Make it Useful, Make it Usable: Heritage, Archaeological, and Museum Data in the 21st Century

Make it Useful, Make it Usable: Heritage, Archaeological, and Museum Data in the 21st Century

(Talk given at UCL Digital Heritage 'Big' Data Hacking and Visualisation conference http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/calendar/articles/2016-17-events/digital-heritage-workshop)

Over the past 40 years, scholars, projects, and institutions have become stewards of vast amounts of digital archaeological and heritage data that provides critical insight into the human past. Up until fairly recently, much of the discussion surrounding these data has focused on issues of storage, preservation, and limited scholarly access. While these questions are still pressing, the narrative of digital data in archaeology and heritage has expanded.

The challenge with which we are now being faced doesn’t have to do so much with data itself, but how data should be provided, presented, and consumed by a wide variety of stakeholders and constituents. How do we make data available to those who wish to use it? Who should be able to use data? Under what terms should data be made available for use? What are the ethical considerations surrounding digital data in heritage and archaeology? What technical approaches can be used to make data available? How can scholars and institutions encourage the public to engage with heritage and archaeological research and questions through data. Is the public merely a consumer in the lifecycle of heritage and archaeological data? All (and many more) are pressing questions that need to be thoughtfully and practically addressed.

This talk will attempt to parse these challenges and explore the ways in which scholars and institutions can make heritage and archaeological data both useful and usable to a broad array of communities and stakeholders.

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Ethan Watrall

May 22, 2017
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Transcript

  1. 1.

    MAKE IT USEFUL, MAKE IT USABLE HERITAGE, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, & MUSEUM

    DATA IN THE 21ST CENTURY ethan watrall | michigan state university | dept. of anthropology 
 matrix: the center for digital humanities & social sciences | @captain_primate
  2. 17.

    Used the General Retrieval and Information Processor for Humanities Oriented

    Studies (GRIPHOS) system to provide information storage, search, and retrieval infrastructure for AAS site files, the Harrington Caddoan collection (housed in the National Museum of the American Indian), AAS faunal collection, and AAS human skeletal collection AAS @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  3. 18.

    ➊ HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE HAD ONLY JUST REACHED THE POINT

    WHERE THEY WERE BARELY ADEQUATE FOR DEALING WITH ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION ➋ FACILITIES TO SUPPORT THESE SORTS OF UNDERTAKINGS WERE EXCEEDINGLY RARE ➌ THERE WASN’T A CONSENSUS AMONG ARCHAEOLOGISTS AS TO WHAT TYPES OF DATA SHOULD BE STORED AND HOW THAT DATA SHOULD BE COLLECTED @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  4. 19.

    ➊ HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE HAD ONLY JUST REACHED THE POINT

    WHERE THEY WERE BARELY ADEQUATE FOR DEALING WITH ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION ➋ FACILITIES TO SUPPORT THESE SORTS OF UNDERTAKINGS WERE EXCEEDINGLY RARE ➌ THERE WASN’T A CONSENSUS AMONG ARCHAEOLOGISTS AS TO WHAT TYPES OF DATA SHOULD BE STORED AND HOW THAT DATA SHOULD BE COLLECTED @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  5. 27.

    METADAT DIRECTED GRAPH NOTATION3 APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFAC RESOURCE DEFINITION FRA

    RIPT OBJECT NOTATIONEXTENSIBLE MA SPARQL ENDPOINT NTOLOGY LANGUAGE RDF QUERY LANGUAGE CIDOC-CRM OAI-PMH RESTFUL API CA RDF TRIPLES TERSE RDF TRIP XML SCHEMA SEMANTIC WEB STANDRD @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  6. 29.

    MAKE IT USEFUL, MAKE IT USABLE HERITAGE, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, & MUSEUM

    DATA IN THE 21ST CENTURY ethan watrall | michigan state university | dept. of anthropology 
 matrix: the center for digital humanities & social sciences | @captain_primate
  7. 30.

    MAKE IT USEFUL, MAKE IT USABLE HERITAGE, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, & MUSEUM

    DATA IN THE 21ST CENTURY ethan watrall | michigan state university | dept. of anthropology 
 matrix: the center for digital humanities & social sciences | @captain_primate
  8. 36.

    THE OPEN WEB No permissions required to stand up a

    site or a web application. No proprietary software required to view. Open protocols, open standards, no gatekeepers. Decentralization @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  9. 47.

    METADAT DIRECTED GRAPH NOTATION3 APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFAC RESOURCE DEFINITION FRA

    RIPT OBJECT NOTATIONEXTENSIBLE MA SPARQL ENDPOINT NTOLOGY LANGUAGE RDF QUERY LANGUAGE CIDOC-CRM OAI-PMH RESTFUL API CA RDF TRIPLES TERSE RDF TRIP XML SCHEMA SEMANTIC WEB STANDRD @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  10. 56.

    The principle that knowledge should be spread freely. Its growth

    should come from developing, altering, or enriching already existing works on the basis of sharing and collaboration without restriction OPENNESS @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  11. 82.

    WE NEED TO BUILD TOOLS THAT FACILITATE BROAD ENGAGEMENT WITH

    DATA ➊ @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  12. 85.

    SILOS = BAD (a grain solo, just in case you

    didn’t know) @captain_primate | #GEFbigdata
  13. 86.

    FIN Dr. Ethan Watrall Department of Anthropology MATRIX: The Center

    for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences Michigan State University @captain_primate (THE END)