Tech Week: Online Databases and Data Sharing

It’s Tech Week on the Blog and the Technology Committee has something special in store. We have brought together three innovators in the field of online databases and data sharing, and have asked each author to answer a question:

Where do you see online databases and data sharing in five to ten years? What role do you see your respective organization playing in the larger field of archaeological data sharing and online databases? What major hurdles do you think stand in the way of wide scale acceptance and use of online databases in the archaeological community?

Our contributors:

Mark Freeman from Stories Past

  • Mark has worked with the National Park Service and a range of other groups to develop online databases for everything from data driven research databases to interactive education modules. Primarily working with museums and governmental agencies, Mark represents the cutting edge in online databases and data sharing.

Jillian Galle from the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS)

  • DAACS, which is based in Monticello’s archaeology department, is one of the largest and most respected online databases for Historical Archaeology. Starting in 2000, when many archaeologists hadn’t even thought of online databases, DAACS was working hard to provide researchers information that would normally take years to get. Jillian has been the DAACS project manager for twelve years and is a pioneer in online databases and data sharing.

Adam Brin and Frank McManamon from the Center for Digital Antiquity

  • When you think of online databases and data sharing, the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is probably one of the first things that come to mind. Adam and Frank work with a wide range of database professionals and archaeologists, and have created an extensive database for everything from digital documents to data sets to GIS files. tDAR represents a digital repository for archaeological data from all over the world. Perhaps the largest archaeological database, tDAR is constantly working to bring more information to researchers and to expand our understanding of the history and prehistory of the world.

Each author has provided us with an interesting view point from their own personal experience and organization. By looking at each post, it should be possible to get a good understanding of where data sharing has come from, where it is going, and what is on the horizon. We encourage you to read the posts and join in the conversation in the comment section or on Twitter, using the #SHAtechWk hashtag.

Click on the banner at the bottom of each post to return to this page! Thanks for reading, and enjoy Tech Week!

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About Jonathan Libbon

Jonathan received his master's degree in Applied Archaeology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a focus on cultural resource management. His thesis investigated the consumption strategies of enrollees in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He is currently living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and working for AK Environmental. He is a member of the SHA Technology Committee and is currently the Social Media Liaison for the Tech Committee. His personal research interests include twentieth century sites, farmsteads, geophysical applications in CRM, and landscape archaeology.