Chair: Benjamin DUCKE, German Archaeological Institute, Berlin | Irmela HERZOG, The Rhineland Commission for Archaeological Monuments and Sites, Bonn Germany

Description of the session: Since the late 1980s, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have played an exceptional role in data management, applied research and even the formation of spatial theory in a vast number of academic and professional fields, including (Physical and Human) Geography, Archaeology, Sociology and History.
Powerful and pervasive, GIS have dominated the discourse on spatial theory and methods for decades, with research areas such as visibility/perception studies (viewsheds), landscape use studies (least cost paths, territorial analysis) and space syntax evolving with and around them. Entire research subjects such as “landscape archaeology” seem inconceivable without GIS.
On the other hand, GIS have also set the limits of what can be done with spatial data. Some of these limitations are rooted in the original design of GIS as systems for 2D cartography and spatial planning. While 3D “extensions” for exploring and publishing data with “Z” values exist, they do not extend into (and sometimes interact poorly with) core GIS concepts such as topological data structures.

This calls for a critical appraisal of spatial information technology in Archaeology, with its capabilities and limitations, as represented by today’s GIS.
We invite contributions that address the following subject areas:

  •  Technical and epistemological limitations and current frontiers of GIS.
  • Ÿ Advances in the academic use of  GIS in Archaeology and related disciplines.
  • Ÿ The challenges of mapping old data in modern software systems.
  • Ÿ GIS in the field and for cultural heritage management.
  • Ÿ Systems and data integration between GIS and related technologies.
  • Ÿ Novel and creative developments in software and methods for spatial data analysis.
  • Ÿ Open source and open data infrastructures for spatial science.

Target group: This session addresses anyone interested in GIS and its use in Archaeology, History and related fields, with a broad view to its manifold applications in spatial analysis, (field) data management, decision support and spatial planning.

Submit your abstract via online form!