Category Archives: Business News

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

Day of Archaeology 2015

Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr.

Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Jr.

Yes, it’s that time of year again: Time for the annual Day of Archaeology. And once again, my day does not involve any temples in remote jungles, crystal skulls or raiding any tombs. Indeed, as has become the norm, it does not even involve any digging of holes, artefacts or suchlike.

Yep, archaeology involves a much broader range of activities than many folk believe, many of which are lab based and/or computer based with the result that some archaeologists (myself included) rarely get to see daylight let alone travel to distant far off lands in search of ancient peoples. And this is one reason why I love the Day of Archaeology so much as the range of posts each year covers just about every aspect of archaeology and cultural heritage and goes a long way towards showing what we, as professional archaeologists, really get up to, shattering stereotypes perpetuated by the likes of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft.

Anyway, here’s my post for this year which focusses on the usual range of geospatial and geosemantic stuff and not being chased by angry tribespeople or making dramatic and implausible escapes from imminent danger and almost certain death (although I did get a small electric shock off a laptop power supply this morning…)

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

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

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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Colonisation of Britain; Linked Data now live!

Late Upper Palaeolithic long blades

Late Upper Palaeolithic long blades by Wessex Archaeology

A while back, I was commissioned by Wessex Archaeology to undertake the Linked Data component of the Colonisation of Britain project. The broader project, funded by English Heritage, involved the digitisation of the archives of the late Roger Jacobi and production of enhanced database/GIS resources now archived at the ADS.

The Linked Data component involved the production of a Linked Data resource based on the Colonisation of Britain database/GIS to be included in Archaeology Data Service (ADS) Linked Data repository. I am very pleased to announce this data is now live! Continue reading

Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project wins award

Inside the stone circle

Inside the stone circle

Chris Blandford Associates (CBA) have won an award from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for their work on the Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project (SEIP). Continue reading

Colonisation of Britain

Colonisation of Britain Linked Data

Colonisation of Britain Linked Data

The Colonisation of Britain project was undertaken by Wessex Archaeology, commissioned by English Heritage, and involved the digitisation of the archive material of Roger Jacobi.

The project aimed to provide a comprehensive survey of the Upper Palaeolithic resource, with a pilot study of the Mesolithic in England involving three counties. A comprehensive survey of these periods (c.38,000-c 6500 BP) was considered of particular importance because many of the sites and find spots represent evidence for the recolonisation of Britain after the Last Glacial Maximum by hominid groups. Unlike earlier recolonisations this event is part of the most northerly early migration of social groups of anatomically modern humans.

The major primary source of data for the survey is the invaluable and extensive archive compiled over many years by the late Dr Roger Jacobi. Securing this archive was identified as a priority in itself. The project included the digitisation of the Jacobi Archive, both as an image dataset and as a structured relational database, enhanced with additional information from SMR/HERs.

One of the outputs from the project is a Linked Data version of the outputs and Archaeogeomancy were pleased to be commissioned to undertake this component. Continue reading