Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CAA 2006 - Day2: Morning Poster Session

I had some time this morning to walk around and check out the posters. Here is a quick recap of two interesting topics:

Google Earth, VRML, Native American Pit Houses
Secondly, A University of British Columbia team, composed of Michael Blake, Sue Formosa, Dana Lepofsky, and Dave Schaepe created a poster for a very cool and effective project along the Fraser River in BC. Working with the local native community, the Coast Salish, the UBC team used Surfer 8.0, Global Mapper, Google Earth, and a Cortona VRML viewer to efficiently and inexpensively disseminate archaeological data gathered from a Crast Salish pithouse village, to the interested parties.

The base data for this project is a high density laser transit survey of the site. Brought into Surfer and turned into a DEM, the depressions in the landscape that show the former location of Native American pit houses became very evident. From, Surfer, the DEM is exported to Global Mapper and saved as VRML for web viewing. Alternitvely, the data was also exported as a .jpg and imported into Google Earth, rectified, and exported as a KML. The end result is a highly detailed and realistic depiction of the pit house site which can be geogrpahically explored. This implementaion of geospatial technology is just the types of projects wich we should see more of in the neart future. The technology is cheap, if not free, the technical overhead is low, and the results are easily interpretable in a non-archaeoligcal context and accesible to anyone with a computer. (I realize the last requirement excludes 85% of the worlds population, but hopefully that will change one day.) The UBC team said they are working on a public site to share thier info.

Iowa Lithic Database
First, is a onteresting project run by the Office of State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa. They have created an electronic database of thier inhouse lithic samples which can be searched to help located the geologic source of your lithic artifacts. In the words of the authors:
"This assemblage is based on macroscopic identification elements including geological references, physical samples, mapped source locations, and a visual basic script program, all combined to form a GIS based system for comprehensive state-wide lithic identification and analysis."
Check out thier site for more info and program download...

There should be some great papers presented today. I'll provide an update this evening.

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