Digital Spatial Technologies have become central to modern archaeological practice. There are a number of interrelated strands to this which can be broadly categorised as capture, management, analysis/interpretation, visualisation and dissemination.
Techniques and technologies used to capture spatial data include: Total Station Theodolites (TST), Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS), Airborne Laser Scanners (ALS) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS); computational photography including Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Structure from Motion (SfM) and photogrammetry.
Allied with this are tools and techniques to support management, analysis, visualisation and dissemination including more robust, ontologically driven, semantically enabled data models and Archaeological Information Systems (AIS) to handle both spatial and spatially referenced digital data and all manner of visualisations and interfaces (2D, 3D, graphs, web, portals, etc) for resource discovery, analysis and dissemination.
Digital resources are being made accessible like never before, with spatiality forming a key component, opening up new potential with platforms such as Google Earth and Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) for research, public access and heritage management either here, now, or becoming possible, drawing on and breathing new life into archaeological archives and indices.
All of this combines to help us as archaeologists create richer, multi-vocal, data driven narratives and theoretical frameworks and ultimately better understand the past and convey this to a wider audience. Drawing on experiences from one of the UKs largest archaeological units as well as ongoing projects across the heritage domain in which I have participated or observed, this talk aims to give a personal view on where we as a discipline are at and some ideas for where we can go next.