Geospatial Big Data in Archaeology: Prospects, problems, and how it will shape the future of archaeology
Author(s): Mark McCoy
Initial worries about the adverse effect the adoption of GIS would have on archaeology in terms of environmental determinism have proved to be unwarranted. Today, as spatial technology has evolved and become integrated into the discipline, we must rise to a new set of challenges posed by the sheer size and complexity of data we use and produce. Field survey and excavations regularly yield far more pieces of spatial information than ever before. At the same time, the amount of available satellite imagery, airborne lidar, and other remote sensing and environmental datasets increase in size and complexity. I discuss how we deal with geospatial big data – broadly defined as data sets that exceed the capacity of widely available hardware, software, and/or human resources. While my examples are mainly drawn from archaeological studies within Oceania, the goal of my presentation is to identify how the questions we ask and the conclusions we accept can be shaped by geospatial big data, regardless of study area.
Cite this Record
Geospatial Big Data in Archaeology: Prospects, problems, and how it will shape the future of archaeology. Mark McCoy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403462)
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