Infrastructure Projects

Heurist is involved in a number of projects at an infrastructure level.


FAIMS (Federated Archaeological Information Management System) is a $950k eResearch Tools project launched on 5 June 2012. It is funded by the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) program (2012-13) and the ARC LIEF (Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities) scheme (2014-2015). FAIMS is led by University of New South Wales in collaboration with participants from 41 organisations, including universities, archaeological consultancies and heritage agencies in Australia and overseas. The goal of FAIMS is to assemble a comprehensive information system for archaeology. This system will allow data from field and laboratory work to be born digital using mobile devices, processed in local databases, extracted to data warehouses suitable for sophisticated analysis, and exchanged online through cultural heritage registries and data repositories. Existing standards and components will be used wherever possible; new ones developed where necessary.

Heurist’s Role

Heurist plays a central role in the FAIMS workflow. Archaeological data recording systems, for survey or excavation, are first designed as a Heurist database. Heurist then exports the XML and Beanshell files necessary to set up the FAIMS synchronisation server and Android tablet app for use in the field (these files may be used as-is, or further customised by manual editing). The data collected across multiple tablets is synchronised automatically and can then be reimported into Heurist for further manipulation and analysis. Finally, Heurist exports the data in various formats including directly inserting data in the tDAR repository (Open Context interface will be developed in 2014). This process is illustrated in the following diagram:


HuNI (Humanities Networked Infrastructure) is a NeCTAR-funded project (2012 – 2014), which commenced operation on 1 July 2012. It uses linked Open Data technology to integrate 28 of Australia’s most important cultural datasets into a ‘virtual laboratory’. These datasets comprise more than 2 million authoritative records relating to the people, objects and events that make up the country’s rich heritage. The HuNI Virtual Lab facilitate specialist research and helps to break down barriers between disciplines and uncover new insights into Australia’s cultural landscape. HuNI is one of the first large-scale eResearch infrastructure projects for the humanities in Australia, and the first national, cross-disciplinary virtual laboratory worldwide.

Heurist’s Role

  1. Providing a database-on-demand service. We use a special HuNI Core template as the basis for a new Heurist database to ensure that the database is harvestable by HuNI with a minimal amount of work, and also to encourage compatibility with other datasets developed from this template.
  2. Building the complete HuNI data model in Heurist.
  3. We imported a subset of Deb Verhoeven’s Ultimate Gig Guide and exported that to HuNI as a proof of concept of harvestable XML production from Heurist.

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