Blog posts tagged tools
These third-party services that we use offer many benefits but too often we forget that they are not necessarily built for for longevity. Importantly it’s not necessarily their responsibility either. So long as there is a way for SFO Museum to export the things that it posts on a service we can and should take on some of the burden of preserving those efforts for posterity. That is, after all, the business of museums and libraries and archives.
Have you ever wanted to be able to reverse-geocode a point not just in space but also in time? Have you ever wanted to do that date-filtering with fuzzy or imprecise dates, encoded using the Extended DateTime Format (EDTF) ? Have you ever wanted to do both of these things with an arbitrary subset of location records? Have you ever wanted to be able expose these things as a web application and an API that doesn’t need to talk to a remote database? Have you ever wanted to be able to deploy those applications both locally and as serverless applications running on a cloud-provider’s infrastructure? Now you can.
The EDTF specification does all the work of defining the rules and semantics for encoding complex and ambiguous dates in to well-defined and structured strings and the go-edtf packages do the work of decomposing those strings in to values and flags that can be manipulated by computers.
It may be too soon to imagine that we can make everything easy but maybe we can start to make more things at least possible.
NFC Clock is not meant to answer the question ‘How should my museum use HCE?’ but only to answer the question ‘Where do I even get started with HCE?’
It fosters a practice of actively requesting backups of our activity on these services, as opposed to relying on a mysterious automated system running in the background. I also like that it mirrors our own practice of building services and functionality, like the Mills Field website, from the same open data that we publish for other people to use.
In that spirit this blog post is about four small command-line utilities we’ve written to do our work and are sharing with the wider cultural heritage sector. These tools aren’t specific to SFO Museum and might be useful or helpful to other organizations using a similar infrastructure as ours.