Coma comentara fai uns días, unha das últimas tolerías que tiven implica a creación dun xogo de preguntas sobre arqueoloxía usando Scratch. Trátase dunha linguaxe de codificación que usa bloques pra crear pequenos programas, e estou a usar programas no senso más respectuoso posible, porque levoume bastante tempo ser capaz de codificar algo tan sinxelo coma este xogo. A inspiración pra esta creación viño da preparación por parte da miña parella Elena do exame de Psicóloga Interna Residente (PIR). Ela creou infinidade de post-its con pequenas notas en diferentes temas que ela revisaba dilixentemente cada noite. O contido deste exame PIR inclúe todo texto publicado en lingua castelá sobre psicoloxía, asi que imaxinade a extensión de coñecemento requirido pra tarefa.
A pesares do criticismo xeral sobre o coñecemento enciclopédico en arqueoloxía, sempre pensei que un bo arqueólogo e unha boa arqueóloga deben de transcender os límites dos seus campos de estudo. Inda que é virtualmente imposible saber todo en arqueoloxía, iso non debería de quitarnos de ler sobre temas ou rexións fora dos nosos campos de estudo. Eu traballo en cerámica grega, polo que non estou a suxerir que podo chegar a ser un experto en zooarqueoloxía só tras ler uns libros e artigos no tema, pero facelo de tanto en tanto axúdame a entender mellor o traballo ds meus colegas, e iso nunca fai mal. Moitas veces teño atopado investigadores que non ven o valor do meu traballo ou simplemente o descartan polo uso que dou aos coñecementos adquiridos dos estudios cerámicos sobre outras culturas. E iso a pesares de que. Más aló da cultura, os mesmos problemas químicos, e as súas solucións, son comúns a moitas culturas. Está fora de debate que ler sobre outras tradicións cerámicas resultou esencial por me traballo de tese.
As I mentioned some days ago, one of the latest crazy ideas I have had involves the creation of a quiz game on archaeology using Scratch. This is a coding language that uses blocks to create little programs, and I am using little in the most respectful sense, because it has taken me quite a deal of time to be able to code something as simple as this game. The inspiration for its creation came from my partner Elena’s preparation of her residency exam in psychology (PIR). She created countless post-its with little notes on different topics that she diligently reviewed every night. The content of this PIR exam includes any single thing ever published in Spanish about psychology, so you can imagine the extent of knowledge required for the task.
Despite general criticism in encyclopedic knowledge in archaeology, I have always taught that a good archaeologist must transcend the limits of its field of study. Although it is virtually impossible to know everything about everything in archaeology, that should not prevent us from just reading on topics or regions that are not our own research interest. I work on Greek pottery, so I am not suggesting I can become an expert on zooarchaeology just by reading a paper or a book, but doing so from time to time will allow me to understand better the work of my colleagues, and that never hurts. Many times I have met researchers that did not see the value or directed disagreed with me because of the use I give on my own work of pottery studies from other cultures, despite the fact that, regardless of the culture, the same chemical problems, and solutions, are crosscultural. It is beyond question that reading about other pottery traditions has been invaluable on my dissertation research.
Finally, after much delay due to my dissertation work, I can resume my work on the role free-software can play in archaeology, in this second entry of Open source archaeology, a brief users guide (II). This is a topic I really enjoy writing about, because there are a lot of tools out there created and updated by devoted groups of supporters that just want to provide us with programs that are not restrained by the market rules and, whether you want to believe or not, they can be as good, if not better, than firmware. In the case of LibreOffice, at least for me, this is absolutely true.
LibreOffice is a project of The Document Foundation, a forked version from OpenOffice, and comprises programs for general office work, such as word processing, the creation and editing of spreadsheets, slide-shows, diagrams and drawings, mathematical formulae and, most important for archaeologists, databases. You can work in the native formats or with other software formats such as .doc, and there is no issue, at least on my experience, to shift from one to the other.
A digital world like ours has many initiatives that perhaps we do not know, but that offer us open-source software for any task we can imagine. From whole operative systems (OS) to little programs for specific tasks, communities of coders work for free on alternatives to firmware software that in some cases can make us wonder why we still pay for programs when we can donate to this initiatives and enjoy great software. My work on GIS and GRASS was of course my first exposure to this technology but my best example would be LibreOffice: I have not used the Office Suit for more than a decade, and I have never encountered a problem on my research or on my publications.
Time has passed since my last post on GIS, sorry for the waiting. But here we are on track again, this time with an essential one… how to add the points from your GPS to your map. Remember you can download all tutorials from my Academia.edu page. Enjoy!
So now that we have our raster map of the region we want to study it is time to add some sites to it. In order to do this we will create a vector map from a list of points in a spreadsheet.
1.- Once you have a list of points you can organise them in a spreadsheet file like this:
The most important things to take into account are the order to the fields, which is not mandatory but strongly suggested, and that in order to avoid issues it is better to avoid spaces at least on the headers. This is a simplified version from my Ph.D. research, and it gives you the general structure. We need only three main fields, the two coordinates and the CAT, which is just a field from 1 to n, like the index on a database. Names, types of sites and many other fields can be added after this. It is up to you include as many as you want, but for the lesson of the day we will use this simplified version.