Issue 20, Editorial

Judith Winters *

Cite this as: Winters, J. 2007 Editorial, Internet Archaeology 20.

This issue has closed with the publication of Joining the Dots: Continuous Survey, Routine Practice and the Interpretation of a Cypriot Landscape by Michael Given, Hugh Corley and Luke Sollars from the University of Glasgow reporting on the findings from the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project (TAESP). The publication contains web-based GIS and databases to provide a complete landscape data set and a fully integrated interpretative text carefully grounded in current landscape theory and is the second LEAP exemplar to be published.

As noted previously, the aim of LEAP is to investigate ways in which electronic publication can provide broad access to research findings in the arts and humanities, and make underlying data available so that readers are able to access online archives to test interpretations and develop their own conclusions. Each examplar interprets and tries to achieve this aim in slightly different ways. In the first exemplar in issue 19 (Whittlewood), supporting files (PDFs) held in the digital archive were linked directly from the article text, while the GIS permitted users to search and run queries on content also held in the archive. Now in the second exemplar (TAESP), alongside the spatial searching that can be carried out within the article, elements of the archive (image files) are retrieved directly from finds database searches presented both within the article narrative and via query forms. A lot of hard work has gone into this resource and we are pleased with the way it has turned out but your comments on how this translates into the user experience are very welcome and in fact and are vital to future projects and journal development.

TAESP was highly complex but has given us several valuable lessons that should benefit the remaining LEAP publications with ADS as well as future journal articles. It has also tested our servers to their limit and pending tests, we will be upgrading the GIS software that the article relies on so heavily in the next few weeks. This upgrade will also enable us to more effectively deliver the GIS contained within another article in this issue by Steve Baker. This outstanding resource, allowing the user to view the Trent Valley palaeochannel data against the backdrop of either Ordnance Survey 1:50 000 maps or aerial photographs, will not be any different from the user perspective but enables us to deliver the more complex and 'big' datasets that are just part of archaeologists' day-to-day creations. In fact limitations of GIS has been the theme of the season as far as discussions go with ADS colleagues (who develop the GIS interfaces for Internet Archaeology) and it also features in the article by Ebert who cites it as one of the reasons why there has been little application of temporal aspects in predictive modelling in archaeology. Generally speaking, an adjustment of approach often provides a path to the solution. This is certainly the case as argued by Vann and Thomas who set out the archaeological rationale behind developing a generic methodology to enable the consistent recognition, recording and description of animal palaeopathological data. And finally, Holly Wright introduces us to SVG and its potential within archaeology, using previously published Internet Archeology material to demonstrate the format's capabilities. But even here, despite SVG being a W3C standard, limitations play their part and the SVG in the article is only supported by certain browsers. So, archaeologists are not the only community needing an adjustment of approach!


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Last updated: Mon Jul 30 2007