Data Management at MAVA

Written by: Holly Fieglein

Martin Van Buren’s home, Lindenwald
Martin Van Buren’s home, Lindenwald. (National Park Service website)

When dealing with any large dataset there are so many questions about how to best manage it. 

“Who is going to update it after this project is complete?”, “Where is the data going to be housed, so that it is secure?” Throughout this project it has been important to have conversations about how to maintain the data for the future. The outcome of this is a user friendly interactive WebApp which has been created to be very simplistic for the user, so there is no need to know how to work the back end, as most people don’t have the skills to just jump into ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro software and create, edit and update datasets. This means that there needs to be a plan in place for future archeological digs to have  a system for the data to be added to the existing dataset. 

For this project, there has been a large amount of time spent on data sorting, organization and categorization due to some major inconsistencies with collecting, storing and unifying data. 

Now that a lot of this data has been sorted, it is important for it to go live somewhere where it will be utilized and updated for years to come. The WebApp is unable to be used by the public since archeological data is sensitive and therefore restricted. This data will live behind the protection of ESRI’s Portal system, this will ensure that those who need to see it can, and that it has all of the necessary protections in place. 

Next time you see a map, think about all the spreadsheets, reports, files, and hours spent working to create the perfect datasets to project the desired work, because there is a lot more than meets the eye going into it. 

See what volunteer work at ACE is like with the EPIC program.

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