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I’m on the train; shall I email you my coordinates…? Mobile Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology
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I’m on the train; shall I email you my coordinates…? Mobile Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology

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A paper given at the IFA conference on the subject of mobile spatial technologies and their impact on archaeology. Part of the session entitled "‘I’m on the train!’ - new technologies and the historic …

A paper given at the IFA conference on the subject of mobile spatial technologies and their impact on archaeology. Part of the session entitled "‘I’m on the train!’ - new technologies and the historic environment: a practical guide for geeks, nerds and technophobes" organised by John Schofield, English Heritage.

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  • 1. Wessex Archaeology I’m on the train; shall I email you my coordinates…? Mobile Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology Paul Cripps •Geomatics Manager, Wessex Archaeology •PGR student, University of Southampton, Archaeological Computing Research Group Tom Goskar •Web Manager, Wessex Archaeology http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 2. Wessex Archaeology Overview • History 2000-present • Hardware – PDA’s – Tablets – Smartphones • Software – Googlemaps – MScape • The bigger picture – Access to information – User generated content • Case Study – Stonehenge Landscape Tour http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 3. Wessex Archaeology In the beginning… • Expensive hardware • No mobile internet – PDAs costing hundreds of – Simply didn’t exist! pounds • Windows CE – Survey grade kit costing – First incarnation thousands of pounds – Less than perfect… – Low resolution digital cameras • Limited comms – Low accuracy GPS costing £100+ – Wireless via infra-red serial only • Battery life (or not) – Cables – Seriously limiting • No integration – Separate units and cables for GPS – Camera integration virtually impossible http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 4. Wessex Archaeology Moving forward… • Miniaturisation • Integration: the – Smaller devices SmartPhone – Single chip GPS – GPS built in • Better batteries – Phone built in (3G, GPRS, HSDPA) – c. 8hrs with Windows Mobile Device – Cameras – Days with a Nokia • New devices and SmartPhone, even with interfaces GPS turned on! – Touch screens • Better comms – (Ruggedised) Tablets – Bluetooth – Netbooks – Wifi – Dedicated survey units http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 5. Wessex Archaeology The present day • Range of devices, fully integrated – Higher accuracy GPS – High resolution (video) cameras – High quality audio • Cheap yet powerful – SmartPhones free with mobile contract • Mobile Internet everywhere! – Subject to network coverage… – Fast broadband access (up to 7.2 Mb/s) • Operating Systems – Symbian – Windows Mobile – Android • Range of free and commercial software – Full blown GIS eg PocketGIS, ArcPad – Lightweight GIS applications eg GoogleMaps Mobile – Offline dedicated ‘e-trail’ platforms eg mScape http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 6. Wessex Archaeology So what is being done with it all…? • Location based services – Social Networking: • FireEagle, Twitter, Dopplr, BrightKite, Google Latitude, etc – Location based searches: • where’s the nearest Chinese takeaway rated 4/5 or better…? • Field recording – Data capture and validation • Tours and trails – E-trails and mobile tours – Links to online resources via GPS location, VR tags, Wireless Hotspots, etc http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 7. Wessex Archaeology and cultural heritage…? • Tours and E-Trails – eg RCAHMW Blaenavon E-Trail (mScape) – eg NT Coastal Walks (pdfs to download or print) • User generated Google Maps – eg Stonehenge Landscape Tour • QR tags – eg the PowerHouse Museum, Sydney • Demand for location-based content: – Heritage Gateway mobile…? – ADS mobile…? – NT mobile…? http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 8. Wessex Archaeology Case Study http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 9. Wessex Archaeology The Stonehenge Landscape Tour • Built using ArcGIS & • Shows selected sites around the World Google Earth Heritage Site • Distributed using Keyhole • Includes links to associated resources Markup Language (KML) – Wikipedia – Accessible to mobile – Wiltshire SMR online devices (PDAs and SmartPhones) via GoogleMaps Mobile using Mobile Internet – Accessible to larger devices (Tablets and NetBooks) via GoogleEarth (using Mobile Internet) and GIS (offline) http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 10. Wessex Archaeology On the phone… • Works on Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android, iPhone, etc • GPS location ideal but can use cell tower triangulation http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 11. Wessex Archaeology Finding out more… • Links to more info – Wikipedia – SMR online • Aerial photography – Built in to GoogleMaps http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 12. Wessex Archaeology Getting there… • Browse list of stops • View map of stops • Directions to stops – Walking, driving, even public transport (where available) http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 13. Wessex Archaeology For larger devices… • Mobile Internet enabled netbooks, laptops and tablets can run Google Earth • Support external/internal GPS http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 14. Wessex Archaeology And in Google Earth… http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 15. Wessex Archaeology Work in progress • Currently ‘proof of concept’ • More content to be added – More full descriptions – Images and video – More links to external resources • More stops to add • It is publicly accessible in current form – Has been tested by us and other users – Feedback – www.tinyurl.com/shenge http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 16. Wessex Archaeology Conclusions • Now pretty straightforward to • Hardware now cheap and easy provide mobile tours, e-trails to use and access to information – Smartphones by the millions – Online (Symbian, Windows Mobile, – Offline Android, iPhone) • Location based – Most include camera + GPS + high speed internet – GPS – Free on £20 contracts, – Cell-tower including 1Gb data allowance – QR tags • Growing online infrastructure – Bluetooth of cultural heritage info to • Lots of software options make use of – Many are free! – eg Heritage Gateway, ADS, online SMRs • So let’s build! http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009
  • 17. Wessex Archaeology fin http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ I’m on the Train!’ - New Technologies and the Historic Environment: A Practical Guide for Geeks, Nerds and Technophobes. IFA, 2009

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