Paleo Core

Our Mission

PaleoCore serves the scientific community by addressing the common challenge of integrating data across independent research projects. Answers to major scientific questions arise when independent groups can successfully search, exchange and integrate their data.

PaleoCore serves the student and academic community by organizing disparate sources of information in a way that students and teachers can use to explore human origins.

PaleoCore serves the broader public by providing timely, current knowledge on human origins research. PaleoCore works closely with eFossils, eSkeletons and eLucy to provide intuitive explanations of complex topics in human origins.

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 Name

The name "Paleo Core" is a reference to existing international data standards such as Dublin CoreDarwin Core and Access to Biological Collections Data (ABCD). A core aim of the PaleoCore project is to provide stable implementation of these standards with specific examples of best practices in the domain of paleoanthropology, including suggestions for modifications and extensions to existing standards that make them more applicable for paleoanthropological and prehistory applications.

Funding and Support

PaleoCore is funded by a grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF 1244735). PaleoCore receives additional support for server and network infrastructure from the Texas Advanced Computing Center. As an open-source software project PaleoCore receives support from Jet Brains software, which provides free licensing for PyCharm IDE software, and from DB Vis software, which provides free licensing for DB Visualizer database management software.

PaleoCore is Built on Open-Source Technology 

The PaleoCore website and associated mobile data collection tools are built on free open-source software (FOSS). The database is implemented with PostgreSQL using PostGIS to manage spatial data. The website is developed in Python using the Django web application framework and takes advantage of geoDjango to present spatial data in the web interface. The code base for the project is freely available online through GitHub. The mobile data collection workflows use proprietary software such as ESRI ArcPad and GISPro but FOSS implementations for Android are in development.