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Thursday, March 16 • 10:50am - 12:30pm
Web-based Infrastructure as a Collaborative Framework across Archaeological Fieldwork, Lab work, and Analysis (Part II)

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(Part II) Archaeology is a collaborative, ongoing process from field to lab to dissemination. Fieldwork comprises data recording experts using diverse non-digital and digital methods that produce a complex set of data. Archaeologists use these field data for a myriad of purposes such as analysis, interpretation, and dissemination. While digital technologies have been part of the archaeological workflow for more than thirty years, the management and integration of field data, legacy, and other data is still complex. Archaeologists are looking for shareable methodologies that allow for the integration of innovative digital practices for fieldwork recording and subsequent data management, analysis, and dissemination. Recent advancements of web technology are transforming web browsers into effective computation and visualization platforms. For example, web browsers now efficiently execute JavaScript code enabling faster and greater processing as it is processed on client side requiring less memory storage than web servers. HTML5 standard includes WebGL-- a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D computer graphics in browsers without plugins. These advancements are two ways technology is transforming the ways it is possible to access and work with 3D archaeological data on the web. This session fosters a discussion on the potential for web technology to reshape archaeological practice as it enables us to more quickly and efficiently bridge fieldwork, lab work and analysis through innovative data integration and dissemination. Participants address questions such as: (1) Can web technology augment or facilitate the integration of 3D documentation techniques in on-site archaeological recording? (2) Can web-based 3D platforms increase collaborative and interpretative processes during the excavation? (3) Which kind of infrastructure(s) best promote the integration of 3D digital methods in the day-to-day fieldwork practices? Papers will discuss the use of web-based platforms as one of the possible solution to combine traditional and innovative methods to promote collaborative fieldwork. For example, certain infrastructures allow researchers unable to participate in the fieldwork experience to access and conduct analysis remotely, hence promoting interdisciplinary and ‘at-distance’ collaborative workflows. Building on this idea of remote participation, the second part of the session focuses on web-based infrastructure (platforms) for the integration, analysis, and dissemination of archaeological data. Participants address questions such as: (1) What web-based platforms exist for collaborative archaeological research? What are their advantages? Disadvantages? (2) Is a single, all-encompassing platform the best solution? Is it even possible? Or, it is best to have several platforms that serve specific purposes? Why? Why not? (3) What role do standards and best practices play in developing web infrastructure that brings together legacy and recently acquired field data? And (4) Should we place greater emphasis on designing collaborative workflows for existing platforms rather than the development of new platforms? This session covers themes that contribute to re-defining archaeological methods and practices for on-site data recording and subsequent data integration and dissemination that can foster collaborative research. The session will be divided into panels focused on specific digital archaeology problems. Each panel will comprise three/four 10-15 minutes presentations followed by an open discussion.

Thursday March 16, 2017 10:50am - 12:30pm EDT
SCE 216 Student Center East