Archaeology and GIS–The Linux Way

A LinuxJournal article by R. Kludt and Markus Neteler

A description of an archaeology project making use of the freely available geographic information system GRASS.

Since the days of Heinrich Schliemann’s search for Troy, archaeologists have been confronted with the dilemma of how to record the spatial characteristics of archaeological data, and once recorded, how to analyze those data. This spatial information has historically been recorded on paper maps of varying accuracy and scales. When researchers wanted to perform analyses of these data, they were required to spend hours, if not days, transposing this information to new paper maps and making arduous measurements by hand. This time-consuming process is nearing its end as researchers have moved to take advantage of geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial analysis. A GIS is best thought of as a dynamic database for spatial data. Fortunately for budget- and quality-conscious researchers, one of the oldest and most robust GIS packages, GRASS, is available for free on Linux.