Digital Data Initiative (DADA) Standardising Digital Archaeological Data

The Victorian Digital Archaeological Data Archive (DADA) is an industry-driven initiative that aims to make digital archaeological data more readily available for cultural heritage management and research purposes. The DADA project is being developed by Dr Josara de Lange, GIS Manager at Andrew Long + Associates, with support from the Heritage Team at Aboriginal Affairs Victoria. It has so far attracted the interest of more than a dozen other heritage consultancies and archaeological organisations in Victoria and beyond.

The DADA project taps into the widespread recognition that improved access to standardised digital archaeological data will benefit the quality of heritage assessments and will create new avenues for regional studies to be undertaken. The DADA is scheduled to start operating in the second half of 2013 as an online portal where collaborators can easily share digital information. Access will be restricted in order to encourage organisations to participate and submit their data.

Archaeological data will be uploaded in digital formats that closely follow existing documentation requirements set by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria. As such, contributing to the DADA will only require a modest extra investment from contributing firms in terms of data collection and organisation, but it will provide substantial returns. Having access to a growing pool of standardised digital archaeological data, in formats that are readily imported into a Geographic Information System (GIS), will greatly enhance the rigour with which cultural heritage assessments can be carried out within a given time frame, enabling affiliated heritage consultancies to deliver superior products in time-sensitive contexts. In addition, the DADA will provide a solid basis for the ongoing enhancement of GIS-based predictive modelling, and as such it is expected to facilitate the development of more robust risk reduction and impact mitigation strategies for larger infrastructural projects.

Keep an eye on this space in the second half of 2013 for the latest news on the DADA project!

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