All for Drone and Drone for Free: A Free and/or Open-Source Workflow for UAV Imagery Collection and Analysis

Author(s): Kelsey Reese

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Novel Statistical Techniques in Archaeology II (QUANTARCH II)" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Full coverage pedestrian survey to record new sites on unknown archaeological landscapes is costly in terms of money, time, and personnel. Archaeological projects are usually limited in these resources and have to simultaneously balance data quantity with quality within their budgetary means. Researchers have experimented with Unmanned Aerial Vehivles (UAV) and remote sensing technology over the past decade, but the initial cost of equipment, software, and necessary processing power has hindered the ubiquitous implementation of UAV technology for archaeological survey. This poster presents a systematic analysis of UAV orthoimagery in a variety of landcover contexts to determine the most effective means of identifying archaeological sites in a previously unsurveyed area. By implementing the methods presented here, researchers will be able to identify and target areas of interest to visit while in the field through a free and automated process using R, DroneDeploy, and OpenDroneMap. The development of an effective and free methodology for collecting and analyzing aerial orthoimagery increases the accessibility of cutting-edge technology to researchers without the funds to purchase proprietary software. A case study from the Mesa Verde North Escarpment in southwestern Colorado is used to demonstrate the process and results of the proposed free and open-source workflow.

Cite this Record

All for Drone and Drone for Free: A Free and/or Open-Source Workflow for UAV Imagery Collection and Analysis. Kelsey Reese. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452319)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23780