When archeologists discover a new cultural resources artifact at a construction site, the discovery often doesn’t cause a problem.
“Problems usually crop up post-discovery as a result of slow or incomplete communication to stakeholders about the discovery,” said Micah Hale, RPA, who leads Dudek’s cultural resources practice. (Watch video)
“There are stringent cultural resource laws in place that determine the significance of a discovery and what sort of involvement is required by resource agencies,” Hale said. “Typically, the more time that elapses from discovery to treatment, the more problems arise trying to understand the discovery’s significance, how it relates to other discoveries in the area, and how it is going to be managed.”
Hale said mobile field data reporting has significantly changed how discoveries are communicated and managed.
“We now use a real-time reporting system for streaming information about discoveries from the field directly into the project database within an hour of discovery to update stakeholders,” Hale said. “This contrasts with the traditional method that took 24 hours to 48 hours to disseminate information because data collected in the field had to be uploaded at the end of the day into the project database.”
Hale said Dudek’s cloud-based reporting system integrates project-customized data collection applications on tablets linked into a wireless network to stream data directly into databases, including sending spatial data to a GIS database.
“These are rich-data reports that include text, photos, videos and locational data,” he said.
Hale said real-time field data reporting offers tremendous advantages. “Construction downtime can be limited because stakeholders can react real-time to evaluate whether they need to modify their construction footprint, request a variance, or simply understand the level of work required to deal with the discovery.”