Poster Title

ShovelWare: Providing an archaeological field research management system through a Function-as-a-Service cloud

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Institution

Western Kentucky University

KY House District #

98, 100

KY Senate District #

18

Department

Computer Science Department

Abstract

ShovelWare is a project designed for an ongoing field research project analyzing the Bronze and Iron Ages of Mongolia. Accessible through a web interface and cross-platform mobile application, it is a replacement for pencil-and-paper data collection and excessive, error-ridden input into digital spreadsheets. In the Mongolia project, pottery, bronze tools, human bones, artifacts tied to burial mounds, monuments, deer stones, rock art, habitation sites, and agricultural animal bones benefit from instant digital recording. Information taking further evaluation includes carbon dating of horse teeth and analysis of carbon, strontium, and oxygen isotopes, however entry into the consolidated project database assists in expediting the process.

Features include importation and exportation of existing Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. This enables ShovelWare to blend together data from previous field seasons and provide backups of data. Deploying ShovelWare on smart tablets allows for use of features such as automatic collection of metadata in the form of GPS coordinates and timestamps; additionally, it allows for access to a camera, microphone, and further features such as computational power and barometric sensors. The management structure hierarchically organizes specific Notebooks within broader Projects. Notebooks hold three forms of notes: Text, Audio, and Photo. Tagging photo notes instantly is superior over captioning photos of artifacts hours or days after recording.

Although ShovelWare emphasizes archaeology, the project structures can be used in any discipline. The mobile applications are designed for use in remote places with no internet connectivity, so databases between multiple tablets attempt to locally synchronize before synchronizing with the entire project post-field season. Data storage and project service hosting was accomplished through the use of various AWS services. Along with making internal data sharing amongst a project easier, ShovelWare allows archaeologists to share their findings globally.

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ShovelWare: Providing an archaeological field research management system through a Function-as-a-Service cloud

ShovelWare is a project designed for an ongoing field research project analyzing the Bronze and Iron Ages of Mongolia. Accessible through a web interface and cross-platform mobile application, it is a replacement for pencil-and-paper data collection and excessive, error-ridden input into digital spreadsheets. In the Mongolia project, pottery, bronze tools, human bones, artifacts tied to burial mounds, monuments, deer stones, rock art, habitation sites, and agricultural animal bones benefit from instant digital recording. Information taking further evaluation includes carbon dating of horse teeth and analysis of carbon, strontium, and oxygen isotopes, however entry into the consolidated project database assists in expediting the process.

Features include importation and exportation of existing Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. This enables ShovelWare to blend together data from previous field seasons and provide backups of data. Deploying ShovelWare on smart tablets allows for use of features such as automatic collection of metadata in the form of GPS coordinates and timestamps; additionally, it allows for access to a camera, microphone, and further features such as computational power and barometric sensors. The management structure hierarchically organizes specific Notebooks within broader Projects. Notebooks hold three forms of notes: Text, Audio, and Photo. Tagging photo notes instantly is superior over captioning photos of artifacts hours or days after recording.

Although ShovelWare emphasizes archaeology, the project structures can be used in any discipline. The mobile applications are designed for use in remote places with no internet connectivity, so databases between multiple tablets attempt to locally synchronize before synchronizing with the entire project post-field season. Data storage and project service hosting was accomplished through the use of various AWS services. Along with making internal data sharing amongst a project easier, ShovelWare allows archaeologists to share their findings globally.