(Chair: David BIBBY, Germany / Benjamin STANGL, Austria)
The adoption of digital technologies into cultural heritage has improved our workflow: tachymetry, 2D digital photogrammetry or, more recently global positioning systems are used for on site data collection, laser scanners collect 3D information and databases contain all our data. Whilst the positive effect of these techniques is undeniable and lead to quick and precise results which may be better than those achieved by the analogue alternatives, these analogue alternatives, never the less, remain available. In the absence of total stations and digital cameras it is easy to go out into the field with a measuring tape, a pencil, technical drafting paper and a piece of string and draw plans by hand. With no laser scanner at hand a levelling survey may result in a hand drawn isometric elevation visualising the lie of the land. Data can still be collected with a ball point pen in a notebook made of robust paper or on per pre-printed sheets if no database is at hand.
On the other hand, as occasional lectures in the last couple of years at this conference and elsewhere have shown, some digital techniques – or more exactly the application of these techniques – have no realistic, practicable analogue alternative: 3D-Scanning of building elements that had once belonged together but now are separated in various museums around the world or even permanently built into other buildings and then “bringing them back home” into a virtual reality model of their original state, lidar surveys with special filters and their analysis, complex GIS analysis and predictive modelling, geophysical techniques to find and georeference antiquarian excavations with no proper coordinates or the computer tomographic “excavation” of skeletons with grave goods lifted en block from the dig are just a few examples.
The main criterion for papers in this section is digital innovation for which there is no analogue alternative. An urban archaeological reference is not obligatory but will be looked upon favourably.