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Technology


(Page Updated Summer 2010)

Plot reads Microsoft Access databases.  What follows is a basic description of how to convert your database to a Plot/Newplot compatible database.  It assumes that you have some knowledge of how to work with Access.

1) Only two tables are required: XYZ and Context. Plot/Newplot will automatically add the other required tables.

2) XYZ must include the following fields:
Unit, Text, Length=6
ID, Text, Length=5
Suffix, Numeric, Integer (default value must be 0)
X, Numeric, Single precision
Y, Numeric, Single precision
Z, Numeric, Single precision
RecordCounter, Number, Integer or Long Integer

3) Context must include the following fields:
Unit, Text, Length=6
ID, Text, Length=5

4) Context should also include:
Level, Text, Lenth=10 (minumum - can be larger)

This related table database structure allows multiple XYZ points to be associated with a single artifact record in the Context table. Typically information about the date the object was excavated, the kind of the objects, the level it was in, and who excavated it would be included in the Context table. To link more than one XYZ measurement to an object, place multiple entries in the XYZ table with the same Unit and ID but increment Suffix (0=first point, 1=second point, etc.).

If you have all of your data in a single table, take the following steps to quickly convert it.

1) Make a copy of the table from within Access and call it XYZ.

2) Make a second copy of the table from within Access and call it Context.

3) Alter the field names and lengths in the Context and XYZ tables as described above and as appropriate. You do not need to delete X, Y, and Z fields from Context, though if you retain them it might start to get confusing.

If you have other tables within your database with related information on each artifact, Newplot can use them as long as they also contain Unit and ID formatted in exactly the same way.

If these instructions do not work, please let us know.