Administrator Manual

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The administrator manual is aimed at people who are downloading and installing ARK. If you are struggling with installation or administration, you should consider contacting the ARK team via the Google Group.

Key Concepts


Information about the navigation tools used within ARK.


The different 'Views' of ARK.

Key Administration Concepts

An overview of the key administration concepts.

Installation and Setup

Basic Installation

A description of the ARK installation process.

Database Tables

A list of the standard ARK tables, with a basic explanation for each.

ARK Customisation

This chapter will help the new ARK administrator who is comfortable with editing PHP configuration files through the setup of an ARK project. For a general overview of settings please see Settings Files.


A description of the env_settings.php file for three different operating systems.


Instructions on how to configure the field_settings.php file.


Instructions on how to configure module specific settings files.


The general settings for ARK.


The settings for page based displays and navigation.


A description of information found within the vd_settings.php file.


Subforms Overview

A general overview of ARK Subforms and their configuration.

Subform Requirements

The required fields for configuration of subforms.

Subform Options

Some optional subform fields generic to all modules and subform types.

Conditional Subforms

Conditional subforms is a more complex subform option that allows specific subforms to only be displayed if a set of pre-configured conditions are met

Subform Reference

A list of all the current subforms with example configurations.


Mapping Overview

Some general information about mapping in ARK.

Configuring the Mapfile

Instructions on how to configure the mapfile.

OpenStreetMap and ARK

Instructions on how to use OpenStreetmap as your mapping BaseLayer

Google Maps and ARK

Instructions on how to use Google Maps as your mapping BaseLayer


User Administration

Some tools for administering user accounts.

Address Book Administration

How to update the Address Book module.

Alias Administration

How to add aliases to the database.

Markup Administration

How to add markup to the database.

Exporting Data

Some basic tips for exporting data.

Importing Data

Information about the ongoing development of import tools.

The ARK Help System

How to use and administer the Help system.

Setting up the Wordpress Plugin

This is how to setup and use the ARK Wordpress plugin

Configuring Clean URLs

ARK can be configured to use clean URLs, that is instead of visiting a page using a URL like: you can visit: This allows for persistent clean URLs and also aids in Search Engine Optimisation, etc. If you are still not sure you want to do this, here is an article explaining it a bit further.

If you still want to do it there are a number of steps to go through:

1. Set up your webserver to enable mod_rewrite

2. Set up your Rewrite Rules

3. Check the setup and adjust your main pages

Custom Configuration

The following are examples of custom configurations and may be specific to previous installations of ARK. Only use these for reference if you are upgrading from development code prior to the v0.6 release. Please contact the ARK Development Team for more information on any of the following.


Configuring file registration

Configuring the Mapping

Configuring RSS Feeds