Query Interface

Avkat Informatics

We have now begun working on developing the query interface for the Avkat Informatics project. The interface allows for the query of four parameters. Artifact Type, Time Period, and Unit Type correspond to specific attribute values. A second option for time allows a user to enter a range of values and retrieve all information that potentially falls within that date range. Lastly, the Search Comments of Forms allows users to enter in words to search the comments. The goal is to replicate the query interface of search engines familiar to the end-user.

The design of the Query Interface is highly important. Here, users access data in a fashion that is influenced both by the organizational structure of the database, the query, and the user’s internal notion of what would ‘make sense’. The goal of any data system is to provide structure and organization, while at the same time…

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User Interface: Alpha II

Avkat Informatics

We are continuing work on the Alpha phase of our user interface. As you can see, there have been a variety of changes between the work presented here and our last blog post. This user interface is closer to what we envisioned when creating the mock-up, but includes some substantial comments along with changes. The two main changes have been the adding of an accordion styled panes allowing for organization of various comments/notes and the addition of two exporting title panes (one for querying tabular data on the left and another for a user-defined geospatial query on the right).

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User Interface: Alpha

Avkat Informatics

We have recently finished upgrading our servers from ArcServer 9.3 to ArcServer 10 SP 3. After upgrading we were able to begin building our user interface. Below is an image of the user interface from its alpha phase. Our primary goal during this phase is accessing our data via a REST service using ESRI’s REST API.

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The Mock-up: Part I

Avkat Informatics

We have now created a mock-up of our user interface (UI) of our WMA. To develop this mock-up we reviewed the initial goals for the WMA. Given that data collection for the project has finished, the current critical need is in the area of data querying, data review, and export of data subsets for further manipulation in other applications (e.g., Excel, Photoshop, SPSS, ArcGIS). After revisiting these goals, various CSS, HTML, and JavaScript snippets were combined. These snippets resulted in an initial UI which was then commented upon by members of the informatics team. We have now taken these comments and created two mock-ups which are presented below. The first figure depicts the overall UI while the second figure presents a feature selection information bubble.

It should be noted that this is our first WMA, designed to handle basic query searches and data extraction. We will design WMAs relevant to…

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Tools of the Trade

Avkat Informatics

We will be using a variety of software for this summer which will build upon previous work for the Avkat Archaeological Project. Prior work has been dominated by the creation of an SQL database coded in MySQL. A front-end was created for this database using PHP for query optimization. This database has stored all tabular and image data for the project, however spatial information has been lacking.

ArcSDE is used to store spatial information. Recently the MySQL database was translated to PostgreSQL which employs pgAdminIII. This allows for better communication between the SQL database and the ArcSDE geodatabase.

Currently, we are working on building data queries which result in tables and views which can then be queried by end users. It is important to note here the difference between the two – tables and views. Tables result in a more static image of the data within the SQL…

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Never Let a Roadblock Stop You

Avkat Informatics

This past week we began working on the Avkat Informatics Project.  We planned this development to be more or less linear. However, we discovered that this will not be possible due to a number of obstructions.

The main delay involves our server, which appears to have experienced a number of internal errors resulting in services not starting up properly.   It was discovered that a reinstallation of ArcServer would be the best course. We are using this as an opportunity to upgrade from ArcServer 9.3 to 10, and have split the development of the WMA into two main sections. First, we will begin developing the user interface in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using stand-in data obtained from ESRI to test layout and functionality. Once the server is upgraded later this week, we will begin importing actual project data into ArcSDE, uploading it to ArcServer, and creating services for consumption.

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Introduction

Avkat Informatics

Welcome to the Avkat Archaeological Project’s Informatics development blog! This blog will be providing information throughout the summer on the creation of web mapping applications associated with the Avkat Archaeological Project. There are three facets that this project will be focusing on this summer:

  1. Cleaning data to enhance analysis
  2. Organizing and enhancing the current ArcSDE geodatabase environment with an eye to long-term data curation
  3. Designing and developing web mapping applications using ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

The Avkat web mapping application will eventually serve a variety of purposes including data dissemination, visualization, and analysis initially targeted at the needs of principal investigators of the Avkat Archaeological Project.  Further goals include the expansion of the web portal’s functionality to support the needs of the wider academic and lay community and developing the underlying data structure to provide wide applications to a variety of research needs in the social, humanistic, and natural…

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