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With the widespread adoption of tablet computers in 2010, archaeologists quickly began to envision new ways of completing traditional tasks. The technology seemed particularly well-suited for replacing the paper-and-pencil approach to data collection. In 2011, a custom mobile application—PKapp—was developed for the 2012 field season of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in Cyprus. That application illuminated numerous possibilities for digital workflow in archaeological field research. Subsequently, mobile devices and software development tools have improved, making it easier to develop custom applications for data collection. Open-source HTML5 standards can ensure the software runs on any device regardless of platform, a robust selection of coding interfaces, libraries, and frameworks can speed up the development process and help avoid coding each line of the application by hand. This paper reflects upon the development of PKapp, considers the lessons learned, and describes how custom app development with open-source standards might be currently undertaken.

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The Digital Press @ University of North Dakota


Grand Forks, North Dakota


mobile app, HTML5, archaeology, data collection, software development


Classical Archaeology and Art History

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

2.1. Reflections on Custom Mobile App Development for Archaeological Data Collection