Throughout this project, I’ve had the opportunity to play with demo models of our various software considerations because they’re commercial products, they want you poking around. A huge part of our project, however, is figuring out how the park service’s internal facilities management software system (FMSS) plays a role in living collections. FMSS is used largely for tracking work orders, maintenance, and securing funding, which means the last thing they want is someone poking around in it our of curiousity. Luckily, we have a couple FMSS wizards at the Charlestown Navy Yard who were willing to show me the system. Each park uses FMSS slightly differently depending on their needs and staff size, and it was great to get a peek at how some parks are currently managing their landscapes in a facilities capacity to really understand what would be important to build bridges between in an external living collections database.
This week, we also had a chance to talk with Sarah Helm Wallace at the Trustees of Reservations about their living collections software decision and use, which was very helpful as they also encompass many unique sites across multiple locations. With most of our site visits, outreach conversations, and database testing behind us, it’s time to sit down and start putting the pieces together the share with the parks and public. While I feel like we’ve made many discoveries so far, I’m sure interesting details and patterns will emerge once everything comes together. For now, happy long weekend!