iDAI.field 2.x
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The German Archaeological Institute’s (DAI) new take on a field research documentation system. Combining features of GIS, photo management, and database management systems in a unique and integrating manner, it aims at facilitating archaeological workflows by reducing the overhead of using multiple systems. Developed in-house by the DAI’s information technology department, it targets primarily the needs of the institute’s excavations, older ones as well as those to come. Yet, due to the nature of its adjustable data model and the fact it is open source software, any interested third party is free to reuse and adjust it to their needs.


You can install the latest version of iDAI.field by downloading and running the setup file corresponding to your operating system (MacOS or Windows).


Development of iDAI.field works under MacOS, Windows and Linux. In any case, before you start, make sure you have NodeJS > 7.0.0 as well as Node Package Manager (NPM) installed.

Then clone this repository locally and run the following commands:

$ npm install
$ npm run build
$ npm start

npm install fetches the necessary dependencies. npm run build compiles the typescript files, creates configuration files, gathers the necessary fonts and converts scss files. npm start starts the Electron app. For a fast development workflow it is recommended to set up your IDE to compile the typescript files continuously while you are working on the sources. That way you can just hit reload to see changes made to the .ts or .html files.

Shapefile import/export is handled by a Java command line tool which is called by the Electron app. If Java 8 or higher and Maven are installed, the Java tool can be built via the command:

$ npm run build-java

You can also call npm run build-all to build everything in one step.

See also idai-components-2.


The app must have been built (npm run build) before running the tests.

To execute the unit tests, run

$ npm test   

For troubleshooting information see here.

To execute e2e tests, run

$ npm run e2e [noff|ff]

The optional fail fast parameter specifies if test execution stops on the first error (ff) or continues until all tests are finished (noff). If not specified, the default mode is noff.


To create binaries run:

$ npm run package[-mac|-win]

Without using one of the specified suffixes, this will create packages for both MacOS and Windows 32/64 bit. If used with one of the suffixes, only packages for the selected target platform get created. When the command has finished execution, you find packages of the application for different operating systems in the release directory.

Please note that when using Windows, due to nested node_modules and the windows default maximum path length you might be running into errors while attempting to extract the package. In that case, please use a different archiver, for example 7-Zip.

When using MacOS, you need Wine to build Windows packages.

Note that creating Linux packages should be possible with Electron, but this is yet untested and not enabled.