APPLICATION: Resource management

Many governmental agencies utilise a combination of database, web and GIS applications to make information about archaeological sites and monuments available online to authorised users, including archaeologists, infrastructure and building firms, and the general public. If an agency is already using GIS based applications for field data collection and analysis, the development and use of a centralised data content service to disseminate that information makes particular sense. Online Site and Monument Records (SMRs) incorporate elements of primary and secondary data capture in the form of updating of site and monument locations with data collected in the field as well as the digitalisation of paper archives relating to sites already recorded. Records are generally presented for query as interactive, map-based web applications which allow the user to perform both spatial and attribute queries regarding cultural resources, to view query results, and in some cases to print or download requested datasets. English Heritage has numerous online resources dedicated to managing heritage data (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.1545). Systems such as the Swedish National Heritage Board’s FMIS (http://www.fmis.raa.se/cocoon/fornsok/search.html) and the state of Arizona’s AZSITE system in the USA (http://azmap.asu.edu/) are just a few examples of the successful implementation of online GIS based archaeological and historical resource management applications . Both AZSITE and FMIS present the locations and attributes of sites and monuments to users, combining layers which contain data about cultural resources with topographic, economic, natural resource, and modern political boundary data and presenting these data in a map-based format, allowing users to select the information they are interested in through searches of both spatial and attribute data. Resulting datasets can then be printed out or requested in digital format for use in GIS applications.