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Institute for Digital Archaeology Method & Practice

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Discussion group for the members and faculty of the NEH Funded Institute for Digital Archaeology Method & Practice ( organized by Michigan State University’s Department of Anthropology and MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences

Virtual Valdivia

This topic contains 25 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Eric Kansa 5 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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    Sarah M. Rowe

    Thanks for the bootstrap suggestion. It really is pretty easy to use, and there are lots of tutorials out there to help. I’ve created the general framework for the site (bilingual!) and worked on some style things. I’ll start filling out the actual content soon. The big challenge will be to create a query script that will allow people to search the database and pull relevant records (you know, the critical thing for this project). It’s all up on GitHub, which is very easy to use once I figured out that it’s a drag and drop system.

    I think I’m going to bit the bullet and get a site through Reclaim Hosting. I spoke with someone from IT at my university on Tuesday and they said they don’t think faculty will ever get web space – they can’t control what faculty put up there and they aren’t convinced that faculty websites “add value” to the institution (I had to restrain myself from a table flip with that comment).

    While I get that all figured out, though, I’d like to host Virtual Valdivia with Matrix, for the institutional stability if nothing else.


    Ethan Watrall

    Share the URL of the GitHub repo!

    Reclaim is good. Your university’s stance on webspace is spectacularly stupid

    I’m happy to provide you space…just tell me what you want the domain to be (…or is this something we’ve already talked about and I’m forgetting)


    Sarah M. Rowe

    Yes, we’d talked about

    My GitHub repo is Right now it’s just the webpage, but csv files for the data will be going up soon!


    Ethan Watrall

    You should generate a site on that repo using GitHub pages (

    I’ll go ahead and request that domain for you.


    Sarah M. Rowe

    Done. Y’all can access it at


    Maria Bruno

    In an effort to contribute to the commons, I’ve just been reading through these feeds and this one is has been helpful. Sarah, I am scared about coding too but your page looks great, you give me hope!! Last week I used a template in gh-pages to start mine but I might go check out some of those Bootstrap templates as well. Thanks for sharing your repository and page! My page will also probably be bilingual, so it is great to see how you dealt with that. Hopefully I’ll have something to share soon as well.


    Sarah M. Rowe

    Thanks Maria! I used these video tutorials to get me started: Bootstrap 3 Responsive Tech Site. Starting from scratch was daunting, but getting a basic structure up let me see the ways that I could adjust it to how I need it. Looking forward to seeing yours!


    Sarah M. Rowe

    Okay, I have the rough outline of a website, and I have a CSV file with the raw data about each sherd included in the ceramic database. The next step is to figure out how to make the two things interact with one another. I think this means that my next step is creating some sort of search function through Bootstrap in which different search fields query different columns of the CSV file in order to return the results that people are looking for (if you search for bowls you’ll see all the bowls, if you search for 20-36 diameter vessels you’ll see all of those). I think I can handle that part.

    Jolene retweeted a link for turning a CSV into an API. I need to untangle what this actually means and if it’s a step I need to take (suggestions appreciated).

    Ideally I would like the query to return not just the raw data, but also an image of the ceramic in question. I’m not sure the best way to do this.

    And the last thing I have to figure out is how I want the data returned – some pretty layout on the screen that people can browse through, or simply a compiled CSV that they can download (or both) – and then how to make that happen.

    Once again, bumbling through it all.


    Jolene Smith

    Hello Sarah!

    Re: databases, you are wanting something queryable with images. I’m using KORA, and your data is similar to mine, although mine is related to all kinds of sites, statewide.  But it may also work nicely for you.

    You’ll want to think about your data types and the kinds of information you want to capture for all the types. It sounds like your information could run the gamut- grey literature, field notes, data about objects. All of those types of information will need different sets of metadata to go with them (or schema, in KORA language). I know you weren’t able to make it to the August workshop, but the tutorial by Katherine Foley for KORA is detailed and wonderful. I’ve gone through it more than once. I have no idea who’s on whose team w/r/t mentoring. So you may already be in touch with Katherine.

    Omeka might also be a worthwhile option to investigate. There’s less latitude for how you view the information, but the sites are attractive and it’s easy to set up. You can download it and host it yourself or host it on their server (basic accounts are free). I’m using Omeka for another project that will be more like a digital exhibit.

    There are other options, too. These are just the first that came to mind because I have direct experience.

    You could do it all DIY in an xml database, but that might take more programming legwork (and, speaking from experience, I know I have to be pragmatic about how much time and effort I can spend on my project in the short-term).

    Regardless of what option you choose, you can always get your information out again and translate it into another kind of database.

    I hope this is helpful and I’m not telling you anything obvious that you already know!


    Sarah M. Rowe

    I will look into KORA some more. At its core, this is basically the DB from my diss, that I’m trying to turn into a more accessible format that people can add to and interact with. I’m a little afraid of going over board.


    Eric Kansa

    Hi all,

    If you images are on the web, you can put links to the images into your data. You’ll need a little scripting to add the HTML “img” tag to turn those into images a browser will display. You can do this with some javascript.

    Depending on the size of your data, you may just want to load the whole data table and then have a little javascript library manipulate it for sorting, filtering, etc. So, no need to mess with an API for a small dataset, APIs are mainly useful when things get big and it’s not feasible to download the whole thing all at once.

    If you need, Open Context can show your data records and associated thumbnails nicely.  Here’s an example:—24-vessel#14/43.1586/11.3976/18/tile/Google-Satellite

    And the same data as very simplified GeoJSON (easy turn this into a table):—24-vessel&response=geo-record

    You’ll see the thumbnail link for each record.













    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  Eric Kansa.
Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)

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