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Archaeological Excavation Database


tjfinan
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Greetings to all...this is my first post to the FMForum...usual apologies and newbie bowing...

I am putting together an archaeological excavation database for use in the field while excavating. So far so good...it is based upon a colleagues database created with MS Access, which, of course, doesnt nearly have the ability to store photos, images, etc.

But, my problem right now is adapting a feature of the Access database to Filemaker. One thing that we need to be able to do is to relate particular archaeological features with each other. This is done by saying that feature A is above/below/same as/next to feature B. In Access there is a way to build a sort of "database within a database" in form, so that all you do is click on a feature from a drop down, click on the relationship, and click on the related feature from a drop down. This can be done, obviously, in Filemaker...what Access can do, though, is to add more relationships automatically. In other words, it builds a table of relationships as opposed to having a set number of relationships. In the Access database this yields a table of relationships that can be sorted and manipulated easily for ALL of the features.

I dont know if this makes sense or not. But what I would like to do is put something together in Filemaker that is similar.

Any help appreciated, and I can, of course elaborate if need be.

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This question seems still a little open ended to me, as I know nothing of Access. But what it seems like is arbitrary linking to other records, which perhaps could be done provided we get some more information. Does this have resemplance to geralogy systems or are we on the very edge of relational systems capability? Since this:

This is done by saying that feature A is above/below/same as/next to feature B.

Hardly follow established relational types, known to this forum???

When you say:

can be sorted and manipulated easily for ALL of the features

Are we really in the deep end of the pool, because this is the very purpose a lions share of database systems core functionality have in common. You need to let us in on what output you need as exact specifications, an not something a journalist or something buzz'ish you can throw into conversations at receptions or parties.

if need be

What do you expect?

--sd

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OK...lets try this again! I will better describe what the Access database does, and then hopefully that will explain what I want to do in FM...

Every feature in an excavation is recorded within a form. Information like type of feature, soil type, coordinates, artifacts, etc etc are included within that form. Each feature needs to be related to its neighboring features so that a matrix can be created for the excavation (in archaeology this is known as a "Harris Matrix"). In the Access database there is a window on the feature form. Within this window there is a "submenu" of sorts where you can select features that are relative to the feature in the form. There is another pulldown menu of particular relationships...so it sort of looks like this:

F84 is under F95

Once you create one of these relationships, it gives you another line, so that it begins to look like this:

F84 is under F95

F84 is next to F85

F84 is above F83

Then, all of these entries for all the features are then put within another table that then lists all of these relationships. This table can then be used to create the Harris matrix.

Right now, what I have done is to simply put five relationships for each feature using value lists. But the problem is that this is fine for looking at the form, but there isnt a practical way to put it all together...

Does this make any more sense?

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Bravo this is the kind of info, which would have been handy in the first post:

in archaeology this is known as a "Harris Matrix"

Instead of expecting a choir shouting "...ah, a Harris Matrix" as if this is a known thing that we borrow and collect words seemingly unconnected with our own discourse just for the hell of it - like in the Herman Hesse novel "The Glass Bead Game"

But with this to go on, is it straight forward googling, on this exact term and translate it to filemaker'ish! I'll take a look at it tomorrow...

--sd

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Add yet another table Relationship with fields Feature ID, Related Feature ID, and Relationship. Establish a relationship between the main Feature table and this Relationship table:

Feature::ID = Relationship::Feature ID

Allow creating records through this relationship and place a portal to this table on one of Feature layouts. Place the Relationship::Related Feature ID and Relationship::Relationship fields in this portal. Now you can enter as many relationships as you need.

The fields in the related table will contain the following data (Feature ID, Related Feature ID, Relationship):)

F84; F95; is under

F84; F85; is next to

F84; F83; is above.

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