote archaeology and cultural heritage data between experts, the public, and
decision makers will have profound benefits in the protection of our heritage. The formation of a
cultural heritage SDI is the foundation on which the promotion, discourse and decisions about our
shared heritage must sit. Effective decision making relies on access to current and reliable
information. The ability to use cataloguing services to achieve this and enable even the basic user to
find suitable data should not be underestimated. There are caveats and specifications that need to be
investigated for the individual user groups. However, it is the will of those groups and the supporting
mechanisms to enable the use of this technology which is probably the most difficult thing to attain.
Support must be made on several levels:
•
•
The archaeological user community must be willing to share their spatial data and use and
apply suitable metadata schemas for their discovery. Without data the system is worthless
Government, academia and other large institutions should, where possible, constructively
support this mechanism fully - both financially and verbally.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Belussi, A., Catania, B., Clementini, E. And Ferrari, E (eds), . Spatial Data on the Web: Modeling and
Management, Springer, New York
Davis, S. 2007. GIS for Web Developers: Adding Where to Your Web Applications, The Pragmatic
Bookshelf, Dallas, Texas.
Henricksen, B. 2007. United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure Compendium: A UNSDI Vision,
Implementation Strategy and Reference Architecture
Meeker, H. J., 2008. The Open Source Alternative: Understanding Risks and Leveraging Opportunities,
John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey
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Peterson, M. P. (ed.), 2008. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography: International
Perspectives on Maps and the Internet, Springer, New York
Peters, D. 2007. System Design Strategies: An ESRI ® Technical Reference Document, July 2007
Revision 1, ESRI Press, California
Peters D., 2008, Building a GIS: System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, ESRI Press,
California
Selwood , J. and Tang, W., 2005. Spatial Portals: Gateways to Geographic Information
Percival, G., 2008. OGC Reference Model, Open Geospatial Consortium, Available at
http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=31112
Tatnall, A., 2007. Encyclopedia of Portal Technologies and Applications, Information Science
Reference, London
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SECTION 5: WEB MAPPING APPLICATION (WMA) SYSTEM DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS (SDS)
INTRODUCTION
PURPOSE
The purpose of this document is to provide a description of the software system including its
functionality and matters related to the overall system and its design. It will act as guidance to the
creation of this pilot web mapping application and hopefully aid the creation of any future web
mapping applications. The content of the system design specifications (SDS) focuses on three aspects
of the SHARE-IT Web Mapping Application. The first focuses on the technical architecture used the
setup of the WMA. Secondly the components of the SHARE-IT WMA interface are discussed. Finally
the data that will be accessed through the WMA and its associated model are outlined
DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
DTM: Digital Terrain Model
DSM: Digital Surface Model
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol
SDS: System Design Specifications
SOA: Service Orientated Architecture
SOC: Server Object Containers
SOM: Server Object Manager
WMA: Web Mapping Application
CONTRIBUTORS
SOFTWARE CONTRIBUTION
The Discovery Programme
Digital Media Centre, DIT
ESRI Ireland
DATA CONTRIBUTION
Discovery Programme
Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd
UCD School of Archaeology
Department of Environment Heritage & Local Government (DoEHLG)
78
DEVELOPMENT TOOLS
The technologies used to develop this application are
ESRI ArcGIS Sever 9.3 (Java Platform)
ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.2
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3
SUPPORTED BROWSERS
The web application will provide support for the following web browsers on the following operating
systems:Web Browser
Supported Operating Systems
Firefox 2.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS/ES 4.0 Update 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Sun Solaris 10 (SPARC)
Windows 2000 SP4 Server, Advanced Server & Datacenter
Windows 2003 SP2 Server Standard, Enterprise & Datacenter
Windows Vista SP1 Ultimate, Enterprise, Business
Windows XP SP2 Professional Edition
Internet Explorer 6.0
Windows 2000 SP4 Server, Advanced Server & Datacenter
Windows XP SP2 Professional Edition
Internet Explorer 7.0
Windows 2000 SP4 Server, Advanced Server & Datacenter
Windows 2003 SP2 Server Standard, Enterprise & Datacenter
Windows 2008 Server Standard, Enterprise & Datacenter
Windows Vista SP1 Ultimate, Enterprise, Business
Windows XP SP2 Professional Edition
SYSTEM PROCESSES
TECHNICAL ARCHITECTURE
The ESRI ArcGIS Server Software is hosted on a Dell PowerEdge SC1425 Server, with a single Intel
Xeon 3.2Ghz Processor and 2Gb of DDR2 ECC memory. The server has the following operating system
installed: Operating System: Windows 2003 SP2 (32-bit) Server Enterprise. This server is housed at
Dublin Institute of Technology. Connection into the server is be made through an open port via a
connected DSL internet link and will be limited to GIS server only traffic for security purposes. The
server being used for this demonstrator would sit at the lower end of specifications required to fully
implement a SHARE-IT WMA to reduce the incurring of any additional costs in this proof of concept
stage. Any future development and construction of a permanent WMA should take into account the
optimal server settings for full implementation.
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SOFTWARE & SYSTEM CONFIGURATION
The SHARE-IT Web Mapping Application (WMA) is created based upon a single platform (low capacity
requirement for pilot) edition of ArcGIS Server. The ArcGIS Server system is composed of distributed
components each playing a specific role in the process of managing, activating, deactivating and load
balancing the server resources that are given to a set of services, such as the server object manager
(SOM) and server object container (SOC); a Web server; and an administration interface. Each
component communicates with the other components to enable the final WMA to operate. Figure 5-1
is a technical illustration, outlining the components of the SHARE-IT WMA and their respective
functions.
WEB
BROWSER
DESKTOP CLIENT
e.g. ArcGIS Desktop
Users can interact and use WMA through a web browser
such as Internet Explorer. If users wish to consume map
services this can be done through desktop client software
such as ArcGIS Desktop or ESRI ArcExplorer
Users connect to Web applications and Web services over the Internet or
intranet, but all the Web application's logic runs in the Web server and
sends Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to the browser client
INTERNET
WEB SERVER
The Web Server hosts the SHARE-IT Web Mapping Application (WMA) and
any web services that exist
SOM
Server Object Manager (SOM) manages the set of services that are
distributed across one or more SOC machines. It is through the SOM that the
WMA makes contact with the ArcGIS Server
SOC
SOC
DBMS Clients
Data
Server Object Containers (SOC) hosts the services that are managed by the
SOM. It is within the SOC that services such as search services, map services
are processed using ESRI Arc Object components. Multiple SOC can be run in
parallel depending upon the demand and complexity of the WMA and
services
Database Management System Client enables control and access to
underlying databases and data structure
Data is stored within several different databases including RDBMS for
standard data sets and geo-databases for vector and raster spatial data sets
Figure 5-1 : Illustration outlining the major components of the SHARE-IT technical architecture and their interactions
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APPLICATION & DATA SECURITY
Security protection is provided through multiple levels of security controls: physical, administrative
and technical, which work together to provide a secure environment to host data and deliver web
applications to the public.
USER AUTHENTICATION & AUTHORISATION
Access to the ArcGIS Server to create, edit or delete mapping applications can only be gained using a
password authenticated login. This has previously been setup on the host server, within the ArcGIS
Server administration and also within the server’s operating system (MS Windows Server 2003) where
users are created as having administrator privileges.
Access to the SHARE-IT web mapping application, is at present set without any user restrictions or
authorisation control. If a fully implemented Archaeological Mapping application was developed in
the future user login functions can be easily implemented via the ArcGIS Server software. Control over
the ArcGIS Server service orientated architecture (SOA) is also inherited from the Windows Server
administrative controls.
HARDWARE SECURITY
To provide sufficient security a reverse proxy Web server within a screened subnet was established
within DIT. The reverse proxy will receive incoming HTTP requests through a firewall that restricts
traffic to port 80. The proxy server in turn will send a request through another firewall to the ArcGIS
Server in a secure internal network. This allows for the ArcServer and all its associated components to
gain unrestricted access to each other.
DATA SECURITY
An automated backup copy of all databases, geodatabases and associated mapping data will be made
daily to DAT. This process will initiate at 3:00 am each day to reduce the amount of downtime evident
in the SHARE-IT WMA. For any future implementation of a WMA and the associated digital archive
that underpins it would be prudent to implement a weekly off site remote backup scheme to replicate
the data.
APPLICATION INTERFACE
The SHARE-IT web mapping application interface has been developed with several key areas that
present data or allow users to gain access to application tools. Users can adjust the width and height
of all areas below the tool bars, including map window and layers panel, to their own specifications.
The application areas are described below in reference to Figure 5-2:
1. MAP APPLICATION WINDOW
This area of the interface provides the user with a visualisation of the spatial data present within the
SHARE-IT mapping application. Users can navigate the map window by either using the Compass rose
and scale buttons in the top left hand corner of the window , or if the hand icon has been selected
from the ArcGIS Server tool bar the user can opt to use the scroll wheel on the mouse to zoom and
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left mouse click to pan around the map. Also within the map application window is a dynamic scale
bar and when the server is actively generating a map or query results a progress bar becomes visible
in the lower right corner
6. Application
3. Default ArcGIS
Sever Tool bar
4. SHARE-IT Tools
1. Map Application
5. Query Results
7. Overview Map
2. Map Layer
Figure 5-2: SHARE-IT Web Mapping Application Interface
2. MAP LAYER CONTENTS PANEL
Within this section of the application interface the user is presented with the map layers that are
available to view within the Map application window (1). Each individual data layer can be expanded
to reveal the layers symbology, and the layer may be grouped within a larger thematic data collection
which can be expanded or collapsed to reveal the contents. If a scale range has been set for the data
(see section on Scale Dependency) it will enabled or faded out depending upon the users current
scale in the main map window (1).
Figure 5-3: Example of two data layers within a grouping called “Inch Island Orthoimages” becoming enabled (Aerial Extent)
or disabled (Inch Island Orthoimages) depending upon the viewers map scale.
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3. DEFAULT ARCGIS SEVER TOOL BAR
This part of the interface area contains the default tools that embedded within the standard ArcGIS
Server Mapping Interface and represent the most frequently used tools within a web mapping
application. From left to right they are:
ZOOM IN: Users can click and drag a window to specify where the main map window
(1) will zoom to
ZOOM OUT: Users can click and drag a rectangular window to specify the limit of the
map window, the smaller the rectangle, the more the map will zoom out.
PAN: Users can re-centre and move around the map window by left clicking and
dragging the mouse in the desired direction
FULL EXTENT: On clicking the map window will zoom out to the area of all the data
layers.
PREVIOUS EXTENT: map returns to the area displayed previously.
NEXT EXTENT: Map displays the next stored map extent, available only if previous
extent has been selected beforehand.
IDENTITY: On selection of this tool users can click on a feature within the map window
they wish to identify. An label is displayed informing the user what the feature is, with an
expandable box available to observe the other attributes of the map object. If multiple
features exist at the chosen location the user is presented with a drop down list to select the
feature they wish to inquire about.
MEASURE: This tool allows the user measure the x, y coordinates of a point, the total
and segment length of a polyline digitised by the user, and the perimeter and area of a
polygon digitised by the user. For the length and area calculations the user provides a single
left mouse click to indicate where each segment of the polyline/polygon should be and a
double click to complete the digitisation. At any point during the process or after, the user
can change the measurement units by using the drop down list
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4. SHARE-IT TOOLS
Several tools will be created for the searching of data within the application interface. These tools will
be accessed from the top toolbar area of the application window and are grouped as follows:
SEARCH TOOLS
Initially they will be classified within a single heading “Search” that, when the user moves their
pointing device over the title bar it will expand to reveal a larger list of query selection types,
including:
1.
Townland
Users will type in the full or partial text of townland name within the entry field. On pressing the
“Find” button the search request will query the attribute tables of the OSI townland polygons
(Discovery Series Mapping). Once completed, the query will return a list of matched townland
names within the Results window. The original search term with the total number of matched
records (in brackets) is displayed at the top of the displayed tree. If the mapping window scale is
at a suitable level the results of the query will also be displayed as the selected townlands will be
highlighted. Additional information for each of the matched townland can be displayed by
clicking the “plus” symbol to the left of the townland name extending and displaying the full
attribute data set for that entity. Users can right click upon a matched townland and choose to
“zoom to”, “pan to” or “remove” the townland form the list of results. The number of results
displayed at one time is limited to 25. If the query results are more numerous than this the user is
given the option to browse through the next 25 records.
2.
Sites & Monument Record (SMR)
Users will enter the full or partial SMR number for the monument they wish find within the entry
field (e.g. “ME019”). The record results from the query will be displayed with the SMR number
initially being presented with the user then having the option of extending the information by
click the “plus” sign next to the SMR number. Only a limited amount of relevant information from
the complete SMR record dataset is displayed, including classification and OSI description. Those
records selected from the query will be displayed as push pins on the map interface window. As
the user moves their pointer over the SMR query results the push pins in the map interface will
dynamically change to indicate which SMR record you are over. As with the townlands query
results the user is limited to view 25 record results.
3.
Monument
Users are given the option to search for specific monuments by a combination of monument
classification and county. Users will select the monument type from a drop down list of DoEHLG
monument classifications and type in the DoEHLG county code in the lower entry field (e.g. ME =
Meath). The SMR numbers of those records selected are shown with classification and OSI text
information available within collapsible fields (plus sign). Again query results are displayed within
the main mapping window and as the user moves their pointer over the returned records the
corresponding map marker (red ball) changes to indicate the location of the monument.
All of the search tools have additional functions that can be used to navigate to the query results.
Right clicking on query results allows the user to zoom to, pan to or remove the record from the
84
results window. All the above tools can be amended and adjusted, or if required new queries could be
created to suit user requirements.
PRINT TOOL
Here the user can print a map of the active map window of the share-it web application. On
activation the user will be presented with an interface to customise their final printed map. This
includes:
Map Title: title to display at the top of the print page.
Map Size: set the size of the map.
Print table of results for: if query results are displayed, the listed items may be printed from
the Results area. Check the boxes for results items to print.
Items such as the north arrow, scale bar and legend are included on the printed page and could be
adapted in the future to serve different user groups, i.e. more elaborate maps for the expert users.
Two examples from the Brú na Bóinne WHS are shown (Fig 5-4) displaying maps generated using the
print button displaying firstly the OSi Discovery series map with highlighted mounds and secondly the
associated LiDAR data for the area. Again map templates for print output could be created and
adapted to suit different user groups. The inclusion of the printing facility within a final publicly
accessible SHARE-IT application must take into account licensing and copyright regulation, including
background OSi mapping77.
Figure 5-4: Two example print outputs from the SHARE-IT WMA displaying monuments and LiDAR data of a
section of the Brú na Bóinne WHS
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5. QUERY RESULTS WINDOW
The results panel displays the output from the share-it query tools (4). The panel expands
automatically after running a query and the results can be expanded or collapsed as the user wishes.
6. APPLICATION BANNER
The SHARE-IT application banner at the top of the application window allows the site to be branded
and consistently styled so users are easily aware of the software they are using, and the theme of the
mapping application (i.e. spatial archaeological data). Both banner and colour scheme for the
application can be altered accordingly if an additional mapping application was created using the
same ArcGIS Server e.g. a web mapping interface to investigate through historic landscape
characterisation (HLC) and landscape characterisation (LCA) data created within Ireland.
Additionally to the top right of the application banner three hyperlinks exist allowing the user to open
websites for the supporting project and the funding body. The final hyperlink enables the user to
access html authored help documentation explaining the major functions of the SHARE-IT web
mapping application and the tools available.
7. OVERVIEW MAP
The overview map is available for the user to employ if they wish and displays a dynamically
generated extent rectangle based upon the main mapping window location in relation to Ireland. This
function can be activated or removed from the display using the button provided in the ArcGIS Server
tool bar (3).
86
DATA
This section of the document outlines the spatial data requirements for the creation of the SHARE-IT
WMA, including what data will be used, how this data will be stored and what additional data; such as
background mapping, is required.
DATA MIGRATION
For The SHARE-IT project several example datasets where chosen to represent the range of scale and
nature of the archaeological landscape record that exist at present. The source of these data sets
includes: The Discovery Programme, UCD School of archaeology, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd and the
DoEHLG – Monuments Service. To acknowledge the recommendations made in Work Package 2 the
migration of this data into the SHARE-IT WMS should comply as closely to the OAIS archive model78.
GEOPHYSICS DATA
Figure 5-5 describes the data migration strategy adopted for geophysics data in accordance with
OAIS, to create a DIP suitable for use in the WMA.
1. Data Ingest (SIP)
Obtain full data set from provider (usually proprietary file type) both
processed and pre-processed, including all and supporting
documentation. Data exported as
2. Create Metadata
Basic metadata report created with contributor to eliminate loss of
data understanding
3. Deposit AIP
ASCII representation of data set placed in deep archive.
4. Import AIP - ArcMAP
AIP ASCII processed data is imported into raster dataset inside a geodatabase using ArcToolbox. Survey extent polygon digitised polygon
and hyperlink (files sizes suitably small for download) to AIP
5. DIP
Standardised cartographic style applied to raster data set and survey
extents and data layer created.
6. Create ISO Metadata
7. Publish to Map Service
Full ISO 19115 compliant metadata created using ArcCatalog and
published as XML file (see Appendix 3.1), which is subsequently added
to AIP
Data layer combined with other geophysics and map service created
(WCS). Additional descriptor data for map services is created
Figure 5-5: Data migration strategy for the archiving of geophysics data
87
AERIAL ORTHOIMAGERY DATA
Figure 5-6 is a data migration strategy adopted for aerial orthoimagery data in accordance with OAIS, to
create a DIP suitable for use in the WMA.
1. Data Ingest (SIP)
Obtain full data set from provider (usually proprietary file type),
including all and supporting documentation. Where possible, data
should be tiled to assist image processing. Convert Image to GeoTIFF
2. Create Metadata
Basic metadata report created with contributor to eliminate loss of
data understanding
3. Deposit AIP
4. Import AIP - ArcMAP
5. DIP
6. Create ISO Metadata
7. Publish to Map Service
GeoTIFF representation of data set placed in deep archive.
AIP GeoTiff tile is imported into raster dataset inside a geo-database
using ArcToolbox. If image is part of a continuous larger survey data is
aggregated within a raster catalogue. Survey extent polygon digitised.
Standardised cartographic style applied to raster data set and survey
extents and data layer created.
Full ISO 19115 compliant metadata created using ArcCatalog and
published as XML file (see Appendix 3.2), which is subsequently added
to AIP
Data layer combined with other aerial images and map service
created (WCS). Additional descriptor data for map services is created
Figure 5-6: Data migration strategy for the archiving of aerial orthoimagery data
88
LIDAR DATA
Below is a data migration strategy adopted for LiDAR data in accordance with OAIS, to create a DIP
suitable for use in the WMA.
Data Ingest (SIP)
Obtain full data set from provider including associated X, Y, Z ASCII
files. Additional data including orthoimages and video files may
accompany the data set
Create Metadata
Basic metadata report created with contributor to eliminate loss of
data understanding
Deposit AIP
ASCII representation of data set placed in deep archive.
Import AIP - ArcMAP
AIP ASCII DTM and DSM data is imported into raster dataset inside a
geo-database using ArcToolbox. Subsequent associated hill-shaded
models are created. Survey extent polygon digitised.
DIP
Standardised cartographic style applied to raster data set and survey
extents and data layer created.
Create ISO Metadata
Full ISO 19115 compliant metadata created using ArcCatalog and
published as XML file (see Appendix 3.3), which is subsequently added
to AIP
Publish to Map Service
Data layer combined with other aerial images and map service
created (WCS). Additional descriptor data for map services is created.
Figure 5-7: Data migration strategy for the archiving of LiDAR data
SERVER TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS
When creating a GIS resource for use within the SHARE-IT WMA several specific considerations must
be addressed to ensure successful access is achieved
Data must be stored so all SOC machines, in this case the server, can access it. To ensure this
all data will be stored upon the same machine as the ArcGIS Server software as data volume
will not be a problem within this pilot project. If a larger WMA is developed in the future and
data is stored on a separate server care must be taken to use universal naming convention
(UNC) paths to reference data.
SOC machines should be granted full permissions to access data. This may involve account
and domain changes depending upon the location of the spatial data.
89
PRODUCTION OF MAP DOCUMENTS
Once all data was submitted in compliance with the OAIS archiving methodology, the DIP components
of each dataset could be utilised in the construction of suitable web mapping services. As described in
section 4 web mapping services are pre-packaged GIS resources that can be consumed and displayed
in a wide range of environments. Map services have been grouped into thematic topics. Each primary
data type specified in the SHARE-IT aims (i.e. geophysics, LiDAR and orthoimagery) have their own
map service. Within each map service different scaled examples of the data exist together with survey
extents (e.g. fixed wing LiDAR vs Helicopter LiDAR). Other map services include specific case study
areas including Inch Island and North Roscommon (MRSP Aerial). The aim is to produce different
services that can complement each other to develop a greater understanding of the landscape and its
components. The mapping services can then be consumed to create different WMA depending upon
the user needs and interests. All the web services created are summarised in Table 5-1. Each Map
service was created in ArcMap GIS Desktop software and suitable cartographic styles applied.
Map Service
Contributors
Description
Geophysics
Discovery Programme,
Margaret Gowen & Co.
Ltd
Various example from both state funded and
commercial archaeology. Some data sets have been
stored as images, some as raster datasets
Orthophoto
Discovery Programme,
UCD School of
Archaeology
Examples of aerial orthoimages created from Heritage
Council funding.
LiDAR
Discovery Programme,
DoEHLG, Heritage
Council, Meath County
Council, RIA
Two different scales of LIDAR presented including:
fixed wing and a helicopter based collected data.
Cartographic presentation provides hill-shade as
primary record for interpretation, with user able to
turn this layer of it they need to view source DTM. Both
bare earth (DTM) and first return models available
(DSM).
MRSP Aerial
Discovery Programme,
Selection of orthophotos, and associated interpretation
from the MRSP landscape study of North Roscommon.
Base map
OSI
Multi scale background mapping to provide
geographical context to archaeological landscape data
Monuments
DoEHLG, DOENI-EHS
Sites and monuments record for Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland
Overview
OSI Data
Simple outline of Ireland to use as the overview map in
the WMA
Table 5-1 Web Map Services Created for SHARE-IT WMA
In addition to the mapping services created for the SHARE-IT WMA, additional mapping services will
be created for use within other map browsers or software for all the archaeological data sets. These
include:
•
•
Web Mapping Service (WMS) – OGC compliant map service that makes maps available in an
open and recognised way across many different platforms.
Web Coverage Service (WCS) – Map service that can be used within desktop GIS and ESRI
ArcExplorer, suitable for raster data, e.g. LiDAR
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•
•
Web Feature Service (WFS) - Map service that can be used within desktop GIS and ESRI
ArcExplorer , suitable for vector data, e.g. SMR
Keyhole Markup Language (KML) – XML based map service for use in Google Earth
BASE MAPPING
SELECTION OF BASE MAPPING
How you select your base maps, or background mapping is very important. As this data is present on
screen at nearly every point of the user experience considerations must be made to ensure rapid
refresh times. Two measures can be implemented; firstly several levels of base mapping data should
be used to enable the user to view the maps at different scale levels, and utilise their appropriate
map generalisations. Secondly, where possible, background mapping should be in raster format.
Unless the user requires access to the underlying attribute data of background mapping i.e. length of
a river, or they wish to add or remove background mapping layers to suit their viewing preferences,
the use of background mapping constructed for individual vector based layers can cause delays in the
map display. When producing maps based upon vector data each individual vector layer has to be
sequentially generated to build a single image, compared to raster data where the image is simply
displayed. Another factor that promotes the use of a raster background map is the nature of the data
you are displaying. As background mapping provides context and is generally not dynamic in nature
(i.e. updates to the data happen annually, not daily) the use of a static raster image is suitable.
Within the SHARE-IT project we were unable to avail of access to the OSi web mapping datasets that
would have provided ideal background mapping. For continued development beyond the scope of
this pilot study, access and use to more suitable OSi data sets will be secured (1:600,000 raster,
1:450,000 raster, and 1:210,000 raster data sets), however these maps may contain to much
information for this application and therefore must be tested with a user groups in the future. For the
purpose of the demonstrator all background data sets are vector based. OSi Data Utilised:
1:50,000 Discovery Series Vector Map Data
1:210,000 Vector Map Data
MAP DISPLAY PERFORMANCE
A fundamental consideration in the creation of web mapping application is the display performance
of the main mapping window. When selecting which map layers to display one must balance display
efficiency with the needs of the user. Can a simple map effectively convey information to the user as a
high resolution content rich map? To improve map display performance several data selections and
processes can be implemented.
SCALE DEPENDENCY
When creating the map for use within the SHARE-IT web mapping application care can be taken to
enable/disable mapping layers depending upon the users viewing scale. By limiting scale levels to the
appropriate amount, the display performance is increased as only selected layers are refreshed. An
example of this would be to disable the display of any 1:210,000 data layers beyond 1:50,000 as there
is a more suitable data set available. Scale dependency is also employed on individual mapping
elements to improve the viewing experience by the user. These include:
SMR monument point data is visible at 1:250,000 with their labels observable at 1:10,000.
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Contours for the 1:50,000 map data set are displayed in two different styles: only 50m
contour lines evident at 1:50,000 with all contour lines shown at 1:25,000. This rule is also
applied to features which are more suitable for viewing at larger scale e.g. smaller roads and
tracks are only displayed at 1:25,000.
All archaeological data sets including geophysics, aerial imagery and LiDAR data will be
represented by survey extents at smaller map scales. The scale at which the actual data
becomes visible is variable depending on the geographical extent of the data set and its scale
suitability (i.e. a geophysical survey of within a field would only be displayed at a much larger
scale in comparison to a 80km² LiDAR survey.
All scale levels are adjustable at a later date to improve user experience.
PRE-CASHING
Pre-caching data is the ability to store scale suitable pre-rendered map display information. This is
usually carried out on data that is not required to be dynamic in nature e.g. background mapping. By
pre-caching, or “precooking”, processing times required to render the map display are reduced to
about 33%79 are reduced. Two options are available when building a map data cache: pre-cache the
data within the server before the map data is available, or cache the information locally on the user’s
machine. The later option is an “on demand” routine and is often suited for web mapping application
that has lower user numbers and therefore less demand.
When generating a map cache a pyramid of different scaled rendered maps is created. At the top of
the pyramid is the map extent at its lowest resolution ( 1:2,000,000). Below this in the next pyramid
layer, each pixel is represented by 4 pixels and the display resolution increases (1:1,000,000) and the
third layer continues by increasing the resolution and doubling the scale (1:500,000). The number of
tiled images therefore increases by the power of two each time (see table 3-2). For the SHARE it
Project it was estimated that 11 zoom levels would be required by users to explore the data
effectively. If spatial data that requires a larger scale was introduced, e.g. excavation data, this would
need to be increased to 12 or 13 pyramid levels. The time taken to generate cached layers increases
as the number of levels increases and therefore must be tested upon a small area before resources
are committed to process the full map extent (see Table 5-2)
Map Levels
Number of Tiles
Scale Resolution
Processing Time (hours)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
1
4
16
64
256
1024
4096
16384
65536
262144
1048576
1:2,000,000
1:1,000,000
1:500,000
1:250,000
1:125,000
1:75,000
1:50,000
1:25,000
1:12,500
1:7,5000
1:4,000
0.001
0.01
0.05
0.1
0.8
4
10
50
100
700
3000
Table 5-2: Summary of information for the pre-caching of map levels
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For the purpose of the SHARE-IT WMA a small area of background mapping was pre-cached to
evaluate the effect on display performance. A slight display improvement was noticed, however, due
to the massive overhead in pre-caching the total data set it was decided that a for the purpose of the
pilot the effort to carry out this processing would not be suitable.
EXTERNAL DATA
MONUMENT DATA
SMR
Within the SHARE-IT web mapping application the SMR was downloaded from the DoEHLG
archaeology.ie web site and is symbolised within the WMA as vector point data. This representation
of the data, including the coordinates of each individual point and all the associated attributes of a
monument such as classification code are read dynamically from a RDBMS, in this case Microsoft
Access. Users are limited to viewing the following attributes for each SMR point object: SMR No,
Classification, Sub Classification Description, Inventory Notes, Registered, Excavated, National
Monument, although much of the data for the later fields is not present.
NI SMR
Similarly to the ROI SMAR, a copy of the northern Ireland SMR was acquired from the Department of
the Environment Northern Ireland - Environment & Heritage Services (DOENI-EHS). This data was
placed in the same database as the ROI SMR and represented on the WMA using similar cartographic
styles but different colours so users could differentiate between the two data sets. Users are limited
to viewing the following attributes for each SMR point object: SMR No., Classification, Period,
Townland, Site Name, Edited Notes, Summary, Condition and Threats.
EXTERNAL WEB MAP SERVICES (WMS)
As detailed above the source of both the ROI SMR and NI SMR was to obtain a copy of the database
from the suitable source and store and serve monument data from our server. If either the DoEHLG or
DOENI-EHS where to make changes or additions to their datasets this would not be reflected within
the SHARE-IT data, to do this an update would be required. A more suitable model for the supply
would be to implement a web services approach (see Section 4) where each legislative body would
store and edit their own database of monuments internally and allow SHARE-IT WMA to access their
data using interoperable machine to machine interactions, accessed over the internet. In this way any
new updates made by DoEHLG will be automatically represented in the SHARE-IT WMA.
Some web mapping services are currently in operation including the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)
WMS that provides access to most of the geological data for Ireland. Another web service that has the
potential to be implemented is the Placenames Database of Ireland (www.logainm.ie). It should be
possible to link OSi townland polygons to the web service to provide supplementary geographic
information e.g. Barony and Parish names, and the Irish version of all place names. Enquiries into its
use within the SHARE-IT project and archaeology as a whole has been welcomed and efforts are now
in place to affect this.
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REFERENCES
1
Archaeology in Ireland: A Vision for the Future, 2006. RIA
(http://www.ria.ie/committees/pdfs/archaeology/archaeology_forum_recommendations.pdf)
2
Review of Research Needs in Irish Archaeology, 2007. The Heritage Council
(http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/publications/Research_Needs/Research_Needs_in_Irish_Archaeology
.pdf)
3
The Heritage Council Strategic Plan 2007 – 2013 Consultation Document , 2006. Heritage Council.
4
Archaeology 2020. Repositioning Irish Archaeology in the Knowledge Society. 2006, UCD
(http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/archaeology_2020.pdf)
5
Sands, R, O’Sulliavan, A, and Kelly, E. P. 2006, Envisioning a Landscape: Investigating Lough
Derravarragh, Co. Westmeth, Final Report (Heritage Council Grant 14505).
6
http://www.ria.ie/policy/pdfs/RIA%20letter%20aerial%20photography.pdf
7
http://www.ec-gis.org/inspire/directive/l_10820070425en00010014.pdf
8
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California, USA, p 141
97
APPENDIX 1: SHARE-IT ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE
INTRODUCTION
This survey is being conducted as a means to understand the varying methods Irish organisations employ when
handling archaeology digital data. We hope to publish the results during the Summer, but all organisation
information (name, address) will remain confidential. We hope for this research to help pave the way for a more
substantial project proposal in the coming year.
This questionnaire is divided into seven sections:
Section 1. Asking you for details of the organisation.
Section 2. To tell us what access your organisation's employees have to the Internet.
Section 3. If and how your organisation obtains archaeological information in electronic form.
Section 4. Your opinions on what levels of access should be applied to others' information.
Section 5. What computers and programs you use to create your own archaeological information.
Section 6. How you archive digital versions of archaeological information.
Section 7. Your opinions on general issues regarding the re-use of digital data.
This questionnaire should take about 20 minutes of your time.
If you have any queries regarding this questionnaire, please contact Anthony Corns at email
[email protected] or telephone 01-6393039.
This project was supported by the Heritage Council under the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research
(INSTAR) Programme 2008.
Many thanks to ADS (Archaeology Data Service) for their help with this Survey.
98
SECTION 1: DETAILS OF YOUR ORGANISATION'S INVOLVEMENT IN IRISH ARCHAEOLOGY
1. On behalf of which organisation (and which department/branch/section within that organisation) are you
making a response?
Organisation:
Department/branch/section:
Address:
2. What is your position within the organisation?
SECTION 2: ORGANISATION’S ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
3. What access to the Internet is provided for staff?
56k modem/Dialup connection
Broadband
Don’t know
None
5. Does your organisation feel that the Internet (external email, web etc.) is useful to its activities?
Yes
No
Additional comments
SECTION 3: ACCESSING DIGITAL DATASETS CREATED BY OTHERS
6. Does your organisation obtain archaeological information created by others in digital format?
Yes
No
Don't Know
7. Does your organisation currently use digital governmental data available via the internet e.g.
www.archaeology.ie.
Yes
No
Not Aware
8. Does your organisation intend to use computers to obtain archaeological information?
Yes
No
Don't know
9. For what aspects of its work does your organisation currently use digital data created by others?
99
10. How would you like to use digital data in your organisation, in the future?
11. What prevents your organisation from using digital data more? Please tick the most appropriate boxes
Lack of hardware/software
Lack of IT advice in organization
Didn't know they were available
Data we want isn't available
No on-line connection
Too difficult to convert
Worried about copyright
Worried about security
Not required
Cost
12. Does your organisation pay to re-use others' data?
Yes
No
Possibly in the future?
If yes, please explain how much, when, and why
13. What training, regarding access to digital data, is provided by your organisation at present(e.g. Database, GIS,
Laser scanning)?
14. If further training were available, what areas would you like to see covered?
SECTION 4: ACCESS TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION IN DIGITAL AND OTHER MEDIA
15. Does your organisation currently create digital data for re-use by others?
Yes
No (Please go to question 17)
16. What digital data does your organisation hold that are available for re-use by others?
17. How does your organisation distribute this content (e.g. via Email, though the Web, mailed CD or DVD)?
18. What is your organisation's policy regarding (outside) access to information it creates/holds?
SECTION 5: DATA CREATION WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION
19. Do you (Please tick the appropriate boxes):
Create no digital data
Create digital versions of data produced by employees
Create digital versions of data produced by outside bodies/others
Re-use your organisation's and others' digital data
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20. At what stage of an archaeology excavation are digital practices introduced?
Pre excavation strategy
Documentary material
Previous excavation
Site prospection/assignment
Excavation
Data collection/field
Project administration
Post processing
21. Which sorts of archaeological data do you create, and of these data, which are digital?
22. Do you record/catalogue digitally onsite?
Yes
No (Please go to question 24)
23. Please list all hardware you use during this process (e.g. PDA, laptop computer):
24. Please list all software you use during this process (e.g. Database software, spreadsheets):
25. What software do you use to create text-based reports?
26. What software do you use to create catalogues/databases?
27. What software do you use to create images/graphics?
28. What software do you use to create surveys/GIS data?
29. How do you locate spatial data?
OSi ING co-ordinates, 12 figure
OSi ING co-ordinates, with letters
OSi ING co-ordinates, letters converted to 100km ref.
GPS (WGS 84)
OSi ITM co-ordinates, 12 figure
Unsure
Other please specify
30. Please list all standards you use during inventory and documentation (e.g. MIDAS data standard, other
thesauri)
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SECTION 6: HOLDERS OF DIGITAL DATA ARCHIVES
31. Do you currently archive your digital data (short and long-term)?
Yes
No
32. Have you adopted any recognised standards in the archiving of digital data?
33. Is metadata creation part of your data management strategy?
Yes
No
If yes please specify any metadata schema adopted (e.g. Dublin Core)
34. Approximately how much digital data do you hold? Tick one box only
0 < 50 MB
50 – 100 MB
101 – 1000MB
1 – 500 GB
500 – 1000GB
More than 1TB
Not sure
SECTION 7: OPINION ON GENERAL ISSUES REGARDING THE CREATION OF, MAINTENANCE,
AND ACCESS TO DIGITAL DATA
35. Should licensed excavators be obliged to produce and archive full digital datasets?
36. Should the use of standard thesauri of archaeological terms be encouraged in the creation of information
resources?
37. Is access to digital data important for archaeologists and the discipline?
38. Should the costs of creating a digital archive lie with the project funding body?
39. Should the costs of maintaining a digital archive lie with the project funding body?
40. Should costs be passed on to those wishing to re-use data in digital archives?
41. Should national bodies fund digital archiving services?
Thank You for your time.
The results from this survey will be published and sent to your organisation in the near future.
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APPENDIX 2: SELECTED INTERVIEWS
The following 3 interviews were carried out over the duration of the SHARE-IT project. The interviews are not
recreated verbatim, but rather are interpreted here in light of the overall goals of the project.
INTERVIEW 1: MARGARET GOWEN, MARGARET GOWEN & CO LTD & IAI
The following contains extracts from an Interview with Margaret Gowen of Margaret Gowen & Co Ltd. and the
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI). The words presented here are not verbatim, but rather consist of
the salient question and answers from the interview. Anthony Corns and Robert Shaw, or the Discovery
project conducted this interview under the SHARE-IT Project, funded by INSTAR. Questions 1-6 are directed at
commercial archaeology and questions 7 – 11 are directed towards the IAI.
Q1. What is your experience of accessing data that is collected under a commercial contract?
A1. It is very difficult, generally speaking the surveys that we have carried out commercially is done so as a
standalone effort with no reference to the surrounding data. The process involves narrowing down the area
via map-based work, followed by root selection or site selection. Usually this process involves data from OSI or
possibly collected during helicopter or fixed wing flights. Unless we have carried out the survey ourselves it is
very difficult to get access to this data. There is the possibility to planning files, however, the data should
probably be managed by the heritage body.
Q2. Do you think commercial data should be publically available?
A2. Absolutely; unreservedly, Yes. I appreciate there may be commercial sensitivity until such time as a
decision to grant has been given, however after a decision to grant has been given this data should be made
publicly available. I have discussed this at various forums saying when is a survey going to become part of the
record, however, although people agree, they maintain that there are not the adequate resources.
Q3. Is this view widely held?
A3. I don’t know exactly, there may be commercial and competition considerations.
Q4. Do you think that data should be archived and published if the commissioned under licence?
A4. Absolutely, there is no reason not to.
Q5. For the data you are collecting, do you have a long-term archival strategy?
A5. Yes.
Q6. Do you think an archival strategy is something that the company or state should pay for?
A6. If it involves major effort on behalf of the company then the company should probably be provided with
some form of grant. It would be good to develop as a professional standard with a set of guidance notes to go
with it.
Q7. Do you think the Department should take a leading role in designing and enforcing standards rather than
the IAI?
A7. No it should be developed by the IAI, no government body looks after professional standards.
Q8. Guidelines or Standards?
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A8. The submission of the material should be mandatory and the guidelines should attach to it. That is how it
working with reports. People will uphold standards once publically accessible.
Q9. In a commercial project who do you think should bear the cost of archiving, the state?
A9. No it should be part of the project design.
Q10. If there was the possibility of providing access, over the web for instance, would you publish your data?
A10. Absolutely; the website could have lower res possibly, and perhaps high res could be purchased to help
bear the brunt of the cost.
Q11. Who should host such a service?
A11. The department, as the IAI has not got the infrastructure, the department is the obvious place. What
really is required is an enormous GIS with everything broken unto layers.
INTERVIEW 2: MUIRIS DE BUITLÉIR AND PAUL WALSH, (DOEHLG)
The following contains extracts from an Interview with Maurice De Butler and Paul Walsh of Department of
Environment, Heritage & Local Government (DOEHLG). The words presented here are not verbatim, but
rather consist of the salient question and answers from the interview. Anthony Corns and Robert Shaw, of the
Discovery project conducted this interview under the SHARE-IT Project, funded by INSTAR.
Q1. What are your aspirations regarding and archaeology archive?
A1. What are the requirements? Does it warrant such ongoing expenditure? Across the world there are new
approaches being undertaking in relation to archiving data. For example, do we hold every single piece found
in the state in case somebody in the future might reuse it? If so we have to stop archaeology. There is a very
fundamental principle that should be established in this context. There are huge resources going into what
and who and when.
Q2. Could the cost be transferred onto commercial archaeology?
A2. Argue the fundamentals first. There is a case to be answered to what exactly are you trying to do?
Q3. If the excavation is state funded should the data not be publicly available?
A3. Say people do a plain cable survey, do they hold on to the site plan. The first inked up drawing, the second
up drawing and the site plan? If that’s the case then I think we’ve lost the run of ourselves. It can be culturally
specific, if the culture in a place changes then the archiving strategy may change. You examine your resources,
and say I have to fit into this amount, you choose your data and you throw the rest away. Also a lot of surveys
have their own practice, using different formats and methods (16 min).
Q4. Should there be guidelines for people gathering data?
A4. Or not, the final report is what the project requires. Anything that goes before that is condensed into
condensed into the final report; unless someone needs to dig and re-validate the report.
Q5. But with some geospatial information, there could be standards or approaches for maintaining or storing
that data?
104
A5. Is it more cost effective to dump data now and buy it again in 10 years when it is needed. When you
discuss spatial data you are reducing the parameters, although spatial data can be used to monitor change or
erosion over time. But we don’t capture digital data that way.
Q6. What would you recommend as the mechanism for increased capture or storage of archaeology data?
A6. In the current climate it is highly unlikely due to financial considerations. An Archive won’t live on its own.
Q7. What if the archive is held in the department but under the requisite of the licence the archaeologist has
to adhere to specific guidelines?
A7. Probably not. Currently any company that conducts surveys must be a respectable geo-physics company.
We don’t have the technical in-house expertise and expect that the work they are doing is competent and the
results accurate.
Q8. Is the final report publicly available?
A8. Yes
Q9. So could you extrapolate that backwards in that any data collected in that survey are publicly available?
A9. The report is the report. I am not exactly sure are there protocols in place in relation to certain time
periods and contractors. There is no mechanism in place for the deposition of archives with contractors or
archaeologists. There are two ways to approach this: Try to enforce standards or there is the professional way,
and I expect that this is the way archaeologists operate. They have their own body or professional institute,
which in a way sets the professional standards with its actions, formulations and education. The archaeologist
is licensed to do their job and I expect that they carry out their work professionally.
Q10. Do you think the heritage council should formulate guidelines?
A10. The IAI do this, it’s what they do.
Q11. How it the department incorporating the inspire directive into their workflow?
A11. We have operated to ISO standards for wildlife, archaeology and architecture. Each individual section is
incorporating the relevant GIS metadata into Arcview catalogue. This will be published on our own website
and in time with the EPA. Some are comfortable that we are Inspire compliant before we need to be.
Q11. Will these data be available as web services?
A11. Yes. The wildlife data is provided as a web service. Our ESRI stuff is web service enabled. Some of the
data is downloadable.
Q12. Are there any plans to enable the monuments as a web service?
A12. You can take it that we are in the process of doing that.
Q13. In the near future could we have the monuments enabled as a web service? To illustrate the possibilities
of web services?
A13. In principle, we hold that data on our website is correct and up to date. If a third party takes this data
and then adds value to this data, then the worry sets in that people will start using that data leading to the
possibility of complaint. We support this on principle but a document would need to be submitted.
Q14. What is the copyright on the OS first edition maps?
105
A14. They are out copyright. They are not on the website and I would have issue with this becausDISCOVERY
e if you put points on the first edition they do not coincide. We are not a map provider. You should use OS.
Q15. Under the new agreement are you getting the new version?
A15. No. There is a severe overhead to even archiving the three types of GIS data due to migration and
maintenance and persistence. What recommendations do you see emerging from this project?
Anthony Corns replies: The data should be formatted in a certain type and each dataset associated with the
appropriate metadata. As yet, there is no cultural component to the Inspire metadata.
INTERVIEW 3: SUSAN SCHREIBMAN, DIGITAL HUMANITIES OBSERVATORY (DHO)
The following contains extract from an Interview with of Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO). The words
presented here are not verbatim, but rather consist of the salient question and answers from the interview.
Anthony Corns of the Discovery project conducted this interview under the SHARE-IT Project funded by
INSTAR. Unlike the previous two, this interview was based mostly upon discussion rather than question and
answer. Here we summaries the most pertinent points of the discussion in relation to the SHARE-IT project.
Speaker: One of the big problems is that the archives are not equipped to deal with digital content. This was
such a big topic in the states because, as a librarian, you are expected to carry out your regular duties and on
top of this you are supposed to look after the digital content, which is not so easy – there are formats, storage
issues, staffing etc. There was a report by the NSF on Cyber Infrastructure that called for a new class of
professional the data curator who could effectively deal with these sorts of issues. They would be the person
who would be in charge of these issues, curate the data, migrate it, and decide when not to archive it because
some things are not archived. In the states they have been going through much sole searcher, archives and
archive schools because the view was that archivists are impersonal arbitrarists, but younger more avantgarde archivists maintain they do have an active role in archiving.
Q1. One of the things we are looking into is the different between guidelines and standards. From your
experience what body usually enforces or suggests guidelines or standards?
A1. My experience has been with this text-encoding initiative (TEI) which was very much driven by the
community, the arts, the humanities, etc. It has become the de-facto standard and in 2002 became a
consortium. Because of this the funding agencies now require the adoption of TEI. There could be an
opportunity to develop a community which could agree upon a set of standards, because you know that if
standards are mandated it is difficult to get some level of buy in. Part of our mandate is to suggest standards
but also to provide guidelines at every level of the implementation of that standard.
Q2. Have you thought of implementing the CIDOC CRM?
A2. I think I have looked at that before but we are only at early stages. The only decision that we have really
made is to use fedora common, the open-source repository I mentioned earlier.
One of the most problematic things is that when working with communities and the application of metadata, is
that one community will describe something differently than another, and that is their prerogative. Therefore
if you use a vocabulary from one community you may unintentionally isolate the other community. The
semantic web and hierarchical metadata may help to solve problems such as this.
Q3. Will you publish your data as web-services?
106
A3. Some projects may agree to that while others may not. This will depend on IP issues.
Q4. What is the policy of the academy when the pay for research to be carried out? Who owns the IP?
A4. I’m not sure. Again, these are all areas that are new and untested.
N.B. When discussing size and amounts of digital data.
Speaker: It’s interesting when you discuss the problem of space because it reflects the more avant-garde
approach to archiving and the notion of curation.
N.B. When discussing formats of digital data
Speaker: The librarian made DVDs about ten year ago, and I asked had she the re-mastered or the original?
She said she was not sure, but I think that is what you really want to archive. The files that do contain the
most original data but then you get into issues of size and storage.
107
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<abstract>The magnetic gradiometer survey has revealed the
presence of several archaeological features The first of these is a
large curvilinear positive anomaly to the south west of the survey area.
This probably represents a large sub circular ditch enclosure. Within
the core of this feature many overlapping positive anomalies remain
probably indicating the presence of human activity within this feature.
Two major circular anomalies are also present. 1. The smaller feature
(approximately 23m in dia.) consists of a circular positive anomaly,
with stronger values at the northern and southern sections of the
feature. This possibly represents a barrow/ditch feature. 2. The larger
feature (approximately 35m dia.) consists of a three concentric circular
features of positive anomily, with the inner most circular anomaly
having a strong positive value. Within the centre of the feature exists
a positive magnetic feature. This feature could possibly be a trivallate
barrow/ditch. To the south of these features evidence of three smaller
circular positive anomalies also is present (approximately 12m dia). The
relative strength of these features is less than two larger circular
features. There is no expression of any of the above features within the
current terrain surface. Also present within the survey area are a
number of parallel linear features (E - W and NNW - SSW) relating to
agricultural ploughing activity and evidence of a linear feature to the
north of the survey area that corresponds with the field boundary
present on the corresponding third edition 6 inch map sheet</abstract>
<purpose>The aim of the survey was to produce a detailed map
of the subsurface geophysical anomalies for the field adjacent to the
Tech Midcharta</purpose>
<supplinf></supplinf>
</descript>
<citation>
<citeinfo>
108
<origin>The Discovery Programme</origin>
<pubdate>2008-08-27</pubdate>
<title Sync="TRUE">M08R0207</title>
<ftname Sync="TRUE">M08R0207</ftname>
<geoform Sync="TRUE">Fgdb raster digital data</geoform>
<onlink Sync="TRUE">\\Disserver\GIS\GIS_DATA\Mapping\Raster
\GEOPHYSICS.gdb</onlink>
</citeinfo>
</citation>
<timeperd>
<current>ground condition</current>
<timeinfo>
<rngdates>
<begdate>2008-07-16</begdate>
<begtime>09:00</begtime>
<enddate>2008-07-18</enddate>
<endtime>18:00</endtime>
</rngdates>
</timeinfo>
</timeperd>
<status>
<progress>Complete</progress>
<update>None planned</update>
</status>
<spdom>
<bounding>
<westbc Sync="TRUE">-6.610983</westbc>
<eastbc Sync="TRUE">-6.607670</eastbc>
<northbc Sync="TRUE">53.583277</northbc>
<southbc Sync="TRUE">53.581622</southbc>
</bounding>
<lboundng>
<leftbc Sync="TRUE">291984.975000</leftbc>
<rightbc Sync="TRUE">292200.975000</rightbc>
<bottombc Sync="TRUE">259984.975000</bottombc>
<topbc Sync="TRUE">260164.975000</topbc>
</lboundng>
</spdom>
<keywords>
<!-- note that there is no suitable theme within the GEMET
Inspire selection therefore our own has been applied-->
<theme>
<themekey>Magnetometry</themekey>
<themekey>Geophysics</themekey>
</theme>
<theme>
<themekt>GEMET - Concepts, version 2.1, 2008-0613</themekt>
<themekey>Landscape</themekey>
<themekey>Archaeology</themekey>
<themekey>Cultural Heritage</themekey>
<themekey>Remote sensing</themekey>
</theme>
<place>
<placekt>Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
</placekt>
<placekey>Ireland</placekey>
<placekey>Leinster</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
</place>
109
<place>
<placekt>Placenames Database of Ireland, 2008
</placekt>
<placekey>Teamhair</placekey>
<placekey>Tara</placekey>
<placekey>Skreen</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
<placekey>An MhÃ</placekey>
<placekey>An ScrÃn</placekey>
<placekey>An Chabhrach</placekey>
<placekey>Cabragh</placekey>
</place>
</keywords>
<accconst>The Discovery Programme offers unrestricted access and use
of data without charge, unless specified in the documentation for
particular data. All other rights are reserved.</accconst>
<useconst>The Discovery Programme hold the copyright of this data.
Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or
redistribution without explicit written permission from The Discovery
Programme. Users should acknowledge The Discovery Programme as the
source used in the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets,
derived products, or services resulting from the use of this data. The
Discovery Programme also request reprints of any publications and
notification of any redistributing efforts.</useconst>
<natvform Sync="TRUE">File Geodatabase Raster Dataset</natvform>
<ptcontac>
<cntinfo>
<cntvoice>00 353 1 639 3039</cntvoice>
<cntfax>00 353 1 363 3710</cntfax>
<cntemail>[email protected]</cntemail>
<cntaddr>
<address>The Discovery Programme, 63 Merrion Square</address>
<addrtype>mailing and physical address</addrtype>
<city>Dublin</city>
<postal>D2</postal>
<country>Ireland</country>
</cntaddr>
<cntorgp>
<cntorg>The Discovery Programme</cntorg>
<cntper>Anthony Corns</cntper>
</cntorgp>
<cntpos>GIS Manager</cntpos>
</cntinfo>
</ptcontac>
<datacred>The Discovery Programme</datacred>
</idinfo>
<dataIdInfo>
<envirDesc Sync="TRUE">Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600)
Service Pack 2; ESRI ArcCatalog 9.2.1.1332</envirDesc>
<dataLang>
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</dataLang>
<idCitation>
<resTitle Sync="TRUE">M08R0207</resTitle>
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<eastBL Sync="TRUE">292200.975</eastBL>
110
<northBL Sync="TRUE">260164.975</northBL>
<southBL Sync="TRUE">259984.975</southBL>
<exTypeCode Sync="TRUE">1</exTypeCode>
</GeoBndBox>
</geoEle>
</dataExt>
<geoBox esriExtentType="decdegrees">
<westBL Sync="TRUE">-6.610983</westBL>
<eastBL Sync="TRUE">-6.60767</eastBL>
<northBL Sync="TRUE">53.583277</northBL>
<southBL Sync="TRUE">53.581622</southBL>
<exTypeCode Sync="TRUE">1</exTypeCode>
</geoBox>
</dataIdInfo>
<metainfo>
<langmeta Sync="TRUE">en</langmeta>
<metstdn Sync="TRUE">FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial
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<metstdv Sync="TRUE">FGDC-STD-001-1998</metstdv>
<mettc Sync="TRUE">local time</mettc>
<metc>
<cntinfo>
<cntorgp>
<cntper>Anthony Corns</cntper>
<cntorg>The Discovery Programme</cntorg>
</cntorgp>
<cntaddr>
<addrtype>The Discovery Programme, 63 Merrion Square</addrtype>
<city>Dublin</city>
<state>County Dublin</state>
<postal>D2</postal>
</cntaddr>
<cntvoice>0035316393039</cntvoice>
</cntinfo>
</metc>
<metd Sync="TRUE">20080827</metd>
<metextns>
<onlink Sync="TRUE">http://www.esri.com/metadata/esriprof80.html
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<metprof Sync="TRUE">ESRI Metadata Profile</metprof>
</metextns>
</metainfo>
<mdLang>
<languageCode Sync="TRUE" value="en" />
</mdLang>
<mdStanName Sync="TRUE">ISO 19115 Geographic Information - Metadata
</mdStanName>
<mdStanVer Sync="TRUE">DIS_ESRI1.0</mdStanVer>
<mdChar>
<CharSetCd Sync="TRUE" value="004" />
</mdChar>
<mdHrLv>
<ScopeCd Sync="TRUE" value="005" />
</mdHrLv>
<mdHrLvName Sync="TRUE">dataset</mdHrLvName>
<distinfo>
<resdesc Sync="TRUE">Downloadable Data</resdesc>
</distinfo>
<distInfo>
<distributor>
111
<distorTran>
<onLineSrc>
<orDesc Sync="TRUE">002</orDesc>
<linkage Sync="TRUE">file://\\Disserver\GIS\GIS_DATA\Mapping\Raster
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<protocol Sync="TRUE">Local Area Network</protocol>
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<formatName Sync="TRUE">File Geodatabase Raster Dataset</formatName>
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</distributor>
</distInfo>
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<direct Sync="TRUE">Raster</direct>
<rastinfo>
<rasttype Sync="TRUE">Pixel</rasttype>
<rowcount Sync="TRUE">720</rowcount>
<colcount Sync="TRUE">864</colcount>
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<rastbpp Sync="TRUE">32</rastbpp>
<vrtcount Sync="TRUE">1</vrtcount>
<rastorig Sync="TRUE">Upper Left</rastorig>
<rastcmap Sync="TRUE">FALSE</rastcmap>
<rastcomp Sync="TRUE">LZ77</rastcomp>
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<rastdtyp Sync="TRUE">pixel codes</rastdtyp>
<rastifor Sync="TRUE">FGDBR</rastifor>
<rastplyr Sync="TRUE">TRUE</rastplyr>
</rastinfo>
</spdoinfo>
<spref>
<horizsys>
<cordsysn>
<geogcsn Sync="TRUE">GCS_TM65</geogcsn>
<projcsn Sync="TRUE">TM65_Irish_Grid</projcsn>
</cordsysn>
<geodetic>
<horizdn Sync="TRUE">D_TM65</horizdn>
<ellips Sync="TRUE">Airy_Modified</ellips>
<semiaxis Sync="TRUE">6377340.189000</semiaxis>
<denflat Sync="TRUE">299.324965</denflat>
</geodetic>
<planar>
<planci>
<plance Sync="TRUE">row and column</plance>
<plandu Sync="TRUE">meters</plandu>
<coordrep>
<absres Sync="TRUE">0.250000</absres>
<ordres Sync="TRUE">0.250000</ordres>
</coordrep>
</planci>
<mapproj>
<mapprojn Sync="TRUE">Transverse Mercator</mapprojn>
<transmer>
<sfctrmer Sync="TRUE">1.000035</sfctrmer>
<longcm Sync="TRUE">-8.000000</longcm>
<latprjo Sync="TRUE">53.500000</latprjo>
<feast Sync="TRUE">200000.000000</feast>
112
<fnorth Sync="TRUE">250000.000000</fnorth>
</transmer>
</mapproj>
</planar>
</horizsys>
</spref>
<refSysInfo>
<RefSystem>
<refSysID>
<identCode Sync="TRUE">TM65_Irish_Grid</identCode>
</refSysID>
</RefSystem>
</refSysInfo>
<mdDateSt Sync="TRUE">20080827</mdDateSt>
<Binary>
<Thumbnail>
<img OriginalName="Data" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Anthony\LOCALS~1
\Temp\tmp2D.tmp" />
</Thumbnail>
</Binary>
<dataqual>
<lineage>
<procstep>
<procdesc>Zero Mean Traverse Despike Low Pass Filter Interpolate
</procdesc>
<proccont>
<cntinfo>
<cntorgp>
<cntorg>The Discovery Programme</cntorg>
<cntper>Anthony Corns</cntper>
</cntorgp>
<cntpos>GIS Manager</cntpos>
<cntaddr>
<addrtype>mailing and physical address</addrtype>
<address>The Discovery Programme, 63 Merrion Square</address>
<city>Dublin</city>
<postal>D2</postal>
<country>Ireland</country>
</cntaddr>
<cntvoice>00 353 1 639 3039</cntvoice>
<cntfax>00 353 639 3710</cntfax>
<cntemail>[email protected]</cntemail>
</cntinfo>
</proccont>
<procsv>Geoplot v3.0</procsv>
<procdate>2008/07/30</procdate>
</procstep>
</lineage>
<attracc>
<attraccr>Bartington Grad 601 Dual Sensor Range 100nT Effective
Resolution 0.03nT</attraccr>
</attracc>
<posacc>
<horizpa>
<horizpar>Geophysical survey carried out on a 20m x 20m grid sqaure
established by VRS NOW DGPS service using a standard timed pacing method
</horizpar>
</horizpa>
<vertacc>
<vertaccr>Geophysical survey carried out on a 20m x 20m grid sqaure
113
established by VRS NOW diferential GPS service</vertaccr>
</vertacc>
</posacc>
<logic>Instrument: Bartington Grad 601 Dual Sensor Grid size : 20m x
20m Method: Parallel Traverse Interval: 1m Sample Interval: 0.25m Survey
direction : N</logic>
</dataqual>
<eainfo>
<detailed>
<enttyp>
<enttypl>Magnetic Gradiometry</enttypl>
</enttyp>
</detailed>
</eainfo>
</metadata>
114
<!-- APPENDIX 3.2 ISO 19115 & INSPIRE Compliant Metadata XML: AERIAL ORTHOIMAGE DATA -->
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<!--<!DOCTYPE metadata SYSTEM
"http://www.esri.com/metadata/esriprof80.dtd">-->
<metadata xml:lang="en">
<Esri>
<CreaDate>20081125</CreaDate>
<CreaTime>15304200</CreaTime>
<SyncOnce>FALSE</SyncOnce>
<SyncDate>20081202</SyncDate>
<SyncTime>13252500</SyncTime>
<ModDate>20081202</ModDate>
<ModTime>13252500</ModTime>
<MetaID>{797E5EF7-4F3E-4E35-866D-77F1ABD457EB}</MetaID>
</Esri>
<idinfo>
<native Sync="TRUE">Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build
2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog 9.2.6.1500</native>
<descript>
<langdata Sync="TRUE">en</langdata>
<abstract>A high resolution LiDAR survey was
undertaken of a 1.7km (North-South) x 1.4km (East-West) area of Co.
Meath centred on the archaeological complex at Hill of Tara. The Survey
was carried out by BKS / Fugro using a helicopter mounted Flimap 400
sensor. The initial data-processing was carried out by BKS / Fugro
using FLIP7 software: the geodesy of the project computed and checked
and the data reviewed, filtered and classified to provide two ASCII data
sets - the first return and last return. The output ASCII files, simple
x,y,z Irish National Grid coordinate files, were supplied as tiled data
in order to facilitate data management and GIS processing procedures.
The data, covering an area measuring 1700 metres North-South by 1400
East-West (approx. 240 hectares) were split into 12 tiles, each
containing approximately 12 million Cartesian coordinates (3D data
points). This ASCII data were firstly imported into a Microsoft Access
database, from which it was displayed spatially within ArcMap 9.2 GIS
system. The triangulated irregular network (TIN) surface models were
created using the 3D Analyst application of ArcGIS and subsequently
converted into raster grids to enable faster display times and
processing. The grid tiles were then merged to form a single composite
DTM grids</abstract>
<purpose>The aim of the survey was to produce a
detailed digital terrain model of the Hill of Tara archaeological
complex in its landscape context</purpose>
</descript>
<citation>
<citeinfo>
<origin>The Discovery Programme</origin>
<pubdate>Unknown</pubdate>
<title Sync="TRUE">dtm_tara.tif</title>
<ftname Sync="TRUE">dtm_tara.tif</ftname>
<onlink Sync="TRUE">\\Disserver\GIS\GIS_DATA
\Mapping\Raster\DTM\HILL OF TARA\dtm_tara.tif</onlink>
<geoform Sync="TRUE">remote-sensing image
</geoform>
</citeinfo>
</citation>
<timeperd>
<current>ground condition</current>
<timeinfo>
115
<sngdate>
<caldate>2007-11-21</caldate>
<time>unknown</time>
</sngdate>
</timeinfo>
</timeperd>
<status>
<progress>Complete</progress>
<update>None planned</update>
</status>
<spdom>
<bounding>
<westbc Sync="TRUE">-6.622500</westbc>
<eastbc Sync="TRUE">-6.600883</eastbc>
<northbc Sync="TRUE">53.587323</northbc>
<southbc Sync="TRUE">53.571816</southbc>
</bounding>
<lboundng>
<leftbc Sync="TRUE">291243.000000</leftbc>
<rightbc Sync="TRUE">292642.000000</rightbc>
<bottombc Sync="TRUE">258902.000000</bottombc>
<topbc Sync="TRUE">260601.000000</topbc>
</lboundng>
</spdom>
<keywords>
<theme>
<themekt>GEMET - INSPIRE themes, version 1.0,
2008-06-01</themekt>
<themekey>Elevation</themekey>
</theme>
<theme>
<themekt>GEMET - Concepts, version 2.1, 2008-0613</themekt>
<themekey>Landscape</themekey>
<themekey>Archaeology</themekey>
<themekey>Cultural Heritage</themekey>
<themekey>Remote sensing</themekey>
<themekey>Digital land model</themekey>
</theme>
<place>
<placekt>Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
</placekt>
<placekey>Ireland</placekey>
<placekey>Leinster</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
</place>
<place>
<placekt>Placenames Database of Ireland, 2008
</placekt>
<placekey>Teamhair</placekey>
<placekey>Tara</placekey>
<placekey>Skreen</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
<placekey>An MhÃ</placekey>
<placekey>An ScrÃn</placekey>
<placekey>An Chabhrach</placekey>
<placekey>Cabragh</placekey>
</place>
<place>
<placekey>Hill of Tara</placekey>
116
</place>
</keywords>
<accconst>The Discovery Programme offers unrestricted access
and use of data without charge, unless specified in the documentation
for particular data. All other rights are reserved.</accconst>
<useconst>The Discovery Programme hold the copyright of this
data. Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or
redistribution without explicit written permission from The Discovery
Programme. Users should acknowledge The Discovery Programme as the
source used in the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets,
derived products, or services resulting from the use of this data. The
Discovery Programme also request reprints of any publications and
notification of any redistributing efforts.</useconst>
<natvform Sync="TRUE">Raster Dataset</natvform>
<ptcontac>
<cntinfo>
<cntperp>
<cntper>Anthony Corns</cntper>
<cntorg>The Discovery Programme</cntorg>
</cntperp>
<cntpos>GIS Manager</cntpos>
<cntaddr>
<addrtype>mailing and physical address
</addrtype>
<address>The Discovery Programme, 63
Merrion Square</address>
<city>Dublin</city>
<postal>D2</postal>
<country>Ireland</country>
</cntaddr>
<cntvoice>00 353 1 639 3039</cntvoice>
<cntfax>00 353 1 363 3710</cntfax>
<cntemail>[email protected]</cntemail>
</cntinfo>
</ptcontac>
</idinfo>
<dataIdInfo>
<envirDesc Sync="TRUE">Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1
(Build 2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog 9.2.6.1500</envirDesc>
<dataLang>
<languageCode Sync="TRUE" value="en"></languageCode>
</dataLang>
<idCitation>
<resTitle Sync="TRUE">dtm_tara.tif</resTitle>
<presForm>
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</PresFormCd>
</presForm>
</idCitation>
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<dataExt>
<geoEle>
<GeoBndBox esriExtentType="native">
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<northBL Sync="TRUE">260601</northBL>
<southBL Sync="TRUE">258902</southBL>
<exTypeCode Sync="TRUE">1</exTypeCode>
117
</GeoBndBox>
</geoEle>
</dataExt>
<geoBox esriExtentType="decdegrees">
<westBL Sync="TRUE">-6.6225</westBL>
<eastBL Sync="TRUE">-6.600883</eastBL>
<northBL Sync="TRUE">53.587323</northBL>
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<exTypeCode Sync="TRUE">1</exTypeCode>
</geoBox>
</dataIdInfo>
<metainfo>
<langmeta Sync="TRUE">en</langmeta>
<metstdn Sync="TRUE">FGDC Content Standards for Digital
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<metstdv Sync="TRUE">FGDC-STD-001-1998</metstdv>
<mettc Sync="TRUE">local time</mettc>
<metc>
<cntinfo>
<cntaddr>
<addrtype>mailing and physical address
</addrtype>
<city>Dublin</city>
<state>Dublin</state>
<postal>D2</postal>
<address>The Discovery Programme, 63
Merrion Square</address><country>Ireland</country></cntaddr>
<cntvoice>00 353 1 639 3039</cntvoice>
<cntperp><cntper>Anthony Corns</cntper><cntorg>
The Discovery Programme</cntorg></cntperp><cntpos>GIS Manager</cntpos>
<cntfax>00 353 1 363 3710</cntfax><cntemail>[email protected]
</cntemail></cntinfo>
</metc>
<metd Sync="TRUE">20081202</metd>
<metextns><onlink Sync="TRUE">
http://www.esri.com/metadata/esriprof80.html</onlink><metprof
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<mdLang>
<languageCode Sync="TRUE" value="en"></languageCode>
</mdLang>
<mdStanName Sync="TRUE">ISO 19115 Geographic Information Metadata</mdStanName>
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<mdChar>
<CharSetCd Sync="TRUE" value="004"></CharSetCd>
</mdChar>
<mdHrLv>
<ScopeCd Sync="TRUE" value="005"></ScopeCd>
</mdHrLv>
<mdHrLvName Sync="TRUE">dataset</mdHrLvName>
<distInfo>
<distributor>
<distorTran>
<onLineSrc>
<linkage Sync="TRUE">file://\\Disserver
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<protocol Sync="TRUE">Local Area Network
</protocol>
<orDesc Sync="TRUE">002</orDesc>
</onLineSrc>
118
<transSize Sync="TRUE">0.000</transSize>
</distorTran>
<distorFormat>
<formatName Sync="TRUE">Raster Dataset
</formatName>
</distorFormat>
</distributor>
</distInfo>
<distinfo>
<resdesc Sync="TRUE">Downloadable Data</resdesc>
<stdorder>
<digform>
<digtinfo>
<transize Sync="TRUE">0.000</transize>
<dssize Sync="TRUE">0.000</dssize>
</digtinfo>
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</stdorder>
</distinfo>
<spdoinfo>
<direct Sync="TRUE">Raster</direct>
<rastinfo>
<rasttype Sync="TRUE">Pixel</rasttype>
<rowcount Sync="TRUE">16990</rowcount>
<colcount Sync="TRUE">13990</colcount>
<rastxsz Sync="TRUE">0.100000</rastxsz>
<rastysz Sync="TRUE">0.100000</rastysz>
<rastbpp Sync="TRUE">32</rastbpp>
<vrtcount Sync="TRUE">1</vrtcount>
<rastorig Sync="TRUE">Upper Left</rastorig>
<rastcmap Sync="TRUE">FALSE</rastcmap>
<rastcomp Sync="TRUE">None</rastcomp>
<rastband Sync="TRUE">1</rastband>
<rastdtyp Sync="TRUE">pixel RGB</rastdtyp>
<rastplyr Sync="TRUE">TRUE</rastplyr>
<rastifor Sync="TRUE"></rastifor></rastinfo>
</spdoinfo>
<spref>
<horizsys>
<cordsysn>
<geogcsn Sync="TRUE">GCS_TM65</geogcsn>
<projcsn Sync="TRUE">TM65_Irish_Grid</projcsn>
</cordsysn>
<planar>
<planci>
<plance Sync="TRUE">row and column
</plance>
<plandu Sync="TRUE">meters</plandu>
<coordrep>
<absres Sync="TRUE">0.100000
</absres>
<ordres Sync="TRUE">0.100000
</ordres>
</coordrep>
</planci>
<mapproj><mapprojn Sync="TRUE">Transverse
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250000.000000</fnorth></transmer></mapproj></planar>
119
<geodetic>
<horizdn Sync="TRUE">D_TM65</horizdn>
<ellips Sync="TRUE">Airy_Modified</ellips>
<semiaxis Sync="TRUE">6377340.189000</semiaxis>
<denflat Sync="TRUE">299.324965</denflat>
</geodetic>
</horizsys>
</spref>
<refSysInfo>
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<refSysID>
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<spatRepInfo>
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120
<!-- APPENDIX 3.3 ISO 19115 & INSPIRE Compliant Metadata XML: LiDAR DATA -->
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<abstract>A high resolution LiDAR survey was
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Meath centred on the archaeological complex at Hill of Tara. The Survey
was carried out by BKS / Fugro using a helicopter mounted Flimap 400
sensor. The initial data-processing was carried out by BKS / Fugro
using FLIP7 software: the geodesy of the project computed and checked
and the data reviewed, filtered and classified to provide two ASCII data
sets - the first return and last return. The output ASCII files, simple
x,y,z Irish National Grid coordinate files, were supplied as tiled data
in order to facilitate data management and GIS processing procedures.
The data, covering an area measuring 1700 metres North-South by 1400
East-West (approx. 240 hectares) were split into 12 tiles, each
containing approximately 12 million Cartesian coordinates (3D data
points). This ASCII data were firstly imported into a Microsoft Access
database, from which it was displayed spatially within ArcMap 9.2 GIS
system. The triangulated irregular network (TIN) surface models were
created using the 3D Analyst application of ArcGIS and subsequently
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<purpose>The aim of the survey was to produce a
detailed digital terrain model of the Hill of Tara archaeological
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121
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<placekt>Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
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<placekey>Ireland</placekey>
<placekey>Leinster</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
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<place>
<placekt>Placenames Database of Ireland, 2008
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<placekey>Teamhair</placekey>
<placekey>Tara</placekey>
<placekey>Skreen</placekey>
<placekey>Meath</placekey>
<placekey>An MhÃ</placekey>
<placekey>An ScrÃn</placekey>
<placekey>An Chabhrach</placekey>
<placekey>Cabragh</placekey>
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<place>
<placekey>Hill of Tara</placekey>
122
</place>
</keywords>
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Programme. Users should acknowledge The Discovery Programme as the
source used in the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets,
derived products, or services resulting from the use of this data. The
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<postal>D2</postal>
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</cntaddr>
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123
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124
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125
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126
APPENDIX 4: UCD DATA REPORT FOR SHARE-IT
PROJECT
CURRENT UCD SCHOOL OF ARCHAEOLOGY SPATIAL DATA STRATEGY
In many respects the simple answer to this question is that we do not have a coherent single strategy.
Projects have been producing data and have independent methodologies for storage and backup.
However, the danger and lack of long term sustainability of this approach had been recognised. For
example, as part of one of our Heritage Council funded research projects comment was passed on
how cumulative value was in danger of being lost without some coherent methodology of storing
results that transcended the scope of individual projects. Consequently, the opportunity to partner in
the Share-IT initiative has been both timely and warmly welcomed. Similarly, opportunities to
continue funding this initiative are fundamental to realizing the synergies that can be gained by
developing cumulative repositories with single frames of reference, in this case geospatial.
SPATIAL DATA HELD AND USED IN UCD SCHOOL OF ARCHAEOLOGY
In the last three years three projects have acquired, processed and utilised aerial photographic data.
The largest of these projects resulted in 180 images at over 1 GB each – flights at 7,500 photo scale
and images scanned at 14 microns. In all cases the flights were commissioned and data processed in
house. Similarly, in the past we have produced and used geophysical data have both magnetometer
and resistivity equipment at our disposal – our creation and use of this data will increase over the
next few years. With the acquisition of survey grade GPS equipment and an increasing reliance on GIS
means that nearly everything the School is involved with has a geospatial element either as a
producer (depositing data in Share-IT) or as a consumer (utilising Share-IT as a geospatial server).
In addition to being a producer of data we are also a consumer of other data sources. As an example
another recent INSTAR project (Boyne Catchment GIS Project) while gathering primary environmental
data (again geospatially contextualized) is also utilising LiDAR data from Meath Co. Council. In some
other countries the value of developing a consistent unified approach to geospatial data is now well
understood (the Netherlands being a particular case) allowing for both research and policy to evolve
in a cumulative fashion without some of the breaks to progress inherent in more fragmented
structures. In some respects it is hoped that SHARE-IT underscores the value of finding mechanisms to
open out all publically funded geospatial information in line with the European INSPIRE framework.
Certainly, it is true to say that up until now one of the breaks on good research and the limitations on
adding value to existing work has been the difficulty of finding appropriate data to complement newly
generated material. Even when such data exists it may not easily be available and often incurs
relatively high cost – either monetarily or in terms of time.
127
WORKFLOWS, FRAMEWORKS AND OUTPUTS
Share-IT has allowed for the emerging development of suitable workflows and outputs summarized in
the following steps:
1.
Specification of appropriate data packets for different types of spatial data.
2.
Adoption of core standards – crucially this has been conceived with a light hand making it
easy to comply with the essential core metadata.
3.
Ingestion of materials with the potential of multiple outputs ranging from archival formats to
end user orientated formats.
4.
Adoption of robust geospatial server technology in conjunction with configurable and
customizable interfaces.
The UCD School of Archaeology experience of providing data has so far been limited to the output of
aerial photography projects. In this context, from a producer’s perspective, the most complex part is
not really anything to do with Share-IT but derives from the time it takes to make the product
maximally usable this can be summarized as follows:
1.
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) production – from a photogrammetric perspective this can be
time consuming and involves considerable manual intervention to derive a satisfactory model.
2.
Rectification is relatively straight forward once the DEM is derived and processed.
3.
Tiling and consistency. Producing tiles of a consistent size and reasonably consistent quality,
light balance etc. can be time consuming and requires a reasonable amount of manual intervention to
get right.
4.
Metadata additions – practically this is very straight forward and with geospatial data having
a relatively mature metadata standard it is easy to make the results of an aerial project compliant and
recoverable.
5.
Passing the data to SHARE-IT – with increasing capacities available relatively cheaply both on
and off-line initial loading of data (assuming it has been correctly processed) is relatively trivial.
In reality it is only the last two steps that are a necessary consequence of Share-IT on the general
workflow – steps 1-3 should be part of an aerial project and the tiled result should be a natural
deliverable. SHARE-IT’s input to these steps if anything should relate to encouraging standards and
facilitating uniformity as far as is possible.
CURRENT ON-LINE INTERFACE, USE AND REQUIREMENTS
Despite being on a testing server the current system responds well. The available layers switch on and
off tolerably quickly and the interface is simple and uncluttered as one has come to expect from
previous iterations of the ESRI web based GIS. The current querying suite is limited but as this is a
pilot that is to be expected and more sophisticated ways of finding resources is to be expected once
the future of SHARE-IT can be established. What follows is a list of points, issues and potential
requirements; in many respects these points represent a stream of consciousness as the system was
being used.
128
1.
This may have been missed by the user but a particularly useful aspect of desk based GIS is
the ability to zoom to the extents of a layer and it would also be welcomed in the on-line system.
2.
Point one raises a argument about scaling the system and the extent and nature of the map
content tool panel, what dictates this? And how is it managed if SHARE-IT is a long-term success?
3.
Following on in some respects from point 2 can the system read local configuration e.g. if a
user has a regular area of interest is it possible to have any ability to retain that? Similarly can
multiple views be retained on a user by user basis?
4.
Is it possible within a system such as this to temporarily add local data i.e. while much
information will be added to the system as a result of the outcome of a project there may be
occasions where the data is not ready to be disseminated through SHARE-IT but the project needs to
work up that data against the extent of the current SHARE-IT offering.
5.
It is assumed that some of the more complex issues noted above will have an
alternative/parallel solution because SHARE-IT will also act as a geospatial server that can be attached
to through desk based clients.
6.
It is currently not clear how data attribution, contact etc. are to be derived from the data
viewed – clearly this aspect is still one that extends well beyond the technicalities of use and strikes at
the heart of a successful on-going facility – the current partners are happy to share their data and
there is a general recognition that exposure of data actually facilitates improved research. However,
the challenge of creating appropriate ownership and use should not be under estimated (see below).
7.
Outputs and printing – in the current pilot set up the ability to output data or produce
tailored printable product is a little limited and it would be good to know what is achievable in this
regard.
8.
One final comment – in many respects this short review of possible functionality is limited a
little by being uncertain as to what is possible with the purely on-line facility and what is better left to
desk based system using SHARE-IT as a geospatial server.
THE FUTURE OF SHARE-IT A PERSONAL VIEW
In the opinion of the current author SHARE-IT has three key drivers that are at the heart of the future
of SHARE-IT:
1.
It demonstrates the key binding quality of geospatial frameworks to archaeological data. In
doing so it demonstrates not only a mechanism but also the ease with which standards may be
applied to facilitate resource recovery across multiple data sets.
2.
The chosen technology demonstrates that not only can data be stored it can also be accessed
easily via on-line GIS interfaces – allowing even non-specialist users to obtain effective product from
multi-layered data sets. As these interfaces are configurable the scope for adapting the on-line front
end to emerging user need is already built in.
3.
Because of adherence to metadata standards policy makers and users do not necessarily
have to think in terms of monolithic silos. Access to the material from desktop GIS packages could
attach to multiple geo-spatial servers – an obvious example would be the developments seen in the
way that Monuments now hold their data. This model allows for all the functionality of a desk based
GIS and the advantage of attaching to multiple sources each one of which is maintained by the group
129
mostly closely related to the data being served. As an aside this model of delivery becomes even more
attractive as fully functional thin client approaches to software delivery become a practical realty.
4.
As mentioned above one of the challenges posed by a project such as this will be ownership
and appropriate use frameworks. In this respect it might be worth exploring the applicability of
Creative Commons to overcome some of the issues and to provide a readymade underpinning of
potential legal issues.
5.
Last but not least the future success of SHARE-IT rests on ownership, responsibility and
funding. The community currently involved sees nothing but positive outcomes arising from the
cumulative building of geospatial resource which is free at the point of use (perhaps with a not for
profit proviso). In would seem to be a truism that commonly useful material output from projects,
already paid for, should be accessible and reusable. If not there is some question as to the reason for
paying for them in the first place. Geospatial output from projects is one range of data that will
consistently provide useful input into new projects. The quality and results from the resultant projects
will be better as a consequence of a more coherent approach to data storage and dissemination.
130
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