I like this photo gallery that Apple has put together to plug the power of the iPad as used by archaeologists at Pompeii.
You’d think, looking at the shiny iPads on their smart wooden desks in the Apple Store, that using one inside a muddy pit would be a terrible idea.
But it seems that as long as they’re wrapped in a decent case, they serve as excellent outdoor computers. The lack of moving parts means fewer chances for dirt to get inside, and the lack of keyboard means you can use the muckiest of fingers and still get your data entered without a problem.
Also of interest is the selection of applications used by real archaeologists in the field. FM Touch for mobile Filemaker databases, iDraw and OmniGraffle for sketching out discoveries and charts.
The guy in charge of the dig believes he’s already saved a year’s worth of data entry time. And this quote says it all: “A generation ago computers made it possible for scholars to move away from just looking at pretty pictures on walls and work with massive amounts of information and data. It was a huge leap forward. Using iPad to conduct our excavations is the next one.”