Catalhoyuk diaries: In the absence of real world content…

…more diary entries from Catalhoyuk.
July 24, started late at night in tent. [but posted as July 25, 2007]
Spent some time whizzing things around in ArcGIS the past few days. I never get to play with GIS at work so it's quite fun. I need to talk to Cord and Dave about what views/tables they need in the database to link in the excavation and finds data. It's a shame we didn't get to experiment with bringing data across before Cord left but hopefully Dave and I can do a 'proof of concept' that she can play with when she gets back to site. Maybe skellies or X-finds, or just basic unit information as a first go.

Today was going to be a solid day of programming, but the power was out for three hours last night and two hours of lab time this morning, so I'm still catching up on the stuff I was going to finish last night.

Last night I wrote myself a note from the geek perspective about "I think the challenge of Catal is combining the reflexive, the uncertain, the indeterminate, with the rigorous requirements of structured recording in a database; and perhaps more importantly, convincing people that it's possible to design to allow for uncertainty and for multivocality" but in the light of day that sounds like pretentious tosh that could only have been thought up in the middle of the night. Well done me.

July 30, middle of the day.
It's really been quite hot, though just now a change is coming through and it's getting cooler. I'm such a (lab, not southern) jessie, I can't imagine what it's like working up on the mound – apparently it's been 48C in the south shelter. The feel of the coming storm reminds me of Melbourne but I bet the heat won't break after the storm like it would at home. I hope my borrowed tent doesn't blow away.

Very frustrated by the power cuts. I feel like I'm losing lots of work time to them. My list of things to do is getting longer and my time is getting shorter. I wish it was the other way around.

I've been documenting some of the database tables in preparation for an informal tutorial on database querying tomorrow. I say 'informal' but that's really just cos I don't have time to prepare so I'll wing it. Hopefully people will have some good examples. I think it'll also point out where we need to make improvements – putting all the relationships into the central database is probably the first thing to do, so that they automatically come through into the AllTables database. This will make it a lot easier for people to join tables as some joins will be created auto-magically for them. It's probably not worth documenting all the tables at the field level, but there are some (where the data type is different between old databases, for example) where it would be useful. The descriptions could also serve as synonyms to help people find the tables they need for their queries.

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