Archfield: A digital application for real-time acquisition and dissemination – From the field to the virtual museum

Neil Smith*, Thomas Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The lack of efficient digital data processing tools during field excavations is a major bottleneck affecting the delay between data collection and dissemination in archaeology. In this paper, we outline the fundamental methodology of ArchField, an integrated digital field recording solution developed to overcome this bottleneck and translate field excavations to virtual museums in realtime. ArchField records subcentimetre accurate three-dimensional coordinates from Total Stations and RTK GPS units. Recorded field data and measured 3D coordinates are digitally processed to produce auto-generated daily GIS top plans. The processing pipeline enables the generation of publishable online maps from the first day of excavation to the last. It is interoperable with many different GIS viewers and stores data in an online PostGIS database. Digitization of archaeological data in the field is streamlined to facilitate standardization, redundancy and storage that can be immediately made accessible online to the digital community. Consequently, ArchField integrates features such as synchronization, data formatting, reprojection, dynamic labeling and symbolization. It provides immediate online accessibility of field excavations for virtual museums of the future. ArchField enables any archaeological project to inexpensively adopt real-time 3D digital recording techniques in their field methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalMediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • GIS
  • LiDAR
  • Real-time
  • SfM
  • Southern Jordan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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