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FieldHelper was developed from 2006 at the Archaeological Computing Laboratory (now Arts eResearch), University of Sydney, in response to the need for a method of managing the volume of file-based information generated during fieldwork (images, recordings, notes, plans, GPS tracks etc.).
FieldHelper indexes files in user-defined folders and their sub-folders, and displays them along a timeline of data collection. It uses a unique drag-and-tag interface to generate metadata, including spatial metadata, without typing, and generates XML repository packages without programming. It provides a robust methodology to maintain XML manifests for each folder and sub-folder indexed.
Summary of development history:
- Version 0 (2006): ACL staff, Tom Honeyman (Paradisec)
Java, APSR funding ($70,000)
- Version 1 (2007): Ian Johnson, Tom Murtagh, Kim Jackson (ACL)
Java, internal funding
- Version 2 (2008-9): Ian Johnson, Artem Osmakov (ACL)
Flex, internal funding. Development was suspended at an alpha test stage owing to ANDS funding for the Intersect project (below).
- In 2010 Intersect NSW was commissioned to further develop FieldHelper with funding of $250,000 from the Australian National Data Service.
- As of Oct 2012, the Intersect project is notionally complete and has delivered, under the name ExSite 9, a fraction of the original FieldHelper functionality without timeline, mapping, GPS, file metadata extraction, XML manifests or drag-and drop metadata creation. The Intersect project can be found at http://jenkins.intersect.org.au/job/Exsite9/
- Since ExSite 9 fails to address the needs identified in the FieldHelper project, the Arts eResearch team hopes to finalise FieldHelper Vsn 2 as soon as we are able to obtain the small amount of funding required to carry out this work.
See Current Version and 2006, 2007 reports for a full history of the development and screenshots of the different versions of FieldHelper.