No - configuring such single click period searches on the HG would be almost trivially easy - no major changes at all. But as Mike says, the one year overlap issue would need resolution, along with the different search behaviours noted in my previous post.
Crispin

Sent from my fone; please excuse brevity and typos.

From: Brian Giggins
Sent: ‎16/‎08/‎2013 20:00
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Heritage Gateway searching (was Period LUT)

Mike, 
Yes, it would mean reconfiguring the data so that each entry has the click buttons as positive for all the periods it covers which is probably  unachievable due the scale of the operation. I developed this approach for the MK database when it was on 'Access' and it worked OK but did mean spending some time organising the data and putting 'ticks' in place. When completed I could sort or query using "early medieval' and just get that information or more complex sorting using several different periods at the same time. 
Brian


On 16 August 2013 11:59, Mike Shaw <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Brian,

 

But as configured at the moment you would still have the problem that when you asked for Saxon/Early Medieval you would also get Roman and Medieval sites as well.

 

Mike

 

Mike Shaw

Archaeologist, Education & Enterprise

Tel. Office: 01902 555493

 

E-mail: [log in to unmask]

Wolverhampton City Council

 

 

 

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brian Giggins
Sent: 16 August 2013 06:28
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Heritage Gateway searching (was Period LUT)

 

Might I suggest a minor change to the 'Quick search' on Heritage Gateway. In addition to the search box have click buttons for Prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Medieval, post medieval and modern. This will enable the search words / words to be linked  to approximate periods. I would suggest using 'Saxon' as the public understand this term rather than' early medieval' or use 'Early medieval' and put 'Saxon' in brackets.

 

Brian Giggins 

 

 

 

On 15 August 2013 16:48, Louisa Matthews <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Paul / Mike,

 

I asked! I had the opportunity to sit down with about 30 members of various community groups in January 2012 and they looked at the Heritage Gateway (amongst other things).

I afraid I didn’t think to do any quantitative analysis, but I did feed their comments back to the Heritage Gateway (and have continued to do so at the Online User Group meetings - Mandy and Lorraine have both taken note of my comments).

The principal themes to come out of the experiment were:

-          The majority of the 30 people couldn’t get the results they wanted out of it. For example, someone wanted to find Roman villas, but ended up with both Roman villas and villa houses (see comments on the thesaurus).

-          there was an expectation that the search would work like those you find in public library catalogues. i.e. you build your search cumulatively, not all in one go (I know you can refine your search using the advanced tools, but people wanted more of a prompt on how you might narrow down the search e.g. 'your search returned too many results, how do you want to narrow it down?' then giving you a list e.g. by parish, by resource etc.

-          The tabbed system seemed to cause some confusion, with the categories not always being intuitive - for example, when asked if they could search just our HER records, they would tend to click on 'who' first, not 'resources'. Also, it apparently wasn't very clear that you were actually meant to click on the tabs - they don’t stand out enough apparently - 'why don’t they have it all on one page and avoid all that clicking?' was one comment (another observation was ' why can’t it work like the Pastscape search? I can use that').

-          people really struggle with the Thesaurus – especially as it's not apparent that you can 'force' a term into that top box  to do your search.

 

It’s also worth noting that, if you look at gateway analytics, you can get a feel for the way people are using the Gateway. If I have understood the pie charts correctly, about 50% of searches are done by someone just sticking a term in the first box they see (again suggesting that they are expecting a prompt). For example, the top terms last month were:

cleeve prior

castle

manchester

listed buildings

Ealing

Swindon

manuden

elmsett

cornwall

Winchester

signal box

 

Perhaps future versions of the Gateway should have some way of tracking the ‘customer journey’ – i.e. tracking at what point people drop out of searches, how many results searches are returning (if 50% return ‘0’ or 1000+ results, then the chances are that people are not finding it helpful)? Some content management systems allow you to do this, but I understand this might be tricky/prohibitively expensive to build it into an existing resource.

 

So for what it’s worth – yes let’s test the Gateway with non-specialist users, preferably with a statistically valid sample group. I think you need about 1000 participants for one of those don’t you? That’s only about 20-25 for each participating HER…

 

Louisa

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Louisa Matthews

Historic Environment Record Officer

Waste and Countryside Services

Business and Environmental Services

North Yorkshire County Council

County Hall

Northallerton  DL7 8AH

Direct Dial: 01609 532331

Request a search via our website: www.northyorks.gov.uk/her

or browse our records via the Heritage Gateway

 

 

 

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Shaw
Sent: 14 August 2013 16:23
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

 

I think that you should be aiming for something a bit wider than this.  If you only obtain feedback from Users you are largely going to be getting evidence from people who have managed to get their heads round the system.  I would have thought there should also be some sort of consultation of people who are interested in the historic environment but haven’t used Heritage Gateway.  I wouldn’t claim to be an expert but approaching people at Archaeology Days, Local History Fairs etc and going into Schools would seem to be the sort of thing.

 

Mike

 

 

Mike Shaw

Archaeologist, Education & Enterprise

Tel. Office: 01902 555493

 

E-mail: [log in to unmask]

Wolverhampton City Council

 

 

 

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of ROBERTS, Mandy
Sent: 14 August 2013 16:14
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

 

Dear all

 

As part of our plans to redesign the Heritage Gateway, we are intending to obtain feedback from all users.

 

Best wishes

Mandy

 

Mandy Roberts

Heritage Gateway and Access to Designation Data Manager

Telephone: 01793 414939 / 07584 202509

 

 


From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Driscoll
Sent: 14 August 2013 16:07
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

To all,

 

I have been following this with interest and I note in a number of emails reference to how users (with specific references to the public) will expect or want things to work.  Has anyone actually asked them about the heritage gateway, how they use it, the problems they have encountered etc?  I am thinking here not of a HER officer point of view but of the public. 

 

It seems to me that if we are arguing over the correct way of defining a lut on the heritage gateway we should not assume that a user will act in a particular way.  It may be that consultation with users has occurred and I am just unaware, but if not, perhaps it would enlighten us.      

 

Paul

 

Paul Driscoll

Archaeology and Historic Environment Record Officer

Strategic Planning and Specialist Advice Team

[Postal Address]

PO Box 2081

The Council Offices, Castle Street

Thornbury

BS35 9BP

Phone: 01454862175

Mobile: 07824307895

 


From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Shaw
Sent: 14 August 2013 15:01
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

 

Phil,

 

I still think that this is the wrong approach.  No one is saying that absolute dates can be put on periods but it still remains the fact that if you search for Roman sites you expect to get sites which may span the Roman period and not a lot of extraneous data about obviously prehistoric and early medieval sites. 

Hence I have just searched for Roman sites within 1km of Winchester on Heritage Gateway.  This brings up 231 sites.  When I searched on a narrower date range of AD44-AD409 I get 166 sites so presumably 65 sites (over 25%) are totally extraneous.  I have been a strong supporter of Heritage Gateway and although I don’t get a lot of time to do outreach work I do demonstrate it every year at the Wolverhampton Local History Fair and give out EH leaflets.  The feedback I get is that members of the public do not on the whole find it easy to use – indeed I did at one time go so far as to write a short ‘how to use’ leaflet.  I suspect that if I tried to explain to them that when they searched for Roman sites they would get non-Roman ones as well I would soon lose their interest.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

 

Mike Shaw

Archaeologist, Education & Enterprise

Tel. Office: 01902 555493

 

E-mail: [log in to unmask]

Wolverhampton City Council

 

 

 

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of CARLISLE, Philip
Sent: 14 August 2013 14:20
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

 

Hi Folks,

I fear DSU may have been slightly misrepresented on this issue. Our stance is that the date ranges should continue to overlap. This reflects reality and the uncertainty as to dating particularly for the prehistoric periods.

 

The issue is not one of dates as everybody agrees that the Romans didn't arrive en masse everywhere at once like some proto-cyberman invasion. It is more to do with how the search is constructed.

 

If you are searching for ROMAN sites then you enter a search for ROMAN. The search should then look for a period field which has the term ROMAN in it. This would only return ROMAN sites regardless of the date ranges the individual resources have associated with the label.

 

A search for a date range should bring back anything where the entire date range falls within the search, eg. a search on 43AD - 410AD should return a site indexed as 2nd Century AD (ie. 101-200) but not a site which was indexed as 5th Century (ie. 401-500).

 

5th Century Roman sites would be picked up with a search on ROMAN AND DATE RANGE not ROMAN OR DATE RANGE.

 

ROMAN OR DATE RANGE would pick up any site indexed as ROMAN or where the date range is 401-500 so would retrieve early medieval sites as well as every ROMAN site.

 

If the search mechanism is configured correctly it doesn't matter what dates are associated with the period, thus facilitating regionality and the inclusion of different periods as used by some HERs (Industrial Revolution and Empire have both been mentioned to me).

 

As to confusing the public I suggest we explain our search mechanisms better on the various websites.

 

The only alternative is to identify the exact day and time when the last Roman left these shores or the last stone tool was set aside in favour of a bronze one and be precise as possible.

 

Phil

 

 

 


From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chris Wardle
Sent: 14 August 2013 13:30
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

Although I accept that the beginnings and endings of archaeological periods are (and always have been) fuzzy. I’m with Mike on this.

 

It’s always best to try to avoid confusion on the behalf of members of the public.

 

Chris

 

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Shaw
Sent: 14 August 2013 12:37
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Period LUT

 

Sarah,

 

I don’t agree with this I’m afraid.  I’m sure we all recognise that one particular period did not end and a new one start at a particular date.  However the overlapping of periods on Heritage Gateway causes unnecessary problems which could be easily resolved without need for an awkward work around by searching on AD409 rather than AD410 etc.  Martin Newman’s e-mail seemed to suggest that DSU had accepted this so Heritage Gateway and DSU would seem to be out of step on this.  I think that this is an important point which should be discussed more widely than on HBSMR Users so I have copied in HER Forum also to give all HER Officers an opportunity to comment.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

 

 

 

Mike Shaw

Archaeologist, Education & Enterprise

Tel. Office: 01902 555493

 

E-mail: [log in to unmask]

Wolverhampton City Council

 

 

 

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MACLEAN, Sarah
Sent: 14 August 2013 11:51
To: 'List for users of the HBSMR software'
Subject: Re: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

 

Dear all,

 

I have passed on the comments with regards periods on Heritage Gateway to Mandy Roberts, Heritage Gateway and Access to Designation Data Manager. Mandy has responded with the following:-

 

This overlap is intended to reflect the fact that although periods are convenient for classification purposes, each one did not end 'overnight', so some flexibility is needed. I appreciate that this could cause confusion for some users of the Heritage Gateway, but suggest that we have provided a clear indication of the dates associated with each period, which clearly demonstrate the overlap. Removal of these does carry a (small) risk that some results could be excluded. however, we appreciate that some users may not find this approach suitable, and that is why on the same page, we offer the ability to search by date range instead. In effect, we have tried to ensure that users can search by either method, according to their needs. I do feel that this is currently the most appropriate solution, taking into account user requirements and different views of data providers.

 

If you have any comments or feedback from users of the Heritage Gateway please don't forget to contact Mandy directly. Also don't forget that Heritage Gateway Data Providers now have their own e-mail list for discussing these sort of issues.

 

all the best

 

Sarah

 


From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dingwall, Lucie
Sent: 14 August 2013 10:27
To: 'List for users of the HBSMR software'
Subject: Re: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

Hi Mike

 

Melissa and myself have also in the past raised this problem caused by the overlap in the period start and end dates with the Heritage Gateway team. At the last Heritage Gateway meeting that I went to (which  was back in December 2012), I think we were told that this would be addressed as part of the overall re-design of the Heritage Gateway, but I don’t know what the timescale is for this. Maybe somebody else has a more recent update on this situation, as there have been HG meetings since that I have not been able to attend ?

 

Thanks

 

Lucie

 

Lucie Dingwall BA MSc MIFA
Historic Environment Record Officer

Economic, Environment and Cultural Services

Herefordshire Council
PO Box 230
Blueschool House
Blueschool Street
HEREFORD
HR1 2ZB
 
Tel: 01432 260130
Fax: 01432 261802
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
web: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/htt/

 

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Crispin Flower
Sent: 13 August 2013 12:19
To: List for users of the HBSMR software
Subject: Re: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

 

Hi Mike

You are correct that this (in combination with the overlap search behaviour I described in my other message) results in Gateway searches often returning records from “adjacent” periods, e.g. Roman finding Early Med because ending at 410.

Removing the overlaps from the date ranges in the Heritage Gateway period searches (behind the scenes) would be one way of resolving this. Changing the searches to retrieve only records matching or entirely within the range would be another. The latter would be harder to implement, as requires change at every spoke, rather than just the hub.

Yours

Crispin

 

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Shaw
Sent: 13 August 2013 12:01
To: List for users of the HBSMR software
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

 

Martin’s reply got me quite excited!  At last it appeared that EH had accepted that an overlap between period dates caused problems.  Hence I eagerly opened up Heritage Gateway to look at the new non-overlap dates but my hopes were dashed!  DSU may accept it causes problems but Heritage Gateway do not.  We are still in a position where Prehistoric runs to AD43, Roman starts at AD43 and runs to AD410 and Early Medieval runs from AD410 etc so that any search for Roman features also brings up Prehistoric and Early Medieval etc etc.  If DSU accepts that this is a problem why cannot it be fixed for Heritage Gateway?  It must be around 5 years since I first pointed this out and I did ask the question at the last Heritage Gateway User Meeting.

 

Rant over!

 

Mike

 

 

Mike Shaw

Archaeologist, Education & Enterprise

Tel. Office: 01902 555493

 

E-mail: [log in to unmask]

Wolverhampton City Council

 

 

 

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of NEWMAN, Martin
Sent: 13 August 2013 11:11
To: 'List for users of the HBSMR software'
Subject: Re: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

 

I've just consulted my colleagues in DSU and the dates originate from RCHME recording practice in the 1990s but with overlaps removed as this caused issues for system.

Martin

 


From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of EDWARDS, Robert (Environment)
Sent: 13 August 2013 10:33
To: 'List for users of the HBSMR software'
Subject: [hbsmrusers] Period LUT

Hi,

I’m sure I should really know the answer for this, but where do the dates used in the PeriodLUT table come from? I know the period list was originally presented in Recording England's Past: A Data Standard for the Extended National Archaeological Record, but this doesn’t seem to include the date range.

Thanks

Rob

 

Rob Edwards
Historic Environment Records Officer
Cheshire Archaeology Planning Advisory Service

 

Tel: 01244 973667

Email: [log in to unmask]

Location: The Forum, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2HS.

 

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