Posted by: wadahp | July 15, 2010


The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is pleased to announce the availability of our new, online Historic Property Inventory management system.  For those of you in the “know” – we are moving away from the MS Access based database that has been in use for the past 8 years to create new inventory records.  The old database was one that was downloaded to each individual’s computer or business network, but was tedious to work with if collaboration was needed and was very difficult for MAC users. 

The new system simply asks users to set up a Secure Access Washington Account (SAW) and then to select the HPI as a “service” to get started.  We’ve set up a couple of tutorials to get you started on setting up an account: Creating a SAW Account Tutorial and Requesting Access to HPI Tutorial.

Each person will be associated with his or her “organization” – that can be a local government, consulting firm, state or federal agency or an individual consultant – anyone who fills out inventory forms.  Once the user is associated with their organization, they will log into the system and be able to view all of the old surveys that have been submitted to DAHP in the past, as well as to start new survey and inventory work.  Surveys will be organized by whether or not they have been “approved” by DAHP (uneditable, but viewable); “submitted” to DAHP (also uneditable, but viewable); or “in progress” which means these are surveys currently being worked on (fully editable).  DAHP has the ability to change the status of any survey back to “in progress” if changes or revisions need to be made and then the inventory forms are able to be edited and re-submitted.

By putting users into organizations, folks from around the country can easily work on the same forms – they simply log into their SAW account and pull up the current survey work – no more exporting and importing of data, etc.  Another new feature is the ability to add additional “owners” of the data – these owners will also be able to view the survey entries and work collaboratively with the consultants performing the work.  Say for instance, a consulting company is doing a project in a city and the project is ultimately for a DOT project; when they start the survey, they can add in the City as an owner of the data as well as WSDOT.  Everyone will see those forms in real time when they log in.

Another cool new feature of the online system is the mapping component.  Now, users can simply type in an address and “find location” to locate the property that they are inventorying on a map.  They confirm the location on the map, and voila – the township/range/section, quad, county and locational data (state plain) is automatically filled in like magic!  We believe this will be a huge improvement over hunting down UTMs and T/R/S – as well as helping DAHP to supply a data layer in our GIS for Historic Property Inventory forms. 

If you are a user of the WISAARD online database, you may have noticed that some new dots have shown up on the map – these pink dots represent HPI forms that are in our database.  The points were found using a variety of different methods – the UTMs supplied, address Geocoding, etc – we do know that many of these points are not where they are supposed to be, but we have a start.  It is our hope that through the use of the new system, we (with your help!) will begin to develop a comprehensive, quality GIS layer for our historic property inventory forms.

DAHP has offered several online training sessions on the new system to folks who have already gotten their SAW accounts and most of whom were users of the MS Access database in the past.  We do have some online trainings scheduled for August.  If you are interested in a training, contact Megan Duvall at for the times and dates.

If you have any questions – Megan will be the go-to person on the online system.  Feel free to contact her at 360-586-3074 or by email  at


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