[Fwd: Re: Articolo su Archeologia e Open Source]

Giancarlo Macchi macchi@unisi.it
Sun Jun 4 17:24:27 CEST 2006

Dear all: at last I've got time and opportunity to drop a post.

Thank you for the list!

I fully agree with you on the topic of GIS applications in archaeology. For
example here in Italy ArcView arrived in the mid 90s. From that moment, all
major archaeological groups adopted this kind of technology eradicating
definitively any sort of chance for a serious and solid quantitative spatial
approach. Today we are experiencing some sort of emptiness: many
archaeologists had put a lot of money and resources on GIS projects but they
don’t know what to do with collected data. We may yet call it an
Archaeological Methodological (scientific?) crisis.
However, I agree with you that OS/FS application offer you a field where you
need some level of comprehension and understanding of methodological
processes. I mean you just can run GRASS (or almost every OS/FS scientific
application) without knowing exactly what you are supposed to accomplish.

I think that formats are indeed the ISSUE. Simply because many of future
applications rely of data accessibility. Nevertheless, here in Italy, we have
two major problems. Government copyrights and jealousy and envy among
colleagues: a pity situation. I hope that new licenses like Creative Commons
and Science Commons will dramatically change the scenario. Why? Simply because
giving access to your data offers you more advantages than drawbacks. There is
no better copyright than public access to everybody.
And answering your questions:
The data is there.
At the moment there is no common project to store this data in formats fully
accessible 10 years from now.
I think that most data is recorded in unsecured non-redundant strategy. Worst
of all, you should know that many projects are researcher reliant. Which means
that if the researcher quits no one would be able to manage, use or work with
the data. 100 years: are you kidding!

Please take into account difficulties that can be read between the lines of
Stefano first issue. Formats are important, but data structure is more. At the
moment there is no shared data structure for archaeological data in this
country. This was the sense of Vittorio Froza’s paper during the workshop.



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