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Proceedings Paper

In with the new, out with the old? Auto-extraction for remote sensing archaeology
Author(s): David C. Cowley
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Paper Abstract

This paper explores aspects of the inter-relationships between traditional archaeological interpretation of remote sensed data (principally visual examination of aerial photographs/satellite) and those drawing on automated feature extraction and processing. Established approaches to archaeological interpretation of aerial photographs are heavily reliant on individual observation (eye/brain) in an experience and knowledge-based process. Increasingly, however, much more complex and extensive datasets are becoming available to archaeology and these require critical reflection on analytical and interpretative processes. Archaeological applications of Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) are becoming increasingly routine, and as the spatial resolution of hyper-spectral data improves, its potentially massive implications for archaeological site detection may prove to be a sea-change. These complex datasets demand new approaches, as traditional methods based on direct observation by an archaeological interpreter will never do more than scratch the surface, and will fail to fully extend the boundaries of knowledge. Inevitably, changing analytical and interpretative processes can create tensions, especially, as has been the case in archaeology, when the innovations in data and analysis come from outside the discipline. These tensions often centre on the character of the information produced, and a lack of clarity on the place of archaeological interpretation in the workflow. This is especially true for ALS data and autoextraction techniques, and carries implications for all forms of remote sensed archaeological datasets, including hyperspectral data and aerial photographs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 October 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8532, Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2012, 853206 (19 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.981758
Show Author Affiliations
David C. Cowley, RCAHMS (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8532:
Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2012
Charles R. Bostater; Stelios P. Mertikas; Xavier Neyt; Caroline Nichol; Dave Cowley; Jean-Paul Bruyant, Editor(s)

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