Our Goals

  1. to implement and extend data standards for paleoanthropology;
  2. to maintain an online spatial data repository of artefactual, fossil and geological occurrences; 
  3. to develop digital data collection workflows that promote rapid and real-time data collection in the field using mobile devices.

Through these goals the project seeks, more broadly, to develop tools that support digital infrastructure, data exchange and interoperability in the social and behavioral sciences. 

The Role of Digital Data Management

Vast amounts of paleontological data are digitally inaccessible and there is an active effort to bring existing collections online. A related problem is ensuring that new collections are digitized immediately and do not add to the existing problem.

Data discovery Shared digital data allows us to answer the most fundamental questions of what occurs where. Simple data standards, such as Darwin Core, facilitate data discovery by providing a common terminology for information about specimens.

Data synthesis Collections that are commensurate (i.e. have compatible collection methods and sampling protocols) can be used for broader synthetic analyses. Data ontologies for paleontology, currently being developed, will facilitate synthetic analyses. 

A Web-Based Data Management System for Paleoanthropology

Reliable Data managed through PaleoCore are stored at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), an NSF funded super-computing facility in Austin, TX.

Collaborative The web interface allows easy collaborative data management with colleagues anywhere there’s internet access. Even spatial data can be edited online.

Geospatial Paleontological data are by their nature geospatial. PaleoCore is designed specifically for managing spatial data such as individual fossil occurrences, hydrology, research area boundaries etc. 

An Online Data Repository with Access from Multiple Clients

PaleoCore provides flexible data access that allows you to choose the client and software tools appropriate to the task. The idea of the PaleoCore system is that data reside is a safe, stable repository, which also provides flexible access to multiple client software programs. Users connect to the data using the client application most appropriate to their needs.

Web Use the web interface to collaboratively manage data easily from anywhere via the internet. No need to pass data files back and forth.

GIS Use GIS clients such as QGIS to view, edit and analyze spatial data via open data protocols such as Web Mapping and Web Feature services (WMS/WFS).

A custom API provides ready access to your data in just a couple lines of code. Take advantage of R’s powerful statistical and spatial libraries for analysis and visualization. 

Mobile Workflows

The PaleoCore project is developing digital mobile workflows for real-time archaeological, geological and paleontological data collection in the field using a variety of mobile computing platforms. Export data to a laptop for field campaigns. Migrate data to and from the laptop to mobile devices for data collection in the field.

Rapid Mobile devices with built in GPS receivers, cameras and advanced user interfaces allow rapid and more comprehensive data collection in the field.

Flexible Take advantage of Windows Mobile or iOS workflows. Android solutions are in development.

Reliable Digital data are easily duplicated. Multiple backups protect against data loss. Digital workflows are easily combined with traditional paper workflows and field notes.