This document will help you to get started with NESPOS. As the NESPOS platform is a highly complex system offering a large number of functionalities, these "First Steps" can only provide very basic information. You can find more detailed information in the "Documentation Space" of NESPOS. Next to help on special topics, you find there the complete NESPOS user manual, which you can download as a PDF-file. Get started with NESPOS now by following these "First Steps".

Table of Content

  1. Entering NESPOS
  2. The Dashboard
  3. Changing your password
  4. Downloading VISICORE
  5. Creating your own space
  6. Editing the access rights for your space
  7. Browsing through already entered data: the Public NESPOS Space
  8. The structure of the tree view
  9. Having a look at a NESPOS object
  10. Creating your own objects and uploading data
  11. Searching for data

1. Entering NESPOS

  1. Find NESPOS at https://www.nespos.org
  2. Enter your user name and password on the Welcome Page of NESPOS. These have been sent to you with the confirmation of the payment of your membership fee.
  3. Agree to the terms and conditions on the following page
  4. You enter the "Internal Start Page" of NESPOS with basic links. When you get lost in NESPOS, you can always get back to this page by clicking on the NESPOS logo.

    Fig. 1. Screenshot of the Internal Start Page.

2. The Dashboard

  1. Press "Dashboard" on the Internal Start Page.
  2. The Dashboard is the main overview page for NESPOS users. On the left side, you get an overview of all NESPOS spaces, you have access to. On the right, you see the objects that have recently been created or edited. In the upper right corner you find a tool box for e.g. creating new objects or spaces.

    Fig. 2. Screenshot of the Dashboard.

3. Changing your password

For safety reasons please change your password as soon as possible.

  1. In order to change your password, click on the link "Profile" in the upper right corner of the Dashboard.
  2. Choose the "Change Password" tab.
  3. Please also edit your profile, e.g. add your address, give a short description of your research or provide a link to your homepage. For this, just click on the "Edit Profile" tab.

    Fig. 3. How to find and edit your profile.

4. Downloading VISICORE

VISICORE is the integrated visualisation software of NESPOS. It consists of two parts: 1. ArteCore, the application for the 2D- and 3D-visualisation of fossils and artefacts, and 2. GeoCore, the application for generating and explorating virtual 3D models of archaeological sites or their geographic distribution on maps.

  1. In order to get back to the Internal Start Page, please click on the NESPOS logo.
  2. Select the button "VisiCore Suite" on the Start Page.
  3. Choose the correct VISICORE version for your platform and download the respective zip-archive onto your hard drive.
  4. Windows users simply execute the setup file and the setup assistant will open. Linux users should have a look at the readme-file before installation.

For more detailed information about the use of ArteCore and GeoCore, please download the respective user manuals. These are stored in the Documentation Space. The two applications can only be used after you have entered the necessary keys.

5. Creating your own space

In NESPOS, content is organized by spaces. Spaces are working areas, in which you can store your data. For example, you may want to separate areas on NESPOS for each team or project within your organisation. In NESPOS, you can set up different spaces for this purpose. You can build content for each of these spaces individually, decide who its users are, and even archive mail separately within each.

  1. Please go back to the Dashboard by clicking on the link in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on the "Create a new Space" button in the upper right corner of the Dashboard.
  3. Fill out the entry fields 1-3 (name: e.g. Jon's Space, key: JS) and press OK. The new space is now displayed among "Your Own Spaces" on the Dashboard.

6. Editing the access rights for your space

NESPOS offers a sophisticated management of rights. You can either grant access rights to user groups, e.g. all members of an institution or the team of a research project, or to individual users.

  1. Click on the "Browse Space" button of your new space on the dashboard.
  2. Open the "Space Admin" tab.

    Fig. 4. How to edit the permissions for your space.

  3. Click on the link "Permissions" (under "Security").
  4. Press the button "Edit Permissions" for groups or for individual users.
  5. Groups: Simply select a group in the pull down menu and click on "Add"; Individual Users: Click on the loupe icon in order to search for NESPOS users.

    Fig. 5. How to add new users to the permissions page.

  6. A pop-up for selecting users opens. Use the field "Full name contains" in order to find the respective users more quickly. Select them by clicking on the check boxes and press the "Select" button.

    Fig. 6. The pop-up for selecting users.

  7. The pop-up will close and you get back to the permissions page. The selected users are now displayed in the text field. Press "Add" to confirm the selection.
  8. You can now edit the permissions of the individual users by clicking on the different check boxes. Please consider carefully to whom you grant which access rights. Please also check your own rights. You should have all rights in your own space.
  9. Confirm with the button "Save all".

7. Browsing through already entered data: the Public NESPOS Space

  1. Click on the NESPOS logo in order to get back to the Internal Start Page.
  2. Click on the button "Browse" on the Internal Start Page.

By this you get to the homepage of the Public NESPOS Space. In this space all public data about Neanderthal sites and finds is stored. You can access the data in different ways:

  • You can choose a country and select then the site you are interested in.
  • You can click on the button "Map all Sites with GeoCore" in order to display all sites that have been entered in NESPOS on a default map.
  • You can also click on the link " Browse Space" in order to get different overviews of the content. When you have entered the "Browse Space" view, you see on the first tab "Pages" three different options:
    • Recently Updated: shows, which objects have been created or updated recently in this space
    • Alphabetical View: provides an alphabetical list of the objects
    • Tree View: displays the data in a hierarchical structure. This is the most useful view for browsing through the site related data in the Public NESPOS Space. Just click on the small "+" signs in order to open the content of a specific hierarchical level.

      Fig. 7. The tree view of an example site.

8. The structure of the tree view

The tree view displays the data about archaeological sites with a hierarchical structure. The different levels of the hierarchy can be ordered in the following way:

Fig. 8. The general structure of the tree view.

The proposed hierarchy follows two main ideas: site analysis and site documentation. The first one is based on results of stratigraphical discussions ('general stratigraphy'), the second one documents the excavation activities on the site ('excavation').

9. Having a look at a NESPOS object

When you click on one of the links in the tree, the respective NESPOS object opens. If you want to get back to the tree view later without opening the different hierarchical levels again, use the right mouse button and open the NESPOS object in a new tab or window of your browser.

NESPOS objects are the primary means of storing information in NESPOS. They provide the information in a structured way and are linked to other objects in the database. There are special objects for the different kinds of information: e.g. the site object for basic information about an archaeological site, the excavation object for storing data about excavation campaigns or the human remain object for descriptive information about human fossils.

Fig. 9. Screenshot of a site object.

Links between NESPOS objects are displayed at two different places. On the first tab of each object, the "View" tab, the outgoing links are displayed. On the "Info" tab you find the incoming links. By these multiple linking possibilities, browsing through the data is facilitated. The links can either lead to other objects in the Public NESPOS Space or to objects that are stored in other spaces, e.g. persons and institutions in the Public Administrative Space, bibliographic references in the Public Bibliography Space or 3D-models in the Public Multimedia Space.

10. Creating your own objects and uploading data

  1. In order to create an object, click on the "Create Page" icon of your space on the Dashboard.
  2. Then you can select one of the object types. Each object is defined by a specific set of entry fields (text fields, pull-down menus, multiple selection fields, and buttons for linking the object to other objects in the database.). If you simply want to upload a file like an excel-sheet, word document or PDF-file, choose "Multimedia File".
  3. If you have clicked on one of the links, the entry form of the respective object type opens.

    Fig. 10. Entry form for a site object. Notice the different colours for required and optional entry fields.

  4. On each entry form you will find the text field "Parent Page". With this field you can define the new object as a "child" of another page. Enter e.g. the word "home", which is the standard name for the homepage of each space. Thus, you create an hierarchical oder, which is diplayed by the tree view. This will help you to structure your data and it is also very helpful for moving objects from one space to another, as child pages can be automatically moved together with their parent pages. When you enter data about archaeological sites and finds, please always use the hierarchical structure, which has been described above. So, if you enter an excavation campaign, the respective site object should be the parent page. For a find assemblage, it should be the layer, to whom it can be attributed. If it cannot be attributed to layer, the excavation should be the parent page. If there was no proper excavation, the site is the parent page.
  5. Next to the field for the parent page you find the pull-down field for the space, in which the object should be stored. If you have edit rights in more than one space, you can choose between different spaces. This is also the field, which can be used later for moving the object to another space.
  6. Fill out the other entry fields of the form. All yellow fields are required for saving a new object, white fields are optional.
  7. The large field "Additional Content" at the bottom of the entry form is a socalled WIKi field. In this field you can use various macros in order to format your text, create tables, insert links and images. You find some help tips on the right side. When you click on "full guide" you get a description of all Wiki macros you can use in NESPOS. Each NESPOS object has such a Wiki field, thus allowing free data entry in addition to the smaller text fields or pull-down menus.
  8. Press the button "Save", when you have entered all your information. You will then see how the output page of the object looks like.
  9. Simply click on the "Edit" tab if you want to correct or add anything.
  10. In order to attach a file, switch to the tab "Attachments". There are two different ways to upload you data: Use the simple https-upload for smaller files (up to 100 Mb). For larger files you can use the ftp-upload, which is described in the NESPOS user manual and in the documentation space.
  11. For an https-upload locate the "Attach File" section on top of the page, click on the "Browse" button in order to browse through your files and select the file you would like to attach.
  12. Enter a description for the attachment in the 'Comment' text field (optional).
  13. Click on "Attach more files" if required.
  14. Click on "Attach File(s)".

11. Searching for data

NESPOS offers different search tools. A simple full text search as well as different advanced search tools.

  • The full text search is accessible from everywhere in NESPOS. It is a simple text field with the button "Search" next to it. You have several options to narrow your search query, e.g. searching only in one specific space or only in the content of attachements.
  • You get to the advanced search tools, when you click on "Search Center" in the upper right corner of each page or by clicking on the button "Search" on the Internal Start Page. Then you can decide, whether you want to search for data related to sites and finds, persons and institutions, modern references data or bibliographic references. The advanced search allows very complex queries by the combination of various attributes and the mixture of predefined attributes and full text searches in specific text fields.

In order to search e.g. for all Neanderthal fossils found in Europe follow these steps:

  1. Click on "Search Center" and select "Site and Finds Search".
  2. The entry form for the advanced search opens. Please keep in mind that the search is based on the finds. Therefore, you have to select the type of a find in the dark blue box at the top. For our example, please select "Human Remain" in the pull-down and press "add object".

    Fig. 11. Box for defining the type of the archaeological find, which shall be searched for.

  3. The box for the human remain object now appears at the bottom of the page. Select the attribute "Taxon" in the upper pull-down.
  4. Select the value "Neanderthal" in the lower field.
  5. Press "add attribute".

    Fig. 12. Taxon = Neanderthal is now the attribute for the human remain object.

  6. For defining the geographic area, scroll up to the box for the site at the top of the page.
  7. Select the attribute "Country".
  8. Choose the value "Europe".
  9. Press "add attribute" again.

    Fig. 12. The search after the Neanderthal fossils is now narrowed down to sites in Europe.

  10. You can now start the search by pressing the "Search" button at the bottom of the page.
  11. As a result, you get a large table with all European Neanderthal fossils, which have already been entered in NESPOS. This table also provides additional information like the name of the site, the excavation campaign and the layer to which to the find can be attributed.
  12. You can now export this table as an XML-file or a comma separated list.
  13. In addition, you can get a display of the Neanderthal sites on a map of your choice with GeoCore. For this press the button ">> Map Object". The pop-up for selecting a map will open. Choose "Default_Map-Europe", press "Select" and finally "OK". The pop-up is closed.

    Fig. 12. Pop-up for selecting a map.

  14. The selected map is now displayed in the yellow text field.
  15. Press the button "Map Sites" and GeoCore will start and display the sites on the selected map. The numerous functions of GeoCore are explained in the respective manual.

Congratulations! By following these steps you have already learned how to use some of the most important functions of NESPOS. We wish you all the best for your future work with NESPOS.

The NESPOS administration