The National Science Foundation (NSF) Archaeology program awarded funds to expand the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA), under the direction of David G. Anderson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville; NSF #1623621) and Joshua Wells (Indiana University South Bend; NSF #1623644). This new funding builds upon prior NSF support in 2012 and complements another 2016 grant to DINAA awarded from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) earlier this year to DINAA co-PIs Eric Kansa and Sarah Whitcher Kansa.
The two-year NSF-funded project will expand the coverage of the DINAA database (hosted on Open Context), to encompass a much wider area of North America and enhance the ontologies and controlled vocabularies DINAA uses to integrate data from multiple sources. The NSF project will also build capacity for research using large-scale archaeological data. The complementary IMLS project will expand DINAA’s network of collaborating partners to include tribal archaeology professionals, library professionals, and museums.
This new NSF support will help DINAA aggregate archaeological and historical data from governmental authorities that manage heritage resources. DINAA will enrich our understanding of the archaeological record of human activities on the North American landscape from the Pleistocene through the historic era. DINAA data will continue to be fully open and accessible via a variety of interfaces for browsing and map-based visualization and bulk download. Other information systems can also interface with DINAA, via Open Context’s APIs (application program interfaces).
DINAA has already integrated and published archaeological site data from 15 states in Open Context, encompassing the rich chronological, cultural, and anthropological metadata used by authorities and researchers alike. Researchers and the public can currently download over 450,000 site file records (with location, ownership, and other sensitive data redacted) free of charge and without intellectual property restrictions. With NSF funding, the DINAA team will continue to expand geographic coverage to eventually encompass an estimated two to three million archaeological sites across the United States.