A century of remote sensing at Jerash

We recently collaborated with Rubina Raja and Søren Munch Kristiansen at UrbNet and Achim Lichtenberger at Münster to map the ancient city of Jerash in Jordan using a combination of century old aerial photography and state-of-the-art lidar scans. The advantage of this approach is that it enabled us to identify and record features destroyed by modern development.

Modern development has covered much of the city and its evirons
A new map of an ancient city

The work revealed exciting evidence of the water supply to the city, and enabled us to identify what has been lost and what is preserved.

To read more see our papers: Mapping an ancient city with a century of remotely sensed data and Mapping Gerasa: a new and open data map of the site

Bluetooth’s fortresses, machine learning and meteor craters?

The Trelleborg viking fortresses are an important expression of power and control relating to the formation of the early medieval kingdom of Denmark. The systematic placement of and spacing between the five known examples suggests that there may be further, as yet undiscovered examples. Additionally, these features superfically resemble meteor impact craters. Could we find these features?

a) Known viking fortresses (dark blue dots), towns (hollow blue dots) and new candidates (light blue dots), with examples of appearence of the known viking age ring fortresses

We tested this by using a combination of computer vision and machine learning techniques using national coverage lidar data in conjunction with historic mapping. This identified two fortresses that we think are worth a closer look, and nothing that looks like a meteor crater.

False positives

For a full description of this project please see our paper: http://mdpi.com/2072-4292/11/16/1881

Workflow used in the study