Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Resurrecting a blog from the dead.
This blog had moved to a paid domain a number of years back and all was well in crmgis.com land... until
The dark clouds of domain hosts and server fees rolled across the land and day became night.
Blogging became a matter of survival and the oppression of the server host won the day.
Meanwhile, hidden within the keep of the castle the work continued, GIS was applied to CRM, and new ground was broken.
Perhaps the time has come to blog again.
Friday, June 02, 2006
From now on, all new content will be posted on the new domain, but this site will be kept around for the archives and for anyone who has bookmarks linked to here.
Please stop in and check out the new site!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
As seen on the CAA: Cartography Blog this morning, the World Wild Life Fund is partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) of the University of Kassel, Germany to make available HydroSHEDS, a world wide watershed based hydrologic database.
As of now, only data for South America is available, but I would imagine this is the first time such data is made available in a consistent format for such a broad area. The data, served by the USGS, is downloadable in ESRI Shapefile format for vector data and ESRI GRID format for raster data.
“HydroSHEDS is a mapping product that provides hydrographic information for regional and global-scale applications in a consistent format. It offers a suite of geo-referenced data sets (vector and raster) at various scales, including river networks, watershed boundaries, drainage directions, and flow accumulations. HydroSHEDS is based on high-resolution elevation data obtained during a Space Shuttle flight for NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM).”
Archaeologists, at least in the US, often use watershed boundaries as a base unit of analysis, especially in constructing settlement models. Interestingly, I was once told (please help me out if this is dead wrong) that in US archaeology, watershed studies focus on the river and the watershed is the boundary, whereas in European archaeology, the topographic divide is the focus and the rivers are the boundary. This thought opens up a number of avenues for discussion. Does this relate to the types of archaeology, ie. Roman outlooks vs. Late Woodland Villages, or the types of analysis. Chances are, it is a bit of both and everything in between.
Watersheds, as with environmental studies, offer the archaeologists a non-political boundary for which to contextualize there data. It can, and has, been argued that such thinking is just archaeological environmental determinism. Seen as, a way of stripping Native Americans of social creations and complexities that would extend their influence and accessibility beyond a topographic divide. And I agree, it does at times limit our analysis to say this watershed is one way and this one is another, but especially in the Eastern United States, most of the time this is all out data resolution will allow. The watershed of a major river is a large chunk of land, but the great thing about sheds is that they are conglomerations of smaller sheds and build into larger sheds. Although an imperfect unit of analysis for socially active agents of any time period, the natural fractal nature of watershed boundaries works well. This is not to mention the ethnographic data, both from contact America and elsewhere that show that watersheds boundaries were quite important.
Back to the topic at hand, this data set should be helpful not only to hydrologists, ecologists, and other environmental studies, but to archaeologists as well.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The Bosnian Pyramid [site link, GE Link ] finally got a Google Earth model. I guess when visual suggestion is the only evidence in your favor; you use all the tools in the shed. (please pardon the cynicism)
If you are unfamiliar with the topic, the Bosnian Pyramid is the latest and greatest of Indiana Jones meets the Underwater World of Atlantis archaeological mysteries. Headed by Sam Semir Osmanagich, a Bosnian native Texas businessman, the government backed 5 year excavation seeks to prove that the 700 foot hill towering over the town of Visoko, Bosnia (43.98889, 18.17806), is indeed the world’s largest manmade pyramid.
According to Osmanagich, the truth is self evident and undeniable. According to the vast majority of archaeologists, in both Bosnia and elsewhere, the pyramids are a hoax of mammoth proportions. The evidence presented by Osmanagich and his team consists of the pyramid like shape of Visocica Hill and the “man made” blocks that have been found through relatively shallow excavations. He supports this claim with the backing of “leading” geologists and archaeologists. Against Osmanagich are geologic studies demonstrating that the shape of Visocica is defined by faulting and uplift; very common geologic processes. Furthermore, world archaeological history offers no evidence for such monumental architecture at this place and time, as well as, a lack of archaeological artifacts from the excavations. Osmanagich likes to compare his pyramid to those of Central and South America, but compare the typical artifact assemblage of a large pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula to that of Visoko and it is entirely clear that these are not the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a hater of anything that goes against the grain. I am not discounting this because it is the cool thing to do. And I do support the nationalistic sense of hope that this is providing many Bosnians, but the evidence simply is not there. I have read the geologic reports that are provided by Osmanagich and they do not in any way provide any geologic evidence for the possibility of a non-natural structure. Saying that something looks “man made” is not geologic support.Time will tell whether Osamagich’s excavations turn out to be a wild goose chase or the next wonder of the world. If it turns out to be the latter, I am all for it, but at this point, the evidence is nil. Until then, decide for yourself. Check out the Google Earth model of the pyramid and the other Google Earth overlays provided at the excavation’s site.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
ArcGIS and Archaeology: Practical Tutorials for the Use of ArcGIS in Archaeology is a cool site I ran across last week. Born out of the need to use GIS for research and the want to help other archaeologists who may be put into the GIS chair, this site provides background info on both GIS and ESRI ArcGIS products. Further, this site has a small collection of tutorials for some more common GIS/Archaeology applications, such as, creating contour lines, terrain modeling, and viewsheds. A nice looking site with a cool idea; I hope the author continues to add to the tutorial collection.
As a side note, I found this site with going through the large number of links at: Archaeological Research Resources. This is, courtesy of Historic Archaeological Research, has a ton of links for many aspects of archaeology, both research and field.
Monday, May 15, 2006
At the end of last week, the Google Earth Blog wrote about a ver cool KML of the tomb of Tutankhamen. The underground tomb is designed with a very cool box model technique. Frank Taylor at the GEB has posted a good deal on the use of techniques such as this in Google Earth. Notably, Frank points to the work of Valery Hronusov from Russia’s Academy of Science in Perm. Valery has created a set of tools to integrate GIS data with Google Earth. From a look at the institute’s site and example projects, the software (KMLer) looks very powerful and quite affordable.
Back to Egypt… After reading the GEB post about the tomb of Tutankhamen model, created by ‘atf’ at the Google Earth Community, I went on a small hunt for other Egyptian archaeological KML examples.
There are a number of renditions of the Pyramids at Giza. Most that I have seen are pretty general and not at the proper elevation. Though, this model that only contains the Pyramid of Khfare is quite detailed and correctly placed.
Also, here is a great model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This lighthouse is estimated as having stood nearly 450 feet tall. For many millennia, this was the tallest structure on earth. This world wonder was constructed on the island of Pharos just off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Underwater archaeology is still going on today to try and solve the mystery of where the lighthouse precisely stood and how it met its demise.
Keep and eye on the Google Earth Community for more Egyptian models as well as numerous place marks and imagery overlays of Egyptian sights both past and present.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Google Earth Link to Area (sorry, no models)