[OSGeo-Discuss] Tools and approaches for the cartography of archaeological excavation sites

Joseph Reeves iknowjoseph at gmail.com
Fri Nov 5 04:44:10 PDT 2010

Hi Mathieu,

Expanding on Chris' point, you might want to check out the manuals we have here:


Cameron Shorter mentioned them in a presentation he did - I seem to
have lost all original links, but here's an embedded video:


And we have our own gvSIG release too:


Cheers, Joseph

On 5 November 2010 10:21, Chris Puttick
<chris.puttick at thehumanjourney.net> wrote:
> You might be better on the Open Source Archaeology list :)
> http://list.iosa.it/
> Speaking as a non-archaeologist working in archaeology, precision of millimetre is nonsense, achieved or not, as (a) the things they are recording were not built to that precision, nor in many built-structure cases even designed and (b) stuff in the ground for that long has moved...
> CAD doesn't make sense, even though commonly used, as CAD (as any engineer will tell you) is a design tool, not a recording tool. GIS makes much more sense for the majority of recording as the data will require much analysis to be really useful, and a map can be later produced via Inkscape. We have a member of staff who's developed a nice survey workflow using QGIS and Inkscape.
> Regards
> Chris (CIO, Oxford Archaeology :) )
> ----- Original Message -----
>> Hello,
>> I have been asked to analyze how FLOSS software could help to support
>> an archaeological program that would take place in remote mountainous
>> corners of Central Asia.
>> I pretty much see which sensors and software to use for the small
>> scale part, where standard GPS precision is enough.
>> But the most important part is a large scale work, where they need a
>> much higher precision in order to position their findings and draw
>> very precise maps of the excavation sites.
>> When they work in Europe they have sensors and are in a context which
>> give them a precision of the millimeter.
>> For this project they know that they won't have access to the same
>> tooling and they could live with a precision of the centimeter.
>> My questions to the list therefore are:
>> - is it relevant to use "our" usual FOSS4G software (GRASS, QGIS,
>> etc.) for such tasks? or do only CAD tools make sense?
>> - do some of you have experience with sensors/methodologies which
>> would provide centimeter order precision, be transportable and usable
>> in remote areas and not too expensive?
>> - more generally, if somebody has experience with similar
>> problematics, I'd be very interested in pointers to documentation,
>> software, sensors...
>> I hope that I am not (too much) out of topic: I must say that it is
>> not yet completely clear to me at how large a scale do GIS stop...
>> Thanks in advance for your comments,
>> Mathieu
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