electronically gathering survey data in the field
Basically, it's a digital notepad that records everything written both on a regular notepad and in a file which can be exported to a format of your choosing on the computer. I thought that something like this would have been handy when I've been on a project and the office has wanted to have the crew's field notes in their hands at the end of the work day (I'm talking actual shovel test writeups, unit profile drawings, etc). Some SHPOs also want to see the original notes as well, and in the past I've had to laboriously photocopy everyone's notes for the state, client, or to include within the appendix of a report. If someone made a weather-resistant version of a digital notepad like this, it would be interesting to see if it could benefit field applications in CRM.
I know that some folks have quite successfully used various types of data loggers in other fields like forestry. I'd like to know if any of you have used some kind of electronic tool to keep track of your actual survey data while in the field for easier data manipulation later. I vaguely remember a discussion here on archaeologyfieldwork.com awhile back where someone discussed there being an actual software package made for this express purpose within CRM applications. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to see if any of you are going beyond just letting your crew scrawl notes on paper or in a notebook to record all of that shovel test data...
Post ID#6927 - replied 4/16/2008 2:40 PM
I currently am working on designing a comprehensive database and field collection methodology for a huge site in Italy (bay of Naples region). Trying to balance the international differences in technology and traditional archaeological methods is even more daunting than working with a US contract company. In this particular case we are trying to make a long term project where different research teams would come and work as well as get the data out to researchers and the public in a digital and timely form. Trying to develop a technology component that anyone in the world could use is daunting to say the least.
Just some thoughts for folks. I do know of a few software packages that have been designed specifically for archaeologists but none of them have taken off with great success yet. I wait to hear other peoples posts about this topic.
Post ID#6928 - replied 4/16/2008 2:46 PM
At least with a paper pad you can almost always retrieve the data.
Post ID#6929 - replied 4/16/2008 2:49 PM
Post ID#6932 - replied 4/16/2008 3:31 PM
My colleagues and I surveyed 2000 ac. of Ancient Lake Cahuilla shoreline a few years ago, identifying over 1500 cultural resources. Each of these were documented as they were encountered, both digitally and manually. We kept pocket field books to record the pertinent info, while digital photos, and gps data were collected and then stored in daily folders on the computer. If any particular day went missing, we only had to replicate that day's effort, not the entire project's. In fact we did lose part of a day's gps data - the reason is still unknown - but we were able to identify the exact resources missing, and were able to relocate those precisely because we had excellent photos to work from (you know, those surface/in situ photos that some think are a waste of time), and excellent notes to corroborate with.
But certainly I like having technology out in the field, it does make some things easier to accomplish - no more having to wait a week for the photos to come back from the lab only to find out that you set the ISO speed incorrectly and all the photos are washed out or should've been pushed two stops - digital lets you know you blew it right away. But having an old faithful as a standby will always pay off when trouble strikes.
Post ID#7070 - replied 4/24/2008 5:38 PM
Post ID#9111 - replied 6/24/2008 2:46 AM
Post ID#9409 - replied 7/3/2008 4:54 PM
Enter "GIS camera" in Google and see what you get. Wow, talk about getting more bang for the effort expended to take a photo.
I have not worked with these things yet, but they look promising.
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