[open-archaeology] Fwd: Heritage Method Store Proposal

Anthony Beck ant.beck at gmail.com
Mon Sep 20 15:30:27 UTC 2010

Oops. Didn't realise my work account wasn't registered



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anthony Beck <A.R.Beck at leeds.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 4:06 PM
Subject: Heritage Method Store Proposal
To: "open-archaeology at lists.okfn.org" <open-archaeology at lists.okfn.org>,
"Michael Doneus (michael.doneus at univie.ac.at)" <michael.doneus at univie.ac.at>,
"rachel.opitz at googlemail.com" <rachel.opitz at googlemail.com>, "
wlodekra at amu.edu.pl" <wlodekra at amu.edu.pl>, "nina.heiska at tkk.fi" <
nina.heiska at tkk.fi>, "gianluca.cantoro at gmail.com" <
gianluca.cantoro at gmail.com>, "dart-investigators at comp.leeds.ac.uk" <
dart-investigators at comp.leeds.ac.uk>, "Dr. Axel Posluschny" <
posluschny at rgk.dainst.de>, Cameron Neylon <cameron.neylon at stfc.ac.uk>, "
jo.walsh at ed.ac.uk" <jo.walsh at ed.ac.uk>, Dave Cowley <
Dave.Cowley at rcahms.gov.uk>, "j.p.mills at newcastle.ac.uk" <
j.p.mills at newcastle.ac.uk>, "remondino at fbk.eu" <remondino at fbk.eu>, Keith
Challis <k.challis at bham.ac.uk>, "ahzcb at granby.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk" <
ahzcb at granby.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk>, "anthony at discoveryprogramme.ie" <
anthony at discoveryprogramme.ie>, "robert at discoveryprogramme.ie" <
robert at discoveryprogramme.ie>, "mikeheyworth at britarch.ac.uk" <
mikeheyworth at britarch.ac.uk>, "antiquist at googlegroups.com" <
antiquist at googlegroups.com>
Cc: "ant.beck at gmail.com" <ant.beck at gmail.com>

Apologies for cross posting:

Dear All,

At the Aerial Archaeology Research Group conference I suggested we produce a
methodology store. The aim of such a resource is to stop the community
“re-inventing the wheel” by sharing methodologies and algorithms, to provide
a place where methodology can be discussed and developed, to provide an
audit trail for developments and an ability to “fork” methodologies in light
of different localities, technologies, to be able to provide links between
methodologies developed at different scales or for different environments
etc. I discussed this with colleagues and collaborators at the Open
Knowledge Foundation (OKF: particularly the Open Archaeology group – which I
recommend you join), the Remote Sensing and Photogrametry Society (RSPSoC),
the Council for British Archaeology and colleagues with a professional
interest in these topics (Jo Walsh at Edina and Cameron Neylon at the
Science and Technology Facilities Council). In addition members of the EU
funded ArchaeoLandscapes project (http://www.archaeolandscapes.eu<
http://www.archaeolandscapes.eu/>), which had a meeting directly after AARG,
were also supportive. The support for this initiative has been overwhelming.
The above constitutes the what and why for a heritage methodology store: the
issue seems to be not a matter of “if” we do this but of where, how and who.

For the Where I would suggest we do this under the umbrella of the Open
Knowledge Foundation (OKFN: http://okfn.org/). This means that it’s clear
that the resource is about openness and applies to all methodologies rather
than just the specifics about a single interest group. Jonathan Gray is the
community co-ordinator for OKFN. Jonathan: What do you think? Is this
possible/desirable? What are the cost/resource implications. Comments from
anyone else?

The How is likely to be the most difficult questions. We can use a range of
different technologies. Stefano Costa has suggested a wiki, which is a
simple and easy tool. At the other end of the spectrum we could use
something like MyExperiment or GitHub (software management). MyExperiment
allows the production of digital workflows that can transform data with
algorithms (something that would be very useful for those of us doing
numerical analyses – like the heritage remote sensing specialists). However,
this may provide too much clutter for other users. Between these two tools
are a spectrum of other technologies that may be useful (Stack Overflow,
Mahara, etc.). However, the point is to build a community around the content
that are prepared to discuss and improve methodologies (hence – an indexing
service of available methods is not adequate). In the short term I feel that
we should use tools that are accessible to a large audience rather than
exclusive to a technologically sophisticated audience. This stops us being
too prescriptive and allows us to extend tools as the community requires
them. I’m sure a number of you have much more experience than I do in this
area: please feel free to comment on this?

For the who, I’m happy to run with this in conjunction with the DART PhD
students. I’ll put up a shout if things become difficult.

For completeness I have also included members of Antiquist in this
discussion. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your own heritage
special interest groups. However, it would be good if conversations were
threaded to the Open Archaeology list at open-archaeology at lists.okfn.org
<mailto:open-archaeology at lists.okfn.org>.

Best wishes and many thanks for all your help and support

Anthony Beck
Research Fellow
DART Project
School of Computing
University of Leeds

DART has 3 fully funded PhD studentships advertised. More details at
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