The focus of the A.I.S. (Archaeological Information System) is the creation of a wide-ranging archive relating to the archaeological landscape of the Alps. The webGIS was born and grew through several projects (e.g. Alpinet, Apsat). During this time, it has fulfilled an important role as a tool for collaboration between research partners. The process of cataloguing cultural heritage materials, starting from the work of the ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione – Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation ) and other important projects, has stimulated a methodological discussion relating to the need for a shared standard regarding archaeological entities, definitions and their characteristics. The webGIS platform comprises a geographical environment along with various themes (archaeological sites, landscape units, infrastructure, dairying, place names, mining districts, inscriptions left by shepherds, …) linked to a large dataset covering – in addition – non geographic information related to the archaeology of the recorded entities (exploited minerals and mining phases, stratigraphic units, occupational phases, elements of material culture and ecofacts, …). The main functions available in the A.I.S. are archaeological querying, the visualization and printing of thematic maps, a reserved area for research partners to exchange documents and information, and tools for risk management. In addition other utilities are given for data import/export, finding places by name (the ‘address to’ service), maps and data entry, a back-up system and user profile administration. Recent additions to the platform are a user-friendly interface for guests and the possibility of 3D visualization. All the software used is innovative and conforms to free and open source standards (FOSS).
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