Earlier this year, Working Group 2 (WG2) organised a COPTR edit-a-thon for 3D data. You may ask yourself now: What is COPTR? What is an edit-a-thon?
To explain, let’s start from the beginning.
One of the tasks and deliverables of WG2 is to provide a survey of current hardware and software options for archiving archaeological data. At the outset of SEADDA, back in 2019, we set up a shared spreadsheet to collect software and tools, for which a suitable publication format had yet to be thought of. Many similar lists already exist, but they usually grow out of date quickly. This is linked to the fast paced development of software in general and to the lack of funding or ending of initiatives that set up these lists and thus can’t update them anymore. Like every COST action, SEADDA has an expiration date and any such software and tool list is doomed to become outdated.
So in WG2 we thought about how to mitigate this? One idea was to include information about tools into Wikidata and set up a bespoke web interface that could be hosted on GitHub. This would mean a lot of work. Due to Wikidata’s openness, there also might be a chance that information about tools is updated and new ones get included. But it would still require a community, yet to be built up, to take care of it.
Enter COPTR, the Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry. COPTR aims to “help practitioners discover preservation tools that will help them tackle particular preservation challenges”. To this end, a wiki based registry was set up to allow for browsing and searching or even querying by other systems via an API. COPTR is an outcome of the SPRUCE project that ended in 2013. The community behind COPTR remained active and in 2021 a new and updated web interface was launched based on MediaWiki. COPTR is currently hosted by the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) with sustainability in mind.
COPTR is a perfect match for the task at hand in SEADDA’s WG2: Anyone willing to contribute can join the community and further expand the already rich registry of tools that aid in digital preservation tasks. To increase the listed tools required for archaeology data, WG2 conceived a series of edit-a-thons, dedicated editing events revolving around selected topics. The first edit-a-thon ran for a fortnight in February and had 3D as a topic, which wasn’t present as a content type in COPTR at all. Have a look at the result our group of editors managed to achieve.
Do you now think you missed a once in a lifetime opportunity? Do not worry. The next edit-a-thon is around the corner and will revolve around geospatial content. Starting on the 16th of November, a COPTR edit-a-thon for geospatial data is awaiting your participation.
You can also join the community anytime and add or edit anything missing.