At the April Society for American Archaeology meeting in Washington, D.C., I organized an electronic symposium sponsored by the Digital Data Interest Group. The session website provides full presentations from all the participants.
Within the public sector, archaeologists and our agencies use a range of technologies to “do” archaeology in support of heritage management laws and mandates, thereby producing digital data. We are also faced with curating large volumes of digital media and datasets created by others. The quantity of data and speed of change pose challenges in making information useful and accessible internally, to researchers, the private sector, and the general public. But these factors also introduce new opportunities for understanding the material record and conveying its value. Where are we now at various levels of government service and public outreach? Where do we hope to go? How can we collaborate across geopolitical boundaries? What would we build if we were free of financial and technological constraints? This electronic symposium will explore the possibilities, along with friction points and unintended consequences of the digital deluge through demonstrations, case studies, and discussion.