Looks like IOSA is not the only group of passionate archaeologists who develop free/open source software to fulfil their research needs and release their source code for the community.
The LDPL (Laboratoire Départemental de Préhistoire du Lazaret) maintains open source software mostly developed internally, but their source code is released to the Open Source Community under the GPL 2 licence.
Archeobases is an archaeological database manager written in Python (another choice we share), it's developed mainly for the research project at Lazaret even though a new refactored version is due in the next future. You can find more details about Archeobases and the LDPL committment to free archaeological software at http://cambrien.unice.fr/opensource/wiki .
We have moved the development infrastructure of Total Open Station from Sharesource to Berlios. Berlios gives us more control on website and repositories administration, and it offers both Mercurial (which is what we're using now) and git (which is what we will be using in the future) hosting.
Despite the lack of news, Total Open Station's development is going on. An alpha quality 0.1 release is expected soon, and after that the whole program will undergo a major rewrite to better suit what we have learned about total stations during the past 11 months (yes, it's just 11 months ago that I had this crazy idea and I''m still surprised by the fact that it works so well even at this development stage).
If you own a total station and want to feel free of using it anywhere, just contact us and send us some sample raw data from your device.
Iosa's team is developing (already quoted some posts ago) the software called Total Open Station, for surveying and data recording from total stations. In the May 2008's Italian edition of the IT-magazine "PCProfessionale" you can find a VERY little box speaking about TOPS! It says that this application should be useful not just for archaeologists but even for other people using total stations as any kind of people involved in surveying. It's at the same time a satisfaction for the developers and a good feedback for going on with the development and the conception of new parts of the software. Thanks "PCProfessionale".
One of the first results of the collaboration between Iosa's team and Oxford Archaeology is available on https://launchpad.net/mpm . This is the test version of a tool, thought to manage photos and pictures metadata. It's based on the very powerful Exiftool library ( http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ ). The whole program is written using some Perl modules and is conceived as an archaeological oriented metadata manager.
It provides some fields you can load, edit and save among the metadata of the photo. You have a preview tool and the possibility of exporting (appending or creating a new document) the data entered in an *.xls file.
It has been also tested a new function for recording the geospatial data into the GPS tag of the Exif file. This part of the program has been adapted for using the data coming for the Openmoko's gps.
This is just the first completely functioning version of the program, actually available just first Linux based systems.
On the 7th of May 2008, there will be a meeting with Richard
Stallman, one of the Free Software's main "philosophers", in Savona's Campus of the University of Genova(Italy).
Richard Stallman is going to discuss about "Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks" .
It would be a pity to loose the opportunity to meet one of the gurus that has founded GNU Linux and the Free Software Foundation.
More informations writing here : firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thus let's go guys!!!!
There are lots of people assuming archaeological users are not an interesting market(and probably they're right), in particular if they cannot access the money and the projects carried on with government and big institutions, like universities and research groups. In this way the "poor" ordinary archaeologist couldn't hope having updated and modern software instruments, because the rare modern ones own to private companies that sell them at really high prices.
There's a way to get out the nightmare of not having modern tools for our researches and jobs: referring to open source software.
If people developing archaeological software release it with open licences, it's possible to maintain those tools updated, because everyone who needs them can use them and everyone that thinks they're not enough good, can improve them.
I think that there's only a couple of words more often approached to "Archaeology" than "pyramids": don't you know which they are?
If I say "lack of funds", don't tell me you're surprised!
Yes, in archaeological world almost everybody complains that the "Research has no funds", "that excavation can't go on because there are no money","the publication of finds is expensive, it's better wait to do it(?!?!): we're short of funds" and I can continue listing lots of phrases like these.
We all know that the funds for Cultural Heritage are not enough almost everywhere and there are no great hopes that in future things will get better.
However there are lots of funds that probably could be spent in a better way: I speak of software naturally.
In a world constantly lack of funds it's a real foolish act to go on choosing of spending lots of money in something you could get freely.