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Testing iPad in the field: use of a relational database in garbological research

Sosna, Daniel, Brunclíková, Lenka, Henig, David (2013) Testing iPad in the field: use of a relational database in garbological research. Anthropologie, 51 (3). pp. 421-430. ISSN 0323-1119. (KAR id:49474)

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Recording thousands of entries during field research poses a challenge to any field researcher. Contemporary handheld computers offer affordable solutions, which can resolve this challenge. In this paper, we test the iPad tablet computer and FileMaker Go database to conduct garbological research carried out in West Bohemia (Czech Republic). Garbological research based on the collection of data about human waste requires not only efficient tools for recording a vast number of individual garbage items on the spot but also integration of multiple analytical levels in a database. Our research was aimed at household waste to illuminate consumption patterns and mobility of humans and things in contemporary Central European settings. The iPad was used to collect textual and visual data and integrate these in a relational database. We describe our methodology and experience with this kind of technology. The iPad and FileMaker Go proved to be well suited to challenging field conditions in the landfill, data collection was efficient and reliable, the database was flexible because its basic features could be modified in the field, and one could even examine preliminary trends in the data using charts in FileMaker Go. The proposed hardware and software is less efficient for the collection of precise spatial data, preparation of accurate drawings, and for projects in remote areas without good access to an electrical grid.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Data collection, Digitization, Garbology, Handheld computer, Rubbish, Tablet computer
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: D. Henig
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2015 14:44 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Henig, David:
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