Vol. IX, No. 4

February, 1997

Workshop at AIA Meetings

CSA Director Harrison Eiteljorg, II, again hosted a computer workshop at the Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in New York. This year the workshop was aimed at two rather different topics, electronic publishing and CAD, with the time split evenly. Though the audience was small (the program omitted mention of the workshop), there were interesting discussions of the problems inherent in electronic publishing. There is an assumption that electronic publication has been defined by someone - nobody seems to know who - and that some form or template exists to guide scholars in the process.

As was discussed, however, it remains for the scholarly community to define how electronic publication will work in various disciplines. For instance, such simple things as peer review are taken for granted in some paper publications, assumed to be unnecessary in others, and assumed to be irrelevant in yet others. Electronic publications may also be reviewed or not, but, until there are established norms, the kind of review to which materials have been subjected must be explicitly stated. There are no rules for what should be made explicit or how, but statements about the review process can, at the least, prevent uncertainty concerning it. It is not so much necessary to abide by standards - which usually do not exist - as to make explicit the matters of importance to users of the data.

The CAD portion of the workshop involved a smaller group. Discussion of survey methods took much of the allotted time. There was also a discussion of the importance of layers and layer-naming standards as well as a demonstration and discussion of attaching database information to CAD models - still one of the most interesting, most promising, and most difficult ways of integrating CAD into an excavation system.

Next Article: CSA Director to Bilkent University in April

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