Archaeological Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


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Presentation designed as an introduction for archaeological students to the various applications of GIS. Most of the examples come from my own work.

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Archaeological Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

  1. 1. Joshua S. Campbell University of Kansas March 5, 2008 KSU Archaeological Field Methods: Survey Archaeological Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  2. 2. What is a GIS? <ul><li>Geographic Information System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; automated systems for the capture , storage, retrieval, analysis , and display of spatial data .&quot; (Clarke, 1995, p. 13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection of hardware, software, and people </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Where did GIS come from? <ul><li>GIS is built upon knowledge from geography, cartography, computer science and mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic Information Science is a new interdisciplinary field built out of the use and theory of GIS </li></ul>
  4. 4. Defining GIS <ul><li>Geography is the organizing principle! </li></ul><ul><li>All GIS definitions recognize that spatial data are unique because they are linked to maps </li></ul><ul><li>A GIS at least consists of a database, map information, and a computer-based link between them </li></ul>
  5. 5. GIS as an information system <ul><li>&quot; An information system that is designed to work with data referenced by spatial or geographic coordinates . In other words, a GIS is both a database system with specific capabilities for spatially-referenced data, as well as a set of operations for working with the data &quot; (Star and Estes, 1990, p. 2). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Spatial and non-spatial data
  7. 7. Map Overlay
  8. 8. What do archaeologists study? <ul><li>Archaeologists are interested in culture and human behavior th rough time and space </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on material culture remains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All artifacts are located somewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All artifacts can be described using attributes </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How can GIS help? <ul><li>Integrate vector data (point plotted artifacts, features, excavation units, sites) with raster data (feature and level photographs, geophysical data, remote-sensing images, i nterpolated artifact density surfaces). </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable – works at the site level, local level, regional, and global levels. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Capture / Data Acquisition <ul><li>Begins the geospatial workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain data in a digital format </li></ul><ul><li>Digital acquisition will facilitate analysis and visualization components </li></ul>
  11. 11. Survey and Excavation <ul><li>Cataloging and Mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of GPS derived info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital record keeping </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visualize spatial relationships among artifacts or other geophysical measurements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistical Analysis (cluster analysis, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magnetic Susceptibility, Sediment Texture, Organic Content, … </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Survey and Excavation <ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kirwin Reservoir Survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fort Hood Survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scott Site </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Archival <ul><li>Construction of a digital database containing spatial data of all site locations with associated attribute data </li></ul><ul><li>Required for Regional-level analysis </li></ul><ul><li>KSHS site database and DASC data viewer </li></ul>
  14. 17. Analysis <ul><li>Predictive Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Surface Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Least-Cost Paths </li></ul><ul><li>Viewshed Analysis </li></ul>
  15. 18. Specific Applications <ul><li>Fort Hood, Texas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2D and 3D archaeological model integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Penetrometer survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kirwin Reservoir, Kansas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geoarchaeological survey and hydrological predictions </li></ul></ul>
  16. 19. Specific Applications <ul><li>Stranger Creek / Scott Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Magnetic susceptibility metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trail Rut mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Penetrometer survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SW Kansas Predictive Model </li></ul>
  17. 26. Display / Visualization <ul><li>70% of the human brain is associated with vision </li></ul><ul><li>GIS data can produce graphical outputs which greatly enhance the understanding of complex datasets </li></ul>
  18. 27. Display / Visualization <ul><li>Predictive Model Surfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Morton County </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hydrological Predictions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kirwin Reservoir </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytical Surfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scott Site, Trail Ruts, and Ft. Hood survey </li></ul></ul>
  19. 33. Future Directions <ul><li>Google Earth / Sketchup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly becoming the primary vehicle for the display of spatial data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with Open Source software to provide analytical functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also does not contain the high price tag! </li></ul></ul>
  20. 34. Resources <ul><li>Computing, GIS and Archaeology in the UK </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GIS for Archaeology and CRM </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digging Digitally </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spatial Technology and Archaeology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wheatley and Gillings, 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kansas Geospatial Commons (DASC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  21. 35. Joshua S. Campbell –