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

Stefano Costa steko@iosa.it
Wed Jun 7 09:52:55 CEST 2006

Il giorno dom, 04/06/2006 alle 17.24 +0200, Giancarlo Macchi ha scritto:
> Benjamin:
> 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.

I fear that many still think of GIS just as a tool to collect and store
data (this is what I call a bureaucratic approach). One of the base
assumptions of this approach is that we just have to "collect" data that
are already out there, which personally I don't share.
Do you remember the definition of "PaleoGIS" that was given more than 10
years ago? Nowadays - generally speaking - archaeologists are still
paleousers, not just in terms of applications (things like spatial
analysis are rarely matter of teaching), but also for what concerns the
understanding of the conceptual framework that lies behind the use of a
Again, I find it somewhat odd that 95% (a random high number, we could
discuss about this too) of archaeological computing is related to
geospatial applications.

> But...
> 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 Fronza’s paper during the
> workshop.

Giancarlo, I think this is the key concept, at least one of the key
concepts that we should discuss together here on this mailing list. Glad
to see Vittorio subscribed, too.

And, briefly, I assume that the lack of formats means a lack of
formalization. If we accept this being correct, we should also ask
1) Why ?
2) Can we get through and solve this situation ?

If we don't accept my previous argument, and we assume that there is a
defined data structure, or there are such elements to build it straight
and clean, we should still be asking whether there is a relationship
between the "two boxes" that contain data:

* box #1: conceptual framework, data structure
* box #2: technical framework, digital file format

And - related to one of my previous posts - are these 2 really distinct

Best regards, Stefano

Stefano Costa
http://www.iosa.it Software Open Source per l'Archeologia
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