Reference : Reinventing the wheel? Data management system for archaeological collections
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Computational Sciences
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/34947
Reinventing the wheel? Data management system for archaeological collections
English
Pagi, Hembo mailto [Archaeovision]
Sikk, Kaarel mailto [University of Tartu]
25-Apr-2014
No
International
Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 2014
from 22-04-2014 to 25-04-2014.
Paris
France
[en] We often think that we can do better than our predecessors. Over the last five months we have
been working with a new archaeological data management system (called TARA) for the
Archaeology Department of the University of Tartu in Estonia. Are we reinventing the wheel?
Some years ago Stuard Eve presented the Archaeological Recording Kit (2008), a very flexible
system, which can handle differently structured archaeological data. There are several other open
source systems available. Time has passed and many new and useful web technologies are
outperforming the classic PHP/MySQL approach.
Our goal was to create the system where all the data structure could be modified without the
need of a developer or writing any line of code. At the same time we strive to provide a good
user experience and flexibility. Main keywords to describe the design principles of TARA: unrestricting,
unstructured, extendable, interconnectable (with non-textual media), fast, scalable. At
the moment all of the department’s data management is done using MS Excel spreadsheets.
The main task of the the project is to get rid of the spreadsheets and merge it into system which
provides a similar user experience via a web-based user interface. About 95% of the users are
consumers of data, hence finding something fast is of utmost importance. The group of users
acting as collection managers are doing data entry and for them very simple data-entry forms
and workflows are created.
The technical approach has taken benefits from many new web technologies and approaches.
The RESTful API ensures all the data being easily accessible from outside the application and
enables us to create different output layers, such as OIA-PMH. The database system is a nonrelational
and no-SQL database, which makes many data-related procedures more flexible and
faster. For a better user experience client-site data rendering is used. This is based on different
. js-frameworks. All technologies used are open source - so is our project outcome. The project
team contains developers who are specialised on museum- and cultural heritage related webapplications
and two archaeologist with computer science background.
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/34947
Talk about development of archaeological collections management infosystem for University of Tartu. The system (TARA) is designed so that the data structure could be modified without the need of a developer or writing any line of code. At the same time we strive to provide a good user experience and flexibility. Main keywords to describe the design principles of TARA: unrestricting, unstructured, extendable, interconnectable (with non-textual media), fast, scalable. At the moment all of the department’s data management is done using MS Excel spreadsheets. The main task of the the project is to get rid of the spreadsheets and merge it into system which provides a similar user experience via a web-based user interface

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