Services

What the OCHRE Data Service Provides

The OCHRE Data Service can help you model, collect, curate, and integrate your data. We provide consultation and supporting services to assist research projects with the adoption and use of the OCHRE database environment.

Consulting services

Our experienced research database specialists are available to help you determine whether the OCHRE database system is a good fit for your research project. We will:

  • Discuss your data with you and work to understand the research needs of your project
  • Help you appreciate how best to organize your data using the flexible OCHRE data model
  • Walk through the options for managing your images, PDFs, and other supporting files
  • Demonstrate a variety of techniques for analysis and publication
  • Plan an appropriate archival strategy

Ask whether our pilot program is right for you. This is a low-cost option that allows you to try OCHRE before committing fully to this approach.

Database services

Project data is stored in an XML database on a server managed by the Digital Library Development Center at the University of Chicago. Note that OCHRE distinguishes between internal data stored in the XML format within the central database and external digital resources such as images, spatial data, 3-D models, and video recordings. Each project will normally pro­vide its own Web server on which to store its images and other external resource files. These files are not stored in the central OCHRE database but are simply catalogued there, with links to the Internet locations where they can be found.

OCHRE does not impose variables and values on your project. All project variables are customizable. Our research database specialists can help users build their taxonomic hierarchies, an important step in data modeling. We can also help import existing data from sources such as Microsoft Excel and Access or FileMaker. We provide various other services if desired, including but not limited to data entry, query design, publication design, and public interface design.

Imaging services

The OCHRE Data Service can provide a variety of unique and powerful imaging services. First, we can provide RTI photography, a photographic method that powerfully images items containing low relief. This type of photography is particularly useful in the documentation of inscriptions, seal impressions, and certain fossil impressions. In fact, this photographic method has potential value for imaging any object that contains details that are best visible when viewed under various lighting angles. RTI photography is not limited by the size of the object. Our photographers have imaged objects smaller than 1cm diameter and larger than 20 feet wide.

In addition to RTI, the OCHRE Data Service provides high quality digital scanning using a BetterLight scanner. While the best Canon DSLR cameras provide images in roughly 21 megapixel resolution, our BetterLight scanner can provide images in excess of 200 megapixels. This photographic method is useful for art reproduction or any application that requires highly accurate, high resolution images. Our photographers have years of experience in professional photographic methodology including studio lighting and filtering.

We are also accomplished archeology field photographers with expertise in the use of aerial photography for photogrammetric modeling. We can help you produce quality images. But more importantly, in the OCHRE data model, these images of various types are integrated with and linked to your project data, making a powerful analytical network.

Pricing

The cost of using OCHRE is based on the "Project Administrator account." Any active OCHRE project may have one or more administrator accounts. Pricing is based on the project size and the number of project administrator accounts required. There is a one-time project activation fee followed by an annual fee for each year in which the project remains "active."

OCHRE is freely downloadable by scholars and students everywhere for viewing and searching published project data that has been made available by any of OCHRE's participating projects.

Additionally, any OCHRE project can set up unlimited, free user accounts for access to project data. These user accounts will be for the use of project staff to enter, edit, link, view, and otherwise manage project data based on the user's level of access as assigned by the project.

A project may reach a stage in which the day-to-day work on the database is finished, the data entry is complete, and a public view is available. At this point the project will enter a "maintenance" phase during which the annual project fee is significantly reduced.

We appreciate the particular challenges of graduate study and wish to encourage students in their dissertation research. Any student in good standing academically who wants to use OCHRE for his or her own project is welcome to contact us for discounted services.

In general, expenses related to starting a basic OCHRE project include a one-time project activation fee followed each year by an annual fee for active projects. Additional services can be added. The activation fee (and later annual fee) are scaled according to the project size.

Features of a full-service, active OCHRE Project

Technical Support

In addition to an online help system and detailed user manual (download PDF), technical support and consultation are available. A payment may be required for this, depending on the level of support needed (e.g., for cleaning up and importing large quantities of existing data).

Please contact us to discuss pricing for your project (ochre@uchicago.edu).