Tag Archives: Ordnance Survey

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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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

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

So long and thanks for all the fish… Hello G-STAR!

So long and thanks for all the fish...

So long and thanks for all the fish…

After over five years as the Geomatics Manager for Wessex Archaeology, I have now left to start a PhD in computer science, investigating geosemantic tools for archaeological research (G-STAR) based in the Hypermedia Research Unit at the University of Glamorgan with input from the Geographical Information Systems Research Unit. Continue reading