DART PhD students and the AARG conference
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the four PhD students who will be researching into DART. They are:
- Birmingham: Dan Boddice and Laura Pring
- Bradford: Rob Fry
- Leeds: David Stott
Dan, Rob and David are all funded under the DART Science and Heritage programme whilst Laura is funded by a departmental scholarship. All the students will start their research on 1st October.
Collaboration between the students and the institutions is going to be essential. Therefore, in order to get the students to meet one another (and members of one of the stakeholder communities) and to start considering the practicalities of how they work with one another all the students have been at the Aerial Archaeological Research Group (AARG) annual conference in Bucharest, Romania. The 2 day conference and 1 day workshop has been very well attended (c. 150 attendees) with a range of informative and provocative presentations. You can find many of the presentations summarised in a MindMap here. A number of the presentations directly addressed multi and hyperspectral applications and many others focussed on exploiting the benefits of multi-sensor approaches (mainly LiDAR, geophysics and optical aerial remote sensing). As ever with AARG the social activities have been great fun. The students can now put faces to names, have a better understanding of some of the problems and requirements of one of the stakeholder communities and have a better idea of how to work with one another.
On the point of communication we thought this was a good opportunity for the students to start working together. They will write a short conference description piece which will be posted here and submitted to AARG news. In addition they’ve been invited to write a chapter for a book that Dave Cowley (the RCAHMS DART representative) is editing. The “state of the art” of archaeological remote sensing will be described followed by an initial stakeholder analysis. This analysis will start to frame the needs of different stakeholder communities and how DART can achieve the greatest impact in each area.
Whilst on the topic of impact I suggested at the conference that we set up a “Methodology store”: a place where methodologies can be hosted, discussed and changed (with changes tracked, methodology forking etc.). Methods can be enhanced or forked due to changes in theory, technology (important for remote sensing), geography etc. It should also be possible to host algorithms and provide supporting multi-media content. This was well received be delegates and by members of the Open Archaeology community at the Open Knowledge Foundation. In addition this form of initiative feeds into the EU funded ArchaeoLandscapes programme. I will be working with the students and members of each of the communities to make this happen.
Finally Veronique De Laet and myself have proposed a session for AARG 2011 on “How collaborations can benefit aerial archaeology”. The session abstract is below:We can all agree that collaboration is critical to the development of archaeological remote sensing. However, we rarely get the opportunity to think creatively about collaboration and find ways in which we can improve global impact and benefits. For example, specialists are developing tools for data management, manipulation, interpretation, etc… whilst remote sensing archaeologists are developing new methodologies in order to utilise and exploit new technology effectively. How can we collaborate to improve the methodology development cycle and facilitate methodology redeployment in new countries with different problems and constraints? This issue was tangentially discussed during the LiDAR sessions in 2010. As unstudied archives continue to grow we find our finances are increasingly tight. This is likely to continue and we will, therefore, never have the resources to address this problem using current approaches. Can we collaborate with different communities to address our data and resource issues? If so, how do we do this and what are the challenges, benefits and risks? Papers are invited on the topic of how the aerial archaeology community can collaborate more effectively both internally and with an engaged stakeholder community. Collaborative examples using Open Science, Linked Data, Open Data or Crowdsourcing methodologies are strongly encouraged.
So if you fancy coming to AARG 2011 in Poznan, Poland and to present in this session then please do get in touch. AARG 2011 is intended to be a joint conference with EARSeL.