Current Projects

Here is a summary of software applications relevant to heritage and archaeological science currently under active development by PalaeoPi.


DB1

Project Name: ArchBase

Client: PalaeoBARN, University of Oxford

Development Date: 2012

Type: Web application/database

Platform/language: Cross platform (browser), PHP, JQuery, MySQL

Project Description: ArchBase is a sample logging web application/database to facilitate sample tracking in the laboratory.   When samples arrive in the lab, they can be ‘booked-in’ in three ways.  By typing them in one by one in the single entry form; by creating and typing in a batch of records in the batch entry form; or by formatting existing data to fit into a supplied CSV template which can be uploaded via the upload form.  Once records are in the database they can be edited singly or in batches, searched by partial string matching, retrieved using their lot number; select ranges of records can even be emailed to collaborators or laboratory members.  The web application is also set up to generate customisable QR codes, which when partnered with a label printer, can be used to label stickers that can be scanned using any modern smart phone.  Boxes labelled in this way can be scanned and an embedded URL retrieves a list of any samples associated with that particular box number.  The data tables primarily used by this web application are shared with other web apps in order to provide sample metadata through the unique lot number system.

Notable Features: Auto-complete/suggestions on input field, field validation, simultaneous users, batch record, input Excel and CSV data import/export, report emailing, unique lot number allocation, tracked changes, and QR code generation.

Project Plans:  Inclusion of GPS coordinates associated with archaeological sites allowing users to generate real time customisable maps showing locations and periods of samples in the database to aid in future grant applications or projects.  Pre-logging of material so people sending samples to the lab can upload information prior to arrival of samples.


DB2

Project Name: ChemBase/Ordering

Client: PalaeoBARN, University of Oxford/University of Durham

Development Date: 2012

Type: Web application/database

Platform/language: Cross platform (browser), PHP, JQuery, MySQL

Project Description: The ChemBase/Ordering system is a chemical reagent logging web application/database to facilitate health and safety and consumable order tracking in the laboratory.   When a chemical is bought, the user can use a shopping cart like interface to record information accosted with it such as H/P/E statements about safety, cost centres etc.  A QR code is then printed off with a unique ID allowing batches of chemicals coming into the lab to be tracked from cradle to grave.  A quick list of all reagents kept in the lab can be printed off in case of fires.  Metadata can be retrieved from other databases based off of the CAS number of the chemical.  The ordering system allows for users to re-order commonly used laboratory supplies using a shopping cart system, a list of defined users will then receive and email telling them an order has been placed.  When an order is complete the person doing the actual ordering can be automatically emailed the final order form with all the required information in it.  Orders can be traced and the status of orders can be viewed by all lab users.

Notable Features: Auto-complete/suggestions on input field, field validation, simultaneous users, drag and drop shopping cart, batch record, input Excel and CSV data import/export, report emailing, unique lot number allocation, tracked changes, and QR code generation.

Project Plans: Online COSHH risk assessment creation resulting in a PDF report being emailed to lab managers and the assessor.  Scheduled reminders for risk assessment review.  QR codes to remove/dispose or re-order reagents.  Chemical and reagent calculator allowing users to create and share recipes or print them.


DB3

Project NameWellplate

Client: PalaeoBARN, University of Oxford

Development Date: 2012

Type: Web application/database

Platform/language: Cross platform (browser), PHP, JQuery, MySQL

Project Description: Wellplate was initially developed to record peptide digests stored on 96 and 384 spot MALDI-TOF mass spec plates in MS Access.  The web app version uses the same principal; storing information in an array format.  This allows for sample locations to be recorded in ANY array like storage medium, boxes with diviers, plastic wellplates.  The system is currently used to record frozen DNA extracts, PCR produces, and Sanger sequencing runs, allowing for a searchable system of locating samples in the lab.  When setting up a new record, the user can specify the array format to use e.g. 8 strip, 9×9, 96 well etc.  Once recorded a record can be retrieved using the unique ID number generated for that particular record.  The system also employs validation through the use of regular expressions which can be fully customised depending on what is needed.

Notable Features: Printable plate/box map, plate/box barcodes, dynamic form array sizes, field validation with conditional formatting using regular expressions.  Uses sample database tables to retrieve sample metadata.

Project Plans: Sample metadata box which brings up sample and experiment information simply by selecting a cell on a plate.  QR/bar codes to retrieve plate/box reports.


museum

Project Name: Virtual Museum

Client: N/A

Development Date: 2015

Type: Web application/database/game

Platform/language: Cross platform (browser), PHP, JQuery, MySQL, Unity3D, WebGL

Project Description: The virtual Museum was first developed as a proof of concept.  3D scans from a variety of sources (laser scanning and photogrammetry) are uploaded to a game engine web player allowing people to view an archaeological artefact in virtual lighting by dragging/rotating the object within the browser.   The user can cycle through the artefacts by typing a different number in the keyboard.

Notable Features:  Web based 3D viewer inside a browser, drag, rotate, pan, zoom, cycle through objects.  Multiple users can view the same objects from their browsers.  Allows people to view objects otherwise difficult to access normally.

Project Plans:  Different lighting options to enhance features and aid potential research into objects, collecting metrics for morphometric analysis.