The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Talus, a new mobile application for biological profiling of human skeletal remains


Anthropology, Michigan State University

Thursday Evening, Park Concourse Add to calendar

The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the Talus mobile application for use in the creation of a biological profile from human skeletal remains.

When working in the field, human osteologists have to transport heavy, bulky hard copies of reference material. They also have to search each reference for the critical information. The goal of Talus is to provide a mobile web application (accessible via smartphone browser) and a native mobile app (downloaded through iTunes or Google Play) that consolidates the desired information and makes it easily accessible and portable.

The current release of Talus compiles references for the analysis of adult remains only. Future releases will include dentition and subadult remains and embed additional functionality to generate results (e.g., solving for x in a stature regression equation). Due to the high standards set for scientific testimony and peer-reviewed publishing, Talus uses only scientifically tested, widely accepted methods. All sources are cited, and permalinks to original references are provided when possible.

Talus allows easy access to measurements, formulae, and images from the most commonly used methods for estimating aspects of the biological profile. Ease of access streamlines the data collection process and increases an osteologist’s efficiency in the field and in the lab. The integration of traditional osteological methods with contemporary, user-friendly digital platforms is important to continued growth in human osteology.

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