AIA Computer Special Interest Group meeting in Montreal

A communication received today:

From: John Wallrodt
Date: December 17, 2005 11:12:53 PM EST
Subject: CSIG Meeting at Montreal


It is time once again to wake the slumbering AIA Computer Special Interest Group.

I apologize for the silence on my end. Once I sent along the groups recommendations for data projectors I got caught up in several other projects.

As you know, the AIA is providing data projectors for all sessions this year but I have not yet heard what the plans are for future years.

In any event, this year at Montreal we have a block of time and I would like to spend it discussing several new initiatives for the coming year. One of them is of relevance to next year’s AIA meetings, and the two others concern items of general interest.

The CSIG is scheduled to meet in room 520A on Saturday morning, January 7th from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. During this meeting I would like to bring up the following items:

2007 San Diego
I have been asked by the Program Committee to solicit papers for next year’s annual meetings in San Diego. As many of you know, paper submissions tend to be high for warm cities in January, but the Program Committee is specifically looking to ‘expand the scope of topics addressed at the Annual Meeting’. There traditionally have been several computer/data related papers or sessions at the AIAs, but I gather they have either fallen in number or some have been canceled a the last minute. Note that I am not specifically looking to organize a colloquium myself, although I have done so twice and can do so again. I am instead hoping that we as a committee can generate some ideas for colloquia topics so that we can help recruit those who might make such colloquia successes.

There are two other ideas that I have been playing with recently. These are mostly brought out by the requests that I get for information by those who direct field projects or are charged with handling the computer data for a field project.

Archaeological IT Services Talent Depot

I would like to talk about implementing a registry of archaeological IT talent. Think meets IDAP (International Directory of Aegean Prehistorians). Those with specific computer skills can register those skills at a website. Those who are looking for someone with a certain skill set can search through those entries and find someone with the experience they need to get their job done. Since field work is seasonal, and field projects often need certain skill sets for a limited time only, this won’t be a place to find a career, but it would be a good place for a field director to start looking for someone who can do GIS and Windows networking, or Mac scripting and web development.

Archaeological Data Hosting Service

I am often asked about setting up a server for various projects. At UC, we host databases, file, and web services for a total of eight field projects, largely because we have standardized our database and file server software. Some projects have to bend their software requirements to fit whatever entity will host their data, and others end up trying to make their own servers for each project. I would like to investigate a business model for an archaeological hosting service (non-profit). This would be a data center, subcontracted, that would host database and file servers for the duration of a project. They would charge a monthly fee for access based on the amount of data stored and internet traffic to the site. When the project is finished, the hosting service, or someone that the project can hire from the idea above, will archive the data and send it back to the field project sponsoring entity for storage. At this stage, I would like to know if this is a idea worth pursuing.

Thanks for your attention. Please forward this to anyone whom you think might be interested. I know that the Computer Special Interest Group is a struggling one, but I do hope that we can generate some interest in the coming year.


John Wallrodt
Coord Sys Dev & Maint
Department of Classics
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210226
Cincinnati OH 45221
Phone: 513-556-2584
Fax: 513-556-4366

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