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Optimal grid resolution and canvas size

Heterogeneity and uneven distribution are part of the nature of archaeological data. We have proposed a method to define a common grid system and optimal grid resolution to help archaeologists map and compare representations of their observations. More in ArchaeDyn WG4 final report (Eng).


We have developed a method to evaluate heterogeneity in archaeological inventories. It is called a “confidence map” and is produced by combining representation and reliability maps with map algebra. Read more in Oštir et al. 2007 (Eng).

Angle (orientation) histogram

A historical field system can be documented in the form of digitized lines representing field boundaries. We have designed a tool to summarize information about the predominant direction(s) of the historical field boundaries. More in ArchaeDyn WG4 final report (Eng). 

Digital terrain model generation from a lidar point cloud

In cooperation with the Slovenian Forestry Institute and the Jožef Stefan Institute we have developed an algorithm for generation of a DTM from aerial laser scanning point clouds. The REIN (Repetitive Interpolation) algorithm uses data redundancy and spatial statistics for filtering out non-ground points. It gives very good results in steep forested terrain and in low-penetration conditions. Read more in Kobler et al. 2007 (Eng) and Kobler and Ogrinc 2007 (Eng).

Airborne lidar and historic environment records

The utility of lidar for finding new sites and defining historic environments has been broadly recognised but systematic application and evaluation is still in its infancy. With colleagues from the University of Birmingham, UK, we have assessed the potential of lidar to enhance existing records of the historic environment, using a case study from a river valley in the agricultural midlands of England. Lidar data were compared with the existing inventory of sites for the study area and with a selected sample of vertical aerial photography. Read more in Challis et al. 2008 (Eng).

Application of laser scanning in the study of past cultural landscapes – Kobarid case study

A Digital elevation model, produced with the REIN (Repetitive Interpolation) technique, for the area around Kobarid uncovered a previously unseen collection of remains of past human activities and natural processes in the area, from the earliest hill forts, moats and trenches, and First World War structures to the more recent modifications of the landscape. The analysis has revealed details of known archaeological sites and indicated locations of previously unknown ones.

Links to posters (Si).

Read more in (Si): Kokalj et al. 2008: Uporaba laserskega skeniranja za opazovanje preteklih pokrajin - primer okolice Kobarida, in: Perko, D. et al. (ed.) Geografski informacijski sistemi v Sloveniji 2007-2008, Ljubljana: 321-329.

Advanced lidar data visualisations for past cultural features recovery in vegetated areas

Relief visualisation is becoming an important part of spatial data interpretation, paticularly in archaeological interpretations. Its main advantage is that it can simplify and enhance the interpretation of features. A range of lidar data visualisations, both traditional and novel have been compared and evaluated. These techniques include: analytical hillshading, microrelief topography, derivatives of hillshading from different directions (hill-shadings range, mean of hill-shadings, hill-shadings PCA), composite of hill-shaded relief and elevation differentiation, composite of hill-shaded relief and nDSM, composite of DOF and nDSM, and sky view factor. The performance of this set of advanced visualisations has been studied for different types of historical landscapes and archaeological features (link to AARG poster, LIEPPEC posters).

Analysis of historical land use data

Historical maps often contain important data for analysing long term changes and for various other spatial analyses of land use, landscapes, urban development, influences of the economic development, changes of toponyms, etc.  An essential but difficult step in using old data is the homogenization and transformation into modern cartographic projections. The basic procedure for different study areas and sources is similar on the whole, but differing cartography techniques, non-standardized map legends, deterioration of the material and poor knowledge of projections used makes each case quite unique. We have transformed several different datasets produced for a range of application by differing mapping authorities, of medium and large scale, going back two centuries. An extensive quality analysis of the derived maps was performed followed by thematic interpretation. Read more in Podobnikar and Kokalj 2008, Quality of historical land use data in Triglav National Park, and Kiraly et al. 2008, Georeferencing historical maps - methods and experiences, both published in (Eng.) Csaplovics et al. (ed.) Spatial information systems for transnational environmental management of protected areas and regions in the central European space : selected results and outputs of the Interreg IIIB project SISTEMaPARC, (Fernerkundung und angewandte Geoinformatik, Bd. 4), Berlin: Rhombos-Verlag.

Application of Internet GIS tools for heritage management

An internet based mapping application for Archaeological Sites and Monuments Records of Slovenia (ARKAS) has been designed and implemented at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, with knowledge and experience contributed by the ModeLTER team. The idea behind the project was that internet based databases that include mapping capabilities can provide a useful and efficient way of storing and disseminating data and results to the public and researchers. Read more in Kokalj et al. 2007 (Eng.)

Pixel-based change detection on Landsat imagery

Change detection methodologies for the use of optical remote sensing imagery (Landsat) and their pitfalls when multitemporal analyses are performed with pixel-based (raster algebra) techniques have been analysed. We note that a certain amount of noise persists in the imagery, regardless of the care taken in preprocessing, and this can drastically influence comparisons of imagery. Essentially, this noise behaves as a detected change and the quantitative evaluation might fail because of its effect on the identified change pattern. A multi-resolution change detection approach is proposed to tackle this problem. Taking into account the neighbourhood and change information derived by joining different spatial scales, the multi-resolution approach effectively reduces the amount of false changes. More in Veljanovski 2008 (Si).

Concept for a harmonized cross-border land information system

The consortium of Austrian and Slovenian research organizations and local authorities has demonstrated the feasibility of harmonizating regional cross-border land cover/land use information systems. The developed object oriented data model has been tested in different study areas in both countries. The most suitable processing methods for the classification of various land cover types have been extensively evaluated (land cover types incl. settlements, forests, alpine areas, agriculture, water, and non-alpine nature areas). More in Granica et al. 2009 (Eng).

Observation of natural disasters with remote sensing

The ModeLTER team has been actively involved in providing support for post damage assessment from satellite imagery after major natural disasters in Slovenia. A range of satellite images from different sensors have been processed and analysed in studies of landslides (i.e. Oštir et al. 2007 (Eng); Oštir et al. 2008 (Si), Primerjava uporabe metodologije PSInSAR in DInSAR za opazovanje premikov površja - primer severozahodne Slovenije, in: Perko, D. et al. (ed.) Geografski informacijski sistemi v Sloveniji 2007-2008, Ljubljana: 63-71), floods after torrential rains (i.e. Kokalj et al. 2007 (Eng.); Oštir et al. 2007 (Eng.)), and in general (Lamovec et al. (Si) 2010, Opazovanje naravnih nesreč s satelitskim daljinskim zaznavanjem, in: Gomboc et al. (Ed.) Slovenia and space: yesterday, today and tomorrow, Ljubljana: 59-61).

Dynamic road pricing

Members of the team have developed a dynamic road pricing model and defined variables for the impact of road transport on the environment, which are appropriate for modelling and monitoring with remote sensing techniques. Notably, this project focused on environmental noise modelling. Manual, semiautomatic and automatic methods for defining the parameters (structural forms, relief morphology and break lines, and acoustic impedance of ground) were selected and tested, and guidelines for their expected accuracies and potential to be monitored with remote sensing were presented. Also developed and tested was a new method to link the measured spatial distribution of noise impacts on the environment to kilometre road segments, based on the study of noise impacts on humans. More in Kokalj 2010 (Si).

Renewable energy sources and solar radiation modelling

Solar radiation is a renewable and abundant energy source and therefore it is sensible to take it into consideration when planning new buildings or renovating old ones. We have analysed how the amount of solar radiation a certain part of terrain receives is influenced by the shape of relief and other factors. We have also determined the amount of received solar radiation for Kras region, Slovenia on a monthly basis, and estimated an optimal combination of azimuth and inclination of solar energy collectors. Read more in Zakšek et al. 2007 (Si) and a book (Si)  Kras: trajnostni razvoj kraške pokrajine, 2008, Ljubljana, Založba ZRC: 302-337.

ModAgSpace: Lidar in the Languedoc

The plain of Mauguio (France, Lunellois) is a study-area of the European Associated Research Laboratory ModeLTER coordinated by L. Nuninger (UMR6565, Besançon) and K. Ostir (ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana).
Lidar and hyperspectral surveys were conducted in 2007 in this area in order to study changes in the level of the bay of Mauguio, to reconstruct a paleo-DEM of the area, and better understand the various factors (importantly hydraulic) which have affected development in this plain since pre-history.
This data is now being used to study the development of the agricultural landscape, focused on long term trends in agrarian manuring patterns. The ceramics-based archaeological data on agrarian manuring were acquired in the 1980's by F. Favory and C. Raynaud and are now being integrated with data on field boundaries and systems and large scale changes in terrain morphology derived from the lidar survey, making use of spatial analysis and terrain modeling techniques. The aim of this project is to relate the time-space dynamics of agricultural activities to the variations in the level and coastline of the bay and the enhancement of the plain through hydrological management systems. More in Poirier et al. 2010 "The Modagspace project: Lidar data and landscape archaeology in southern France (Languedoc)", communication au
XXXVIIIe CAA (Computer Applications in Archaeology) Conference, Grenade (Espagne), 6-10 avril 2010.  (Eng). (link to ppttt)

The LIEPPEC Project: Lidar around Mandeure-Mathay

The villages of Mandeure and Mathay are located on the site of the Roman town of Epomanduodurum and an earlier unnamed Iron Age settlement. The substantial Roman town had shrunk significantly by the Late Antique Period and was reduced to villages by the Early Medieval Period. The long term history of this settlement and the surrounding rural landscape is the subject of a research project led by Phillipe Barral (Université de Franche-Comté). Resistivity, magnetometry and ground penetrating radar have been deployed over the past six years to elucidate the plan of the Roman town of Epomanduodurum (modern Mandeure-Mathay). The combined geophysical surveys have revealed a Gallo-Roman sanctuary, temples, residential and artisinal quarters, and the urban road network. The lidar model, based on data collected in 2009, is now being used to study the topographic context of urban monuments and to support a detailed study of the changing course of the Doubs river, which passes through the town. Pierre Nouvel has been leading a campaign of intensive fieldwalking around Mandeure to study the town's rural hinterland and the long term development of this landscape. Lidar data was acquired in 2009 for an 81 km2 window around Mandeure-Mathay. In late 2009 field prospection began in the forested areas surrounding Mandeure, based on the analysis of the lidar terrain model. More in Thivet et al. 2009 (Fr). (link to Foire Comtoise Poster)

The LIEPPEC Project: Lidar around Besançon

Lidar data was collected for an 120 km2 area around Besançon in 2009 with support from the Regional Council of the Franche-Comté. This data is now being studied within a new archaeological research project focused on the rural landscape around Besançon. A new campaign of field prospection, based on lidar data acquired in 2009 and currently being analysed, is underway to develop new approaches to survey in wooded and scrub landscapes. Particular emphasis is placed on the interpretation of lidar data and the integration of lidar data with data collected through field prospection. See some early results in Opitz et al. 2010 (Eng). (link to LAC Poster)


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