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GeoArchaeology Web 2.0: Geospatial Information Services Facilitate New Concepts of Web-Based Data Visualization Strategies in Archaeology—Two Case Studies from Surveys in Sudan (Wadi) and Turkey (Doliche)

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DOI: 10.4236/ad.2014.24011    3,527 Downloads   4,199 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The surveying, analysis and documentation of ancient infrastructures or settlement sites are often carried out by the additional use of geoinformatic software and tools, i.e. embedded in geoinformation systems (GIS). Since these GIS-methods are usually adjusted to the local use case, the spatial dimensions, coordinates, map projections and file formats differ significantly between individual survey sites and/or archaeological focus. Consequently, the interdisciplinary digital fusion and interactive analysis of such regional varying geodata by collaborating teams of archaeologists are often a quite cumbersome procedure. Alternatively, new web-based GIS online technologies offer a unique opportunity to quickly visualize thematic maps, location metadata and find details of archaeological objects in a standardized way, also allow the upload of individual geodata from any local client via the internet. Hence individual scientists can contribute information to the documentation and spatial relation of these objects not only by mail or data attachments (GeoArchaeology Web 1.0) but also by directly integrating their standardized geodata using an online webserver-portal (GeoArchaeology Web 2.0). The aim of this study is to assess the potential use of the open source GeoServer software and related web-applications to generate a new archaeological perspective on geospatial data with different scales, resolutions, thematic focus and information depths. Therefore, the two case studies range from a small scale, large regional scope (Sudan) to scales of local conventional excavations (Turkey). Both surveys provided various datasets (i.e. base maps, UAS aerial images, terrain models, photographs, attribute and GPS data, field observations, etc.) which were combined in an interactive web-based geoportal with global range and minimum scale limitations since the service was based on a WGS84 map projection. The embedded archaeological data follows accepted Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards which are available in every GIS. This particular archaeological data infrastructure enables not only the publication and visualization of archaeological datasets in a web-based geoportal but also the interactive geospatial interpretation and data extension of the whole available data pool “by third party users” in order to enrich and promote further scientific discussion on archaeological issues of the respective sites.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Prinz, T. , Walter, S. , Wieghardt, A. , Karberg, T. and Schreiber, T. (2014) GeoArchaeology Web 2.0: Geospatial Information Services Facilitate New Concepts of Web-Based Data Visualization Strategies in Archaeology—Two Case Studies from Surveys in Sudan (Wadi) and Turkey (Doliche). Archaeological Discovery, 2, 91-106. doi: 10.4236/ad.2014.24011.

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