One of the cardinal rules of programming is that things are never as simple as they seem. Many people asked if I could add a location feature to Archaeo-Pad and since I’d already built location based Apps thought it would be pretty straightforward. And adding the map forms and latitude/longitude was. The trouble is that people don’t actually use Lat/Long and a quick review of UK and US practice revealed that I’d need to convert the GPS coordinates into OS Grid References (with and without the Grid Letters) and UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator).
Not being a geographer or cartographer I very nearly gave up a that point, but fortunately the internet and open source software came to the rescue and provided me with modules that, with a little tinkering, I could incorporate into Archaeo-pad. So thanks are due to Chris Veness for the OS Grid conversion and Timothy Gu for UTM.
New version now live on iTunes and Google Play
It took a bit of a nudge from Apple (who removed the App from the Appstore for going too long without an update) but I have finally managed to update Calleva with the details of the last few digging seasons.
A lot has changed, since I wrote the App as part of the ‘Careers in Archaeology Module’ at Reading. Then we were in the last year of a 25 year exploration of Insula IX, the section I worked on was well into the Iron Age and had uncovered a defensive ditch from the pre-Roman settlement.
Now if you go to Silchester there’s just grass where there used to be a massive hole! But happily, after a short break to investigate Marden Henge in Wiltshire, Reading have returned to Silchester, finding a previously unknown temple with mystery placement of Nero stamped tiles, and last season re-excavating the bath house.
For the full story see https://research.reading.ac.uk/silchester/ or download the Calleva App to take a tour.
Archaeopad is a collection of Apps designed for and with archaeologists. I’m an IT specialist who’s been studying for a part-time degree in Archaeology at the University of Reading and have become fascinated with the challenges, and potential benefits, of putting my IT skills to use in the field.
Archaeologists need applications that blend a practical, robust approach with sound academic content, a suitable challenge for any designer/developer.
Skelly-Pad is designed for osteologists to record skeletons in the lab or in the trench, and has proved particularly useful for fragile human remains that need to recorded and measured in situ.
Level-Pad is a very simple App for recording and calulating levels, designed to let you get on with the interesting stuff.
All my Apps are available on Apple and Android devices – if there’s an App you’ve always wanted but not ahd time or inclination to write – let me know!
Skell-Pad was built to form the basis of my undergraduate dissertation – so I need some formal feedback to close the loop and provide the research element. The survey I sent out to BABAO before starting work produced some fascinating results, the 60 people who responded record around 7000 skeletons per year between them – which takes a whopping 20,000 hours.
This survey is about how useful Skelly-Pad is and what extra features would make it more useful – all contributions gratefully received- the link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PR7K7K5