The web interface provides tools to enter and manipulate data which will be saved in a CIDOC CRM compatible model to a PostgreSQL database. It was paid much attention to design a web interface where users don't have to be aware of the underlying data model. The CIDOC CRM specification was imported to the system, can be browsed and is used to verify link conformity between entities. Additionally, link combinations can be tested manually e.g when planning model extensions.
Places with locations can be entered on an interactive map based on Leaflet which features different view layers, zooming, fullscreen, clustering, searching and much more. PostGIS is used for creating and manipulating spatial data. It is possible to define multiple points, lines, areas and shapes for locations.
System, Custom and Value Types
With this feature the model and user interface forms can be adapted for specific research interests. Already provided system types can be extended. Additionally, it is possible to add new types e.g. "hair color" for persons. These type hierarchies can be configured to allow single or multiple choices. A type can be used for multiple entities e.g. a hierarchy "importance" for places, actors and groups. Also value types can be created to add numeric values e.g. weight or material composition of a find.
This is an ongoing process. At the moment links to GeoNames identifier can be created in the map using the GeoNames API. Also generic references, e.g. providing an URL for an actor to a Wikipedia entry. Other features e.g. linking to Wikidata will follow.
Files can be uploaded and linked with entities. It is possible to link one file to multiple entities (e.g. a group picture of many actors) and the other way round. Files are available to download in the original size. In the admin interface the upload file size limit and allowed extensions can be configured.
With the integration of D3.js it is possible to visualize data as a network graph in 2D and 3D.
Spatial and Temporal Fuzziness
In many cases the spatial or temporal position respectively extent of an entity is not known precisely. Therefore OpenAtlas allows to define time-spans (earliest/latest begin and earliest/latest end) or areas in which the temporal respectively spatial extent can be located with a 100% certainty.
For detailed mapping of archaeological finds, e.g. in a cemetery. They are used in a strict hierarchy: Place -> Feature (e.g. a grave) -> Stratigraphic Unit (e.g. a coffin or skeleton) -> Find (e.g. grave goods).
Search and Filters
To allow quick navigation even in a big data set full-text search can be used. Additionally, a refined advanced search can be used to filter the results (e.g. only actors, also search in descriptions). Tables and tree views can have many entries and have a full-text filter for convenience. The map provides a search field for a GeoNames search.
An application programming interface (API) for easier exchange with other information system was implemented. In it's first version it is possible to request data from single entities. Output is based on JSON-LD syntax and GeoJSON. Linked Places was used as standard. More features will follow in upcoming versions.
A CSV export for single tables and a SQL export (pg_dump) are implemented in the admin interface.
CSV lists can be imported, e.g. a list of places (name, description, dates and point coordinates).
Data integrity check functions
Because data integrity is important for the quality of research data we implemented functions to check possible inconsistencies including checks for orphaned data, date inconsistency, duplicates, similar names, invalid links, unused types and more.
Users and Groups
Users and Groups are used to grant different access levels. If email is configured new users can receive an automated mail with access data and can also request password resets.
Multiple languages for the user interface are implemented with gettext. At the moment English and German are implemented but it can easily be extended if translations for other languages are available.
This feature enables managers and admins to send newsletters. An editable receiver list with users who have opted in is shown. Newsletters will contain an unsubscribe link.
Bookmarks and notes
Bookmarks and notes are user specific and can be used to e.g. mark entries which need further editing. Already bookmarked entities and notes are shown on the start page after login.