I'm glad about this. I think we're getting somewhere, although I don't
think we're going to completely agree with one another ;-)
Skipping over the areas upon which we don't concur. I agree there is no
excuse for bad recording. Yet this still occurs and people are 'blithely
I also agree broadly with what you say about recording. The use of
standards such as the soil survey handbook, Munsell etc. etc. should be
encouraged. Equally we should also encourage thoughts on how we analyse
this information. What to record and how to analyse it are two sides of the
This is where my field of specialism, computing and GIS, come in. I am
interested in how these information sets are created, analysed, deposited
and re-used. People seem to have a general handle on how to deal with the
spatial component. However, dealing with attribute (context data) is more
problematic and is mainly reduced to quite simplistic analysis using
the 'interpretation' field. As we have discussed we collect a variety of
other information, yet this is rarely accessed or analysed. From my
experience this is mainly due to 'bad' recording (i.e. using non-
standardised terms, not filling in necessary fields etc. etc.). I am of the
belief that computers can facilitate improved analysis. To achieve this
what we record and how we record structure it is of critical import.
Consequently, this is fruitful.
The best starting point to highlight this is the Max Adams paper. I'm sorry
to bang on but I think it's an exceptional piece of work.