Minimizing Distractions and Focusing on What Matters: Using Autonomous Drone Flight Technology to Examine Architecture across the Circum-Titicaca Basin (Puno, Peru)
Drones have tremendously influenced how archaeologists can capture data, hailed as particularly "efficient" tools for our field. Such is the case, for example, in projects which aim to produce highly detailed basemaps useful for various site-level GIS analyses. However, despite radical developments within the past few years which have significantly improved accessibility and in-field usability, an under-represented reality is the unexpected challenges these technologies almost always present in the field. As a result, drone troubleshooting often takes away valuable time from principal research objectives. This poster presents results from a macroregional investigation of late prehistoric and early colonial architectural remains (AD 1000-1700) in the circum-Titicaca Basin of southern Peru. The authors pre-programmed fully autonomous drone flight paths as a novel approach to archaeological site mapping in order to reduce the amount of time tending to drone flight. Ultimately, while autonomous flight was not without challenges, initial testing of this methodology alongside more traditional manual flying methods at several sites across the Titicaca Basin demonstrates how pre-programming flights can alleviate many in-field technical distractions and cut down on the time necessary to capture systematic and site-wide coverage, thus allowing archaeologists to turn their attention to more important observations.
Cite this Record
Minimizing Distractions and Focusing on What Matters: Using Autonomous Drone Flight Technology to Examine Architecture across the Circum-Titicaca Basin (Puno, Peru). Ryan Smith, Sarah Kennedy. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442825)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22437