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The Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems (FAIMS) Project is an Australian, university-based initiative developing a generalized, open-source mobile data collection platform that can be customized for diverse archaeological activities. Three field directors report their experiences adapting FAIMS software to projects in Turkey, Malawi, and Peru, highlighting three themes: (1) the transition from paper to digital recording has upfront costs with backend pay-off, (2) the transition involves decisions and tradeoffs that archaeologists and technologists need to make together, and (3) digital recording has both short- and long-term benefits. In the short-term, project directors reported efficient acquisition of richer, more accurate, data. Longer-term, they anticipated that the availability of comprehensive, born-digital datasets would support rigorous demonstration of field intuitions and faster publication of more complete datasets. We argue that cooperative development involving archaeologists and technologists can produce high-quality, fit-for-purpose software, representing the best chance to embedding new technology in established projects.

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The Digital Press @ University of North Dakota


Grand Forks, North Dakota


Android development, digital archaeology, field data recording, mobile applications, open source


Classical Archaeology and Art History


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Creative Commons License

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

3.2. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Cooperative Deployment of a Generalized, Archaeology-Specific Field Data Collection System