Fingle Woods and Castle Drogo Aerial Survey Analysis and Interpretation Project – LiDAR interpretation

 

Prestonbury Castle, one of the best of the iron age hillforts that ring the edge of Dartmoor

Prestonbury Castle, one of the best of the iron age hillforts that ring the edge of Dartmoor

Archaeogeomancy are very pleased to have completed this catchily named project for the National Trust (NT). The project involved working with LiDAR data produced by Bluesky in order to enhance the Historic Environment Records (HER) resources for the NT property and also produce some informative 3D visualisations of key monuments. Continue reading

Kingsmead Quarry, Horton

The Horton Crest, designed by Andy Sole and Gareth Chaffey and drawn by Rob Goller

The Horton Crest, designed by Andy Sole and Gareth Chaffey and drawn by Rob Goller

One of the greatest projects I’ve had the privilege of working on over the years was the excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, undertaken by Wessex Archaeology over a twelve year period from 2003-2015 prior to mineral extraction of sand and gravel on the site.

To commemorate the successful completion of the project, the team have produced The Horton Crest, designed by Andy Sole and Gareth Chaffey and drawn by Rob Goller. Continue reading

Linked Data: From interoperable to interoperating

Piazza Mercato, Siena

Piazza Mercato, Siena

Videos of all the presentations in this CAA session, held in Siena 2015, which I blogged about earlier. Full credit and thanks due to Doug Rocks-Macqueen and his Recording Archaeology project for recording and making this and other sessions available (see also the session on ArchaeoFOSS and the keynotes). Thanks also to Leif Isaksen and Keith May for organising and chairing the session.

The session outline:

Linked Data and Semantic Web based approaches to data management have now become commonplace in the field of heritage. So commonplace in fact, that despite frequent mention in digital literature, and a growing familiarity with concepts such as URIs and RDF across the domain, it is starting to see fall off in Computer Science conferences and journals as many of the purely technical issues are seen to be ‘solved’. So is the revolution over? We propose that until the benefits of Linked Data are seen in real interconnections between independent systems it will not properly have begun. This session will discuss the socio-technical challenges required to build a concrete Semantic Web in the heritage sector.

The videos for the accepted papers:

  • The Syrian Heritage Project in the IT infrastructure of the German Archaeological InstitutePhilipp Gerth, Sebastian Cuy (video)
  • Using CIDOC CRM for dynamically querying ArSol, a relational database, from the semantic webOlivier Marlet, Stéphane Curet, Xavier Rodier, Béatrice Bouchou-Markhoff (video)
  • How to move from Relational to Linked Open Data 5 Star – a numismatic exampleKarsten Tolle, David Wigg-Wolf (video)
  • The Labeling System: A bottom-up approach for enriched vocabularies in the humanitiesFlorian Thiery, Thomas Engel (video)
  • From interoperable to interoperating Geosemantic resourcesPaul J Cripps, Douglas Tudhope (video)

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From interoperable to interoperating Geosemantic resources

Ospedale Psichiatrico - the conference venue, aka the Asylum...

Ospedale Psichiatrico – the conference venue, aka (rather appropriately, perhaps) the Asylum…


Following on from my earlier post on CAA2015, my presentation entitled From interoperable to interoperating Geosemantic resources is now available on YouTube thanks to Doug Rocks-Macqueen and his Recording Archaeology project. Indeed, there are a whole collection of presentations from the conference (and numerous others conferences) available, all thanks to Doug’s dedication; his work is a great asset to the community and the growing resource he is creating is of enormous benefit so all thanks due to Doug.
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GSTAR wins research presentation award

Postgraduate Researchers Presentation Day - 2nd prize for best oral presentation

Postgraduate Researchers Presentation Day – 2nd prize for best oral presentation

I am very pleased to report that I won an award for my presentation on the GSTAR project at the Postgraduate Researchers Presentation Day, held on 15th May 2015 at the University of South Wales Postgraduate Research Centre, Trefforest Campus.

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The new Magna Carta exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral

The frieze in the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral

The frieze in the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral

Archaeovision recently completed a rather lovely piece of work which now forms part of the new Magna Carta exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral. This involved the photographic recording of a section of the frieze in the Chapter House which was then used to generate a 3D model which was in turn printed in 3D to provide a scale replica which visitors can get up close to. The model now sits in the exhibition accompanied by information boards explaining the frieze in more detail. James Miles undertook the photographic survey and produced the 3D model. Continue reading

GSTAR @ Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA) 2015

Conference

Conference

Following on from my presentation at CAA2014 in Paris, I was invited to submit a paper to a session at CAA2015 covering Linked Data (LD) and focussing on the difference between being theoretically interoperable and interoperating in practice. Continue reading

GSTAR @ ASAHRG; engaging domain experts and formulating archaeological research questions

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

The main focus of the GSTAR project is to investigate the use of geosemantic technologies for archaeological research purposes. To this end, a geosemantic resource has been created from a range of sources and the next step is to express real world archaeological research questions in the form of queries which can be actioned on this resource. Whilst I have my own ideas regarding interesting research questions for my study area, in order to engage with the broader research community and draw on their extensive experience and knowledge, I will be taking GSTAR on the road tomorrow, giving an overview of the project to the Avebury and Stonehenge Archaeological and Historical Research Group so as to be able to pick their brains about potential areas of archaeological research which may be interesting and fruitful to explore. Continue reading

Academic Referencing and citations made even easier

d-221 books by az

d-221 books by az

I’ve been using Mendeley now for a long time and as one of their advisors, I am a keen advocate of the platform. It makes my life so much easier through managing my references, my pdf collection, it’s ability to gather references from online resources, mobile app support (I use Scholarley until an official app emerges) and the very neat plugin for MS Word to add and format citations.

RefMe - The free web and mobile tool to generate citations, reference lists and bibliographies

RefMe – The free web and mobile tool to generate citations, reference lists and bibliographies

But when it comes to hard copy, there is no other solution than to manually create an entry in Mendeley. Till now. I’ve signed up with RefMe which has a handy mobile app which can scan bar codes on published works and generate references automatically. Even better, it can then output these references to Mendeley. RefMe offers a whole bunch of other functionality too but for me, I don’t need another reference manager. Being able to generate references in my Mendeley database using the tools RefMe provides is, however, just plain brilliant. Continue reading

A Heritage Assessment Toolkit

The latest development project for Archaeogeomancy is a GIS toolkit to support the work of a heritage consultancy team. The toolkit needed to be extensible so as to be able to add new tools as required and easy to deploy across an organisation with multiple users at multiple sites with full version control. It also needed to make complex analytical workflows accessible to users who may not necessarily be expert GIS users.

Output from the Heritage Toolkit; visual and spatial analysis

Output from the Heritage Toolkit; visual and spatial analysis using the OS Terrain 50 Digital Terrain Model

A toolkit

The optimal solution for these requirements: a toolkit implemented as an Add-In for ArcGIS. This solution leveraged the Add-In framework for the existing corporate GIS platform to provide a simple means of installing a toolbar to access a set of bespoke tools.These tools automated data management workflows and standardised analysis with a limited range of options from predefined specifications.

In addition to the spatial analysis tools, a range of tools to assist with gazetteer compilation from the usual range of statutory and non-statutory sources (eg Historic Environment Records, National Heritage Lists, etc) was implemented. These tools use source data to create a standardised gazetteer of Heritage Assets including metadata about sources used. An additional proximity output shows distances between Heritage Assets and the Development Site(s).

The Heritage Assessment Tools Toolbar

The Heritage Assessment Tools Toolbar

The toolkit was implemented using ArcGIS 10.2 as a Python Add-In; the use of an Add-In helps with deployment, version control and updates. The toolkit also makes use of the 3D Analyst extension to provide the core visibility functions. The standard ArcGIS Toolbox help system was used to provide context sensitive help for each tool and any parameters and a full html user guide was incorporated into the Add-In using standard Python webbrowser functionality.
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