December 2014

You have already entered new items into OCHRE and learned how to enter basic data into fields like Name and Description, and to handle Links to other items. Here we will demonstrate how to enter other types of data to fill out the overall description of an item.

Entering Properties

A property is a combination of a variable and a value that has been assigned to an item as part of its description. All properties are derived from the structure of the Taxonomy (if necessary, see Working with a Taxonomy) which constrains the combinations of variables and values that can be assigned.

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Together

Follow along as we describe the Properties of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
  • Navigate to the item under Locations & objects > Middle East > Syria > Damascus.
  • Click the item's Properties tab in its edit pane.
  • Click the insert-below button on the Properties pane toolbar. This will create a new property in the table below.
  • Double-click the Variable column for a pick-list of valid variables. Note that these are derived from the topmost level of the Taxonomy. Pick Geographic unit from the list.
  • Double-click the Value column for a pick-list of values that correspond to the selected variable. Pick Landmark from the list.
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Properties data entry
  • Click the insert-below button again. IF there are further taxonomic options below this property in the Taxonomy, a sub property will be inserted, as in this case. Double-click first the Variable; pick Geographic unit again so that we can designate the sub-type of Geographic unit. Double-click the Value to expose its list and pick Cultural landmark this time.
  • One more time, click the insert-below button to navigate to the specific options within Cultural landmark. Double-clicking the Variable will give you the Landmark type option. Its values of Church and Mosque will be listed when you double-click the Value column. Pick Mosque.
  • Save to commit these Properties.
  • Optionally, click the person-icon under Observers to mark yourself as the observer of this description and to time-stamp the data entry.

The finished Properties table is shown below. View the item to see how it is displayed.
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Using Predefinitions

Imagine that you will be entering many examples of landmarks. Rather than repeating these pick-list selections over and over -- a task that will quickly become very tedious -- we can set up a Predefinition to make this particular set of properties pre-defined and thus re-usable.

A predefinition item is created within the Property predefinitions category in the usual way. On the Properties pane of the predefinition, here called Cultural landmarks, we used the Paste button to paste in the most-recently-saved set of properties. Since we had just finished entering and saving the properties for a cultural landmark, this set of properties was in the clipboard. We Save this set here as the properties of the predefinition.

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Now if we navigate to the church in Aleppo, we simply Apply the Cultural landmarks predefinition on its Properties pane. The full set of properties in the predefinition will be assigned to this item.
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All that remains is to change Mosque to Church, Save, and we're done.

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Your turn

  • Create a new predefinition for Natural landmarks.
  • Apply it to the Mount Ararat item in Turkey.

Entering Notes

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Entering notes is mostly self-explanatory. Using the Notes toolbar you can insert, delete, and reorder any number of notes, and save them to PDF. We encourage you to attribute notes as to their author whenever appropriate. Notes can be suppressed from any public Views by making them Private.

Other Considerations

Obviously, any project will have legacy data, or digitized content of some kind. Here we have shown how to use the basic tools within OCHRE to add and modify data. But we have other utilities that we can use to help a project import en masse data that is already available in some other digital format. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this option.



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