Importing Data Into Viewshare

The first step in creating a dynamic interface to your cultural heritage collection is to import collection data. This page describes how to upload, augment, and save collection data in Viewshare. Once you have published your data you can generate views of the collection to embed and share online.

Uploading Your Collection Data

Before you can upload your data you will need to request a Viewshare account. Once you have an account, visit the upload page (pictured below).

Viewshare can import data in the following forms:

  1. Simple rectangular Excel spreadsheets (if using MS Excel, use only .xls files; .xlsx are not currently supported)
  2. XML MODS records
  3. Dublin Core Data from an OAI Open Archives Initiative end point (OAI-PMH)
  4. Some Instances of ContentDM (Version 4 Only)

Chose the link from the upload page that matches the kind of data you are working with. If you don't have data structured in any of these formats, try starting with this example simple spreadsheet of digitized postcards from Fairfax County Virginia.

Image of the upload page, shows the four options for uploading.

Each of the different formats will require different kinds of information. For example, if you upload a spreadsheet from your desktop you will simply need to locate the file. In contrast, if you import a collection over OAI-PMH you will need to provide the base URL, the set you would like to import, and the number of records you would like to import.

Describing Your Collection Data

After uploading your data you will see the data fields as illustrated below. Most data fields are set by default as text. For each field you can select from the drop down menu to identify the information that field includes. Properly identifying the data field will enable functions such as hyperlinks and will allow you to create facets and views using the data. Your options for identifying data fields include: text, URLs, URLs for images, datetime and locations. If there are fields that you wish to remove, you can click the red X next to a field to remove them. Note: Removing a data field will remove it from all the records in the collection, not just the record you are currently editing.

Image of the interface displayed after importing data.

Adding to and Augmenting Your Data

By clicking the Add button you can derive structured information from data in your collection. This allows you to take information, like plain text names for places and derive the kind of structured latitude and longitude information required to locate that place name on a map. For example, you can have Viewshare enhance your records with latitude and longitude data, international standard notation for dates, or by extracting multiple values from a single data field for use in facets and views.

Once you click the Add button you will see the form pictured below. You can use this form to name the new field you will create, chose the kind of data augmentation service you want to use (Timeline for augmenting dates, Map for augmenting locations, or Lists for extracting multiple values) and then select the data fields from your collection that you want to use to derive the structured data.

This shows the add a field dialog box described above.

In the image above, the user has chosen to derive a new latitude/longitude field (as indicated by their selection of the map image). At the top of the image you can see where they named the new field "Lat Long" and at the bottom you can see that they have chosen to combine the "city and state" field with the "country" field to derive the points of latitude and longitude for each of the items in their collection. Hitting the "create" button will add the new data field to the record and return you to the data description page. However the data still needs to be augmented. A warning box will alert you of any data fields not yet augmented. Hit the "augment" button in the data description toolbar to complete the augmentation.

Save Your Collection Data

At any point in the process you can save your data set by clicking the save link in the upper right corner of the page. When you click the save button you will see the form pictured below.

Shows the save dialog box described in the previous paragraph.

From this form, you can name your collection data set, add a description, and chose if you want it to be public or private. Public datasets will be visible to anyone. By default, private data sets are only visible to you. You can share views of your private datasets by generating a link that will allow specific individuals to see them. You can always change a data set back and forth from public to private. Once you have saved your data set you can start generating views of your digital collection.

Refreshing Your Collection Data

In many cases, after creating a view of data users find small issues that require remediation. The refresh data function allows users to make any changes they would like to their original data source and then refresh the values in their data set. While you can always just upload the revised data set and build new views, the refresh data feature is valuable in that it preserves all of the augmentations of your data and your views. You can refresh your data at any point. On the main data page, click the "Inspect" link of the data set you wish to refresh and on the following page, click on the "Refresh" link (pictured below), and upload your revised data set. Once you refresh the data you will need to refresh your augmentations. After refreshing your augmentations, all of your views should now have the updated data.

Image of the interface displayed after importing data.