2007 June 14

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Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I preview three sessions that will take place at the ESRI International User Conference, June 18-22, in San Diego. Plus, a letter to the editor and a dozen press releases.

Matteo Luccio

GIS for Archaeology

Beyond 2D and 3D, GIS can also be used to map in 4D! The fourth dimension, of course, is time, and the application archaeology: start with a surface survey, then dig to add stratigraphic control and peel back layers of time. That is how Shinu Abraham, an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department at Saint Lawrence University, is planning to ultimately use the GIS that she is beginning to set up to organize and analyze ceramic fragments at an archaeological site. Because she is not trained in GIS, she partnered with a colleague who is, Carol Cady, also on the university's faculty. Ultimately, Abraham hopes to add GIS to her archaeological skill set and use it routinely in her work.

Abraham, an archaeologist who specializes in South Asian archaeology, has been focusing on the Southern part of India. Her larger interest is the Indo-Roman trade — the ancient maritime trade that took place between the various regions along the Indian Ocean littoral and, in particular, between Roman Egypt and South India.

Abraham has been working on a recently discovered site called Pattanam, which was discovered a few years ago on the southwestern coast of India, in the state of Kerala. "The reason this is interesting," Abraham says, "is that this is the earliest urban settlement that we have discovered so far in this region of India. It is particularly interesting to us because we realize that it is a port site that was involved, we think fairly heavily, in this inter-regional trade. We know about it from early historical sources — from South Indian texts from about 2,000 years ago and ancient Greco-Roman texts — and we think that it may be the fabled site known as Muziris, which was discussed a great deal in the early texts." Finding the physical remains of this site, Abraham explains, is a very exciting discovery and it allows archaeologists to excavate it and survey it in detail, in order to understand exactly how it was structured and organized, and how it integrated South Indian society with this international trade system.

Read more…

The Atlas of Yellowstone

The largest display in the map gallery at the Twenty-Seventh Annual ESRI International User Conference in San Diego will be a set of 57 8 ft. x 3 ft. posters displaying a work in progress: the Atlas of Yellowstone: A Celebration of the Natural Diversity, People, and History of Yellowstone, by the University of Oregon's InfoGraphics Lab. This display encompasses half of the National Park Exhibit. Mid-way through a planned four-year course, the project uses GIS both to analyze data collected by specialists in a variety of disciplines, as well as to display it, in the same style as the Lab's landmark Atlas of Oregon. Additionally, the publication will also illustrate the process used to collect, analyze, and display the data.

"Some of the posters are showing off page pairs for the atlas and other ones talk about the process of how we use GIS to integrate data into Adobe Illustrator and Natural Scene Designer to produce these pages," says Alethea Steingisser, the project's cartographer. "Yellowstone also has a very rich on-line digital slide library, so we were able to use many of these historic images as graphic elements in the posters as well. We have, maybe, a quarter of the pages nearing final." Each poster tells about either the content of the atlas—for example, the relationship of American Indians to Yellowstone or the impact of tourism on the park—or the process of making the maps. Steingisser uploaded the files for the posters to an ESRI server and the company printed them at its Redlands headquarters and shipped them to San Diego for the show.

Atlas of Yellowstone, courtesy of the University of Oregon"/>
Page from the Atlas of Yellowstone, courtesy of the University of Oregon

Read more…

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. OneGIS Deploys GIS-Based Outage Viewer for Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation

    2. Pictometry and CyberCity 3D, LLC Create Advanced 3D Solutions

    3. Timmons Group Solution to be Profiled at the 2007 ESRI User Conference Plenary

    4. MindSites Group Acquires GeoCommunity and WirelessDevNet Websites


    1. Quova Announces First Internet Location Intelligence Platform for Online Businesses

    2. New Detailed Town Images of EROS Satellites

    3. BusinessMAP 4.5 Includes New Data and API for Better Decision Making

    4. Plan a Successful Geographic Information System Using a Method Developed by the "Father of GIS"

    5. Tri-Global BarcodeMapper Field Productivity Solution to be Unveiled at ESRI Conference

    6. Quest for a Marine Data Model Realized in Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet

    7. Laser Technology Unveils TruPulse 360

    8. Trimble Makes it Easy for GIS Professionals to Update Maps Electronically from the Field

    9. LizardTech Launches Express Server Demonstration Site

    10. Next Release of GO! Sync Mobile GIS Available

  3. OTHER

    1. Tri-Global Technologies LLC Introduces the 2007 Utility Locating Grant Program

    2. MAPPS Testifies before Congress on Flood Map Reform

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

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