This group is a place for discussion among site file managers, curators, collections managers, and archaeological archives professionals at the U.S. state government level (and anyone else interested).
Online Site File Databases Roundup
August 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm #812
Since this is a perennial question as agencies create new systems and improve old ones, tell us about your state’s site data availability.
Application: VCRIS, custom
Launch Date: 2013
Description: VCRIS (Virginia Cultural Resources Information System is a custom-built web application with a SQL Server database backed connected to an ESRI viewer. We’ve got both architecture and archaeological data in this system. You can see what the map looks like (architecture points and limited data) here without login, but access to full architectural records is tiered and tied to paid organization licenses. Feel free to let me know if you have any quesitons. More info is also here. We look forward to continually improving the system.August 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm #815
Ours (SC SHPO/ Dept of Archives and History) is a work in progress. We’ve got an online GIS (http://www.scarchsite.org/Default.aspx) which shows archaeological sites for subscribers (the sites are blocked in public view), some of which link to PDFs of the site forms. Which is pretty useful! Although it doesn’t always work smoothly. The site files themselves, like the State Archaeologist, are housed at University of South Carolina (http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/sciaa/front-page).August 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm #816
We are not online yet, though it’s one of the things we’ve been working toward the last few years. I’m really hoping to learn from other states what works (and what doesn’t) as we move forward with it. It’s looking like we’ll be somewhat limited to the structure the state govt already has in place, which is an Oracle DB and ArcGIS online. In the meantime, our site file is at our Division offices here in Nashville.August 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm #817
Thanks to you both for contributing! One of the great things about this Commons group is the ability to set up websites and share documents within. This topic might be a really great candidate for expansion in one of those directions since we’re all continually doing research on the subject. I can’t wait to read more responses.August 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm #818
Question for those of you digitizing things- how are you funding your projects?August 25, 2016 at 6:33 pm #819
Our system is similar to that of South Carolina aparently, we have our first phase of online system up currently. We have an online ArcGIS (OARRA) which is subscriber based. All of the sites and surveys in the GIS have links to (should be searchable) PDFs. We have an online site form/isolate form submission system that works, but has a few problems. All of our systems were made specifically for us in house. As far as above ground resources, their list of historic properties is available online but I don’t believe much of the files have been digitized and attached. Everything is kept with us here at OPRD.September 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm #828
Jamie, I’d be interested to hear more about your online site form submission process. We’re in the process of trying to streamline our site form submission/site number request process right now.September 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm #829
Virginia’s site form process is also fully online. I’m about to redo the user documentation in much more detail, but here’s the very quick user guide (PDF) from 2013 if it’s helpful for anyone.September 15, 2016 at 11:58 am #830
So Jolene, in that process the data they submit goes directly into your site info database (after review of course), is that correct? Ultimately that’s what we’d like to have, but it may be a while yet before our database is online. I’m looking at options to improve our submission process in the meantime. Currently, we simply have people submit word documents which then need to be edited and formatted and images/maps added. We enter the data into the database and draw in the site boundaries ourselves, unless someone voluntarily sends a shapefile (which people are increasingly doing). Our paper site forms are just printouts of those word documents, but I’d really like to shift to a one-page basic data site form that is generated from the database.September 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm #831
Paige- yes. Our site forms have been fully electronic in a relational database since the mid-90s, actually. In this newest iteration of our system, users enter their information directly and also digitize site boundaries (or upload shapefiles) directly. I QC each record in two steps and then assign the site number at the end. As soon as approve it’s all live in the system (and the it checks for required fields before users submit, which is a HUGE time saver). In our old system I used to digitize everything from graphic maps or upload shapefiles from users, so not having to spend time on mapping is also wonderful. Paper site forms are PDF reports generated from the database.
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