GIS and Remote Sensing for Archaeology: Burgundy, France


The integration of advanced remote sensing data within the context of a GIS has significant potential for regional archaeological, cultural, and environmental research applications. Various researchers around the world are using these tools today. Some of these applications include the location of new archaeological features such as sites, road segments, and field patterns, as well as for determining current landuse and landcover. SPOT, Landsat, RADARSAT, ARIES airborne scanner, and traditional aerial photography and aerial and field survey data have been collected and analyzed over a period of nearly 20 years for this project. Traditional photo analysis and photogrammetry have been conducted, as well as advanced digital image processing of data.

GIS is a very powerful tool, and can be used to conduct a variety of quantitative analyses. It is the 'glue' that holds all the data together, and which permits the display, analysis, and measurement of different information from different sources. GIS can be used to conduct area measurements, to test various theoretical hypotheses, and also to develop useful models to attempt to locate new resources based on statistical analysis of the relationships between environmental and cultural data. Visualization and simulation technologies have advanced rapidly, and extend our ability to view and understand the research area, even when we are not able to be there in person.

For this project, a GIS database has been developed for the Arroux River Valley region of Burgundy, France using the GRASS GIS. Data in the GIS includes both contemporary and historical environmental and cultural data that have been derived from a variety of sources, including historical aerial photos and maps.

This research is designed to investigate the applications of what is now refered to as GEOMATICS; the functional integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), aerial photograhy and aerial survey, airborne and satellite remote sensing, GPS, computer visualizations, and other advanced non-destructive technologies,

Geomatics Definition:

A field of activities which, using a systematic approach, integrates all the means used to acquire and manage spatial data required as part of scientific, administrative, legal and technical operations involved in the process of production and management of spatial information… the art, science and technologies related to managing geographically referenced information ----(Levinsohn, 1996, p. 72).

in this case for regional archaeological investigations. The database has also been used by other researchers for a variety of uses, including geomorphologic analysis of the Arroux River valley.


~ Welcome and Project Background ~ Remote Sensing and GIS ~ The Research Area ~ Aerial Photo Analysis and Aerial Prospecting ~ Airborne Thermal Scanning ~ Archival Aerial Photographs ~ Satellite Remote Sensing ~ GIS ~ GIS Line-of-sight Analysis ~ GIS Predictive Modeling ~ Historic Map Digitization ~ Visualization ~ Recent Project Activities ~ Future Directions ~ Hi Tech Digs TV Documentary ~ Acknowledgements ~ Bibliography ~ Weblinks ~ Contact Information ~

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