Backing up …

First time I booted up my computer today was in the class room, where we start to get familiar with databases in general and SQL in particular. It’s the third time I teach the course in our BA-Programme and I try to perform lessons learned in the first two. So I was talking about problems in keeping data integrity, avoiding redundancy etc. in the light of common file-based data-management. But also touched, of course, the topic of backup and restore to give a first glimpse on the capabilities of the DBMS-driven approach.
Back in the office I had a first look through my rss-feeds finding Melissa Terras’ entry on her deceased “little machine”. She’s participating in the Day of DH and gives details in her post there. I’m impressed on her estimation that only “30 mins of work” are lost due to good backups and a to do list (obviously analogue???).
I suddenly felt a gap on what I’m teaching and what I’m doing. My last full backup is about two weeks ago. Several files are stored within our server-infrastructure (FRANZ is still running) so that’s probably a reason I got a little careless on my data…
Melissa, I’m really sorry and I empathise having lost two notebooks myself that were really accompanying my private and professional life. It’s the stories behind machine’s that makes it hard for me to throw them away. In fact, they’re all still kept in the house.
And while I’m writing this, the full backup is running…

Quick link

… for the “classics” audience of the Day of DH to a webpoll of the German Archaeological Institute on the use of ZENON online bibliography. For those who want to participate in English select English in the first formula. It will be ignored but if you push “weiter” on the second you will have another chance to choose English…

Update: It’s fast and only some questions. Takes not even 5 minutes…


Around midday I cared about ongoing projects most of which are in a very early phase, too early at least to provide details (who, where etc.). But it’s part of my Day of DH, so I’ll give a glimpse:Staff of the i3mainz
I’m strongly engaged in the i3mainz, the research institute here at our department for surveying and geoinformatics. The teaching staff volunteers (best things in life are free…) and we currently employ around 20 research assistants by successfully raising third-party funds.
We got strong and reliable hints that a proposal concerning fieldwork in Turkey was accepted. We’ll be involved evaluating ways for reconstructing ancient landscapes as Digital Terrain Models derived from survey and excavation data. We can focus preparations now and hopefully we’ll be in the field August/September (“we” is a little fuzzy as I’ll not be able to participate personally).
Just around the corner near Mainz we head for prospecting iron-age burial mounds end of next week. We got the final approval of the owners and the department only yesterday and I’m currently trying to motivate the students of my MA-course in “Interdisciplinary Applications of Spatial Information Technology” to get out there and help. It’s one of those projects where we are in the “investment” phase, i.e. getting a set of comprehensive data to better convince the referees when coming into the “proposal” phase. It’s also a good opportunity to give our brand new UAV, an octopter assembled by a group of students last winter, a try in aerial photography of sites
Late afternoon today we wait for a group of surveyors returning from a two day trip to the Stadtkirche (townchurch) Michelbach fully documenting the interior by means of terrestrial laser scanning. This project has a very distinctive goal in visualizing the spatial context of medieval inscriptions in cooperation with the wonderful project Deutsche Inschriften online.

Finally a UAV-Pointcloud

Many different topics shaped the afternoon.

  • A BA-candidate liked to specify his research regarding geo-capabilities in omeka – we are about to get in contact to the much admired developers to propose our ideas.
  • Troubleshooting Powerpoint problems with OpenOffice – it worked (as often!)
  • Discussing schedule of classes because we’d like to offer a handful of students the opportunity to revisit
  • Organizing and correcting written exams

Late in the evening a last look in the mail-box while following soccer via internet. The student I asked for help at the survey next week answered and pointed me to his first results loading aerial images to photosynth. I tried to embed the synth, but wordpress ignores the iframe-tag, so please have a look at the results produced with Microsoft’ most awsome software (esp. try the pointcloud view)!*

UAV-pointcloud produced with Photosynth

* Update: I overlooked the non-public state of the linked entry at photosynth. To give you an idea what photosynth means to archeology cf.

    • (with music!)
  • Useful comments:

many more examples out there…