Combining advanced methods of remote sensing, geophysical prospection and geomatics permits the efficient and highly accurate detection, investigation and documentation of archaeological landscapes above and below the ground. Until recently, archaeology used the great potential offered by these modern prospection techniques only to a limited or site based extent. The integrated application of high resolution prospection methods at the scale of landscapes, and their integrated interpretation, as currently developed and applied by the LBI ArchPro, are still uncommon. They provide an extraordinarily wide range of detailed spatial data for further archaeological analysis and reasoning.
Only the integration of the entire spectrum of non-invasive prospection methods will allow us to achieve a maximum of qualitative and quantitative information about buried archaeology. Our idea of integration is different from the current practice: Integration goes beyond a mere application of multiple techniques, where interpretations derived from different methods are added up in a general narrative or map.
We intend to integrate all respective prospection data within our ArchaeoAnalyst GIS-extension and to work on specific integrations by combined processing and visualization in 2D and 3D for an easier perception of archaeologically relevant anomalies within the combined data sets. Within the combination or fusion of the various datasets derived from airborne remote sensing and geophysical prospection, the virtual tools for visualisation and data interaction in VR environments will play a vital role. In addition to the GIS approach, we will fuse the various datasets into a single flexible 3D data volume and develop natural interfaces that allow us to exploit this data volume in different virtual environments. The VR tools will be based on the analysis of an interpreter’s perception of the complex data volumes. Our objective is to efficiently visualize and exploit all the complex fused data volumes together with their archaeological interpretations in a single framework. This calls for the development and application of efficient data structures, advanced data processing techniques for quality improvements (including noise reduction and outlier removal) and tailored VR visualization and interaction tools.