Sabbatical report, Week 4

I am very familiar with Microsoft Excel from many years of drill hole and geochemical data analysis work.  But I really learned to appreciate the more subtle tricks for combining many disparate data sets into a common data set during the last week.   At this time, there are two data sets, one each for fossils and minerals.  I wrestled with combining all the data into a single data set, but found that minerals and fossils have just enough data type differences  make the single data set idea not particularly workable.  For example, fossils often have a detailed Linnaen classification and environmental association, whereas minerals tend more toward structural description.  However, both data sets have a common unique identifier field for joining and linking purpose.

Ryan Museum minerals and fossils each have their own specific existing data styles.  ASU fossil collections, mineral collections, and the Wards Scientific sets also have their own specific existing data styles, often in multiple formats and organization styles.  I have many of my own personal ore deposit mineral suites, which yet again have numbering and data organization schemes different than all of the other collections!

I made progress this week on developing a map-based guest book, with the help of Brad Sosusco.  We experimented briefly with various map engines and forms to allow guests to sign in, and have a map pin appear at their home town.

New LED shelf lights are ready to be installed.  The older, hotter, and more energy-intensive halogen lights are stacked up and off line.

The TLE, GEPro, and ArcGIS technology is in place.  The underlying mineral and fossil data are in place.  The Ideum touch table is in place.  The next crux is the spatial connection among everything.  I believe all the pieces are in place.

Back to the catacombs…