DINAA Project at Digital Humanities 2013: Open Context and North American Site Files


While Sarah and Eric Kansa are busy finishing up field work and “data wrangling” at Poggio Civitate, our colleagues and collaborators will discuss the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA) project at the 2013 Digital Humanities Conference.

Josh Wells (PI) will take part in a session Current Research & Practice in Digital Archaeology (organized by Ethan Watrall) to give an overview of DINAA and our progress thus far. The DINAA presentation is titled: An Introduction to the Practices and Initial Findings of the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA).

We’ve made some good progress in enhancing Open Context to support map-based browsing of data. This will be an important feature for navigating and visualizing data compiled by the DINAA project. We’re testing (WARNING! NOT READY FOR PRIME-TIME) some of these map-based browsing features here:

  • Example 1: Counts of items classified as cattle (Bos taurus)
  • Example 2: Percentage of cattle (Bos taurus) at sites in the Near East compared to all items with a biological classification

Again, we’re still only in early stage testing now, and there are lots of interaction bugs and issues to solve to make this feature more useful and less frustrating. This feature uses Leaflet (and open-source Web mapping library) and GeoJSON (a very popular and open geospatial data format).

We should also note that GeoJSON has some of its roots in developments Sean Gillies made for the Pleiades gazetteer of ancient world places. GeoJSON is just one of the great outcomes of Pleiades, and a major contribution of the digital humanities toward Web technologies. With DINAA, we’re very excited to follow in these footsteps!