Category Archives: Geographic Information Systems

LiDAR Analysis Toolkit for ArcGIS

Local Relied Model of Old Sarum, Salisbury, WIlts. Based on Environment Agency LiDAR data.

Local Relied Model of Old Sarum, Salisbury, WIlts. Based on Environment Agency LiDAR data. Produced using the LiDAR Analysis Toolkit.

Archaeogeomancy were pleased to be commissioned to produce a self contained ArcGIS Toolkit for the analysis of LiDAR data.  Continue reading

Planning Application assessments; automation using ArcPy

The Machine by halfrain

The Machine by halfrain

Archaeogeomancy were pleased to be commissioned to build a system to automate an existing workflow for handling and reporting on geospatial information. The workflow is used by a major land management organisation for evaluating and responding to planning applications on behalf of their clients, the property or landowners. Automation allows non-specialists to undertake the map production and saves considerable time and money.  Continue reading

GSTAR web services; now with added GeoJSON

"A boundary is an array of an array of an array of arrays" by Paul Downey

“A boundary is an array of an array of an array of arrays” by Paul Downey

Following on from the last update concerning the GSTAR web services, the final pieces of infrastructure for the case studies and demonstrator are nearly complete. Building on the API, a GeoJSON output format has been added so that results from GeoSPARQL queries can a) be accessed via a simple URL as with all other outputs and b) visualised using a web map or indeed any platform which can consume GeoJSON.  Continue reading

GSTAR Web Services

Web by David Reid

Web by David Reid

With all the source data prepped and ready to go, the next step is to build some demonstrators to show how such geosemantic resources can be used in practice. Whilst very powerful, a Sparql endpoint is not the most friendly way of interacting with data resources, especially from within a web based application where options for programming are a bit limited. There is still quite some debate on this topic which will be covered in more detail in the thesis (watch this space; still on track for submission 1st/2nd quarter 2016!) but the approach I have opted for is an API using web services to provide a range of outputs via a combination of URLs and parameters. Continue reading

LiDAR, Local Relief Models and Sketchfab

Cranbrook Castle; LiDAR based Digital Terrain Model (DTM)

Cranbrook Castle; LiDAR based Digital Terrain Model (DTM)

The following visualisations were produced as part of the Fingle Woods and Castle Drogo Aerial Survey Analysis and Interpretation project, recently completed for the National Trust. There is a visualisation for each hillfort in the study area: Prestonbury Castle, Wooston Castle and Cranbrook Castle.

The visualisations were produced from a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) based on LiDAR data provided by Bluesky at 25cm resolution. This DTM was also used to produce a Local Relief Model using one of the ArcGIS tools currently being developed by Archaeogeomancy for the National Trust. The LRM was then draped over the DTM, exported as VRML and uploaded to Sketchfab. Continue reading

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

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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Maplets – static images of maps for use in applications

Toolbox by Florian Richter

Toolbox by Florian Richter

For a while now, I’ve been using the Data Driven Pages functionality of ArcGIS to output static maps, indexed by feature, to include in database driven applications such as MS Access and/or dynamic websites including Content Management Systems. This is a neat way of providing contextual location information on forms and reports in Access or on webpages without having to deploy GIS.

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Extending CRMEH with GeoSPARQL

One of the outputs from the Pilot Study was an approach to working with geospatial data within the broader framework provided by the CIDOC CRM ontology and the CRMEH archaeological extension. Whilst there is ongoing work by myself and others to add archaeological and spatio-temporal components directly to the CIDOC CRM, for the purposes of the GSTAR project, a lightweight approach has been developed and deployed to suit the needs of the project; CRMEH already adds archaeological excavation capabilities and the spatial extension presented here gives a range of geospatial capabilities, as provided by a mapping to GeoSPARQL.

Parential Advisory by Michel Dumontier

Parential Advisory by Michel Dumontier

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