University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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SDI: A perspective from a UK archaeological unit
Paul J Cripps

Last modified: 2011-12-18


As one of the largest archaeological units in the UK, Wessex Archaeology create and use a significant amount of digital data. As identified in the session abstract, much of this data has a spatial component. In order to make best use of this data, WA are currently implementing a Spatial Data Infrastructure to underpin much of our work and business processes. This paper presents this SDI as designed, the archaeological processes supported, how it works currently and it will work as modules are added, and how it draws upon and will ultimately provide information to external agencies.

The paper will cover the theoretical and practical aspects of design and implementation with emphasis on requirements, workflow, software and hardware platforms.

Finally the paper will explore some potential avenues for further improving access to information from third parties more generally (APIs, web services, distributed systems, etc), specifically looking at the ways in which SDI principals and technologies could be applied to local Historic Environment Records and the National Monuments Record, Wessex Archaeology being significant consumers of data from such sources.


SDI; archaeological unit; HER; SMR excavation; evaluation; survey; desk based assessment; spatial data management