CAA2016 has ended
Friday, April 1 • 11:45 - 12:10
S13-08 3D GIS in archaeology―A microscale analysis

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3D GIS in archaeology – a microscale analysis

Undine Lieberwirth, Axel Gering

3D models are nowadays fashionable and always an eye catcher on conferences. However, what data really hide is depending on the system and digital environment of the model. 
Primarily, a 3D GIS environment offers the same possibilities as a 2D GIS extended in the third dimension. 
The presentation gives an insight into these possibilities by using a prototype of a 3D GIS excavation model with data taken during an excavation at the Roman Forum of Ostia Antica in 2011. It introduces the processing pipeline from recording archaeological data in a CAD environment, using a laser scanner and the structure-from-motion method until the final 3D GIS model. The latter contains all acquired quantified data including geophysical and pedological data. Furthermore, lab analysis values stored in an external PostgreSQL-database are included. Hence, the final model contains not only acquired data but also analysis values that are stored and analysed as attributes. These data enrich the model and improve the opportunities for post-excavation spatial analysis as in 2D GIS.
The 3D GIS model tries to reconstruct stratigraphical features in a quantitative way for further 3D analysis. 3D rasters (volume pixel) are used to describe continuous values inside a volume, 2.5D rasters are used for continuous surfaces and 3D vectors represent features with clear boundaries.
The presentation shows a solution of a digital infrastructure for archaeological needs by using a 3D GIS environment to model and analyse archaeological structures. The model focuses on archaeological trench analysis on micro-scale. Further developments might consider the incorporation of more structures and their comparison. 
The aim of this approach is not only to combine all digital 3D data of an archaeological excavation but also to gain new results from the 3D perspective. For this objective, the free and open source software GRASS GIS was used for calculations, the only OS GIS software which can create voxel. The OS software ParaView, a scientific 3D GUI with various analysis functionalities, serves as a 3D viewer. 
An archaeological excavation is by its nature three-dimensional. Therefore, we think the application might be useful for a greater community not only to store and organise excavation data and their attributes but also to gain new insight into the data structure due to a change of perspective.

Friday April 1, 2016 11:45 - 12:10 CEST
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