Saturday 6 April 2013

The Taung Project from a Free and Open Source point of view

The Taung Project has ended almost six months ago, but today I would like to analyze some of the most remarkable aspects of this experience, which can be considered as an example of open research.
This project, indeed, was able to meet all the three prerequisites that characterize an open research, achieving the primary goal of this blog (open archeology): the team used open tools (software and hardware), shared the necessary knowledge to replicate the experiment and published the data under open licenses. These three elements (open tools, open knowledge and open data) are the basis of the new idea of science that is emerging in recent years and that, hopefully, will also affect archeology as a discipline (and this is exactly the objective Arc-Team is pursuing since more than ten years). 
Tools, knowledge and data are like the rings of a chain (the research itself) whose potential increases significantly when a complete and free access is guaranteed.

The "Chain of Liberty"
If one of these ring is close (broken) or its access is restricted, the resulting weakness can affect the whole cognitive process, till the extreme consequence of invalidating the final result.
I would like to further analyze the benefits of an open approach to the archaeological research in ATOR, but, due to time reasons, today I will just report some of the old posts where it is possible to access the main steps of the Taung Project:

1) data acquisition
2) data processing

In those articles it is also possible to download the raw and processed data we produced, with the hope that they will be useful to new experiments and research ideas. For example, currently I'm using these data to test the Java-script application you ca see below (soon a post about it):


Writing this post I noticed that we never shared the data of this post, which marked the beginning of the experiments that led to the Taung project. It is now possible to download the 3D pointcloud here and the relative mesh here. Have fun!

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