There are numerous projects in the Forest of Dean and, like so many, this one involves volunteers. Our volunteers collect and check data and information about the Forest for an Archaeological perspective.
The information gathered by our volunteers not only feeds into ‘Big-Data‘ projects* but is used to feedback to our volunteer force, further our outreach projects with local schools and homes, disadvantaged children, etc. All the information gathered in this and other projects (e.g. environment records and finds through DEFRA) helps further expand our knowledge of how people in the past inhabited or used areas the forest and the archaeology and heritage of those areas in wider context of the beautiful broader landscape.
Crowd-sourced data is essential to the project; this means volunteers. Volunteers have done so much for the project and continue to add invaluable data to the Historic Environment Record (HER) for the areas in and around the forest. Once collected, the data is input into the project data source which is fed through to the HER.
To make this easier for volunteers, we have designed a bottom-up framework where volunteers works in groups and pass their data to a volunteer group coordinator. They check the data and ensure it is uploaded it to the data source (either they upload it themselves or they have a tech-savvy member of the volunteer group to do it for them). You are read more about this framework and the volunteer groups here. This allows for flexibility in the volunteers time (they can work when they like with the guideance of their coordinator) and consistency in the data.
This is the front page of a prototype academic web site being produced as a part of an potential extension to the existing Foresters Forest project.
* Big Data projects as those such EngLaid (the EngLaid project)