A Modest Proposal for GIS-Based Data Sharing in Ontario Archaeology

Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, 2018 Conference
Katherine L. Hull and Andrew T. Riddle

Academic excavations are no longer the driving force behind archaeological research in North America. In the current economy, private cultural resource management firms (and also those based within academic institutions) complete most archaeological field activities. However, the results of most surveys and excavations are often confined to the grey literature, though not from any lack of desire to disseminate knowledge. Interestingly, depending on the legislative context of the work, there can be significant barriers to sharing information with the public in a systemic and cost-effective manner. This paper explores a proposed GIS-based data-sharing initiative for professional archaeologists in Ontario, consisting of an open, searchable index of archaeological sites that contains basic locational, historical, and archaeological data. We hope to encourage further discussion leading to logical, affordable, and comfortable means of sharing data in the digital world.