Presenter Information

Ian Lindsay, Purdue UniversityFollow

Description

Over the past 15 years, archaeological research in northern Armenia has documented the unique evolution of prehistoric complex societies in the South Caucasus, where complex, fortress-centered institutions emerged during the Late Bronze Age (c.1500-1150 BC) not from settled farming villages—as is more typical of archaic states—but from mobile herding communities. As the costs of archaeological fieldwork continue to rise, resulting in shorter and more intensive field seasons, researchers are leveraging new technologies to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data collection in the field. An increasingly popular solution in archaeology is the use of “paperless” site recording strategies that enhance the quality and effiency of data collection by limiting the potential for human error in transfering data from paper forms into a digital format; allowing project leaders to track the accuracy of data entry in real time and correct potential problems in the field; and tracking the transect lines of crew members to ensure greater scientific accuracy in sampling a survey area. This talk will focus on the cenceptual and technical aspects of a new mobile GIS system, developed in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Kong, that allows crew members to record sites directly into iPads with ESRI’s Collector for ArcGIS app and remotely linked via cellular connection to the project geodatabase hosted on a Purdue Library server. I will highlight the benefits and challenges of the new system encountered during a summer 2014 pilot survey in Armenia in anticipation of a full-scale survey planned for summer 2015.

Start Date

11-2014

Document Type

Presentation

Keywords

mobile-GIS, collector for ArcGIS, archaeology, site survey, South Caucasus, ancient complex societies, settlement patterns

Session List

presentation

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Nov 1st, 12:00 AM

Tablet-Based Mobile GIS Approaches to Archaeological Data Collection

Over the past 15 years, archaeological research in northern Armenia has documented the unique evolution of prehistoric complex societies in the South Caucasus, where complex, fortress-centered institutions emerged during the Late Bronze Age (c.1500-1150 BC) not from settled farming villages—as is more typical of archaic states—but from mobile herding communities. As the costs of archaeological fieldwork continue to rise, resulting in shorter and more intensive field seasons, researchers are leveraging new technologies to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data collection in the field. An increasingly popular solution in archaeology is the use of “paperless” site recording strategies that enhance the quality and effiency of data collection by limiting the potential for human error in transfering data from paper forms into a digital format; allowing project leaders to track the accuracy of data entry in real time and correct potential problems in the field; and tracking the transect lines of crew members to ensure greater scientific accuracy in sampling a survey area. This talk will focus on the cenceptual and technical aspects of a new mobile GIS system, developed in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Kong, that allows crew members to record sites directly into iPads with ESRI’s Collector for ArcGIS app and remotely linked via cellular connection to the project geodatabase hosted on a Purdue Library server. I will highlight the benefits and challenges of the new system encountered during a summer 2014 pilot survey in Armenia in anticipation of a full-scale survey planned for summer 2015.