Digital archaeology field recording in the 4th dimension: ArchField C++ a 4D GIS for digital field work

Neil Smith, Matthew Howland, Thomas E. Levy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


With the rapid adoption of laser scanning and photogrammetry among the archaeological community the creation of point cloud `data scaffolds' and digital documentation of archaeological sites is now becoming common. In field excavations, however, the continual exposure of archaeological layers requires a digital toolset in which to record, categorize and spatially locate artifacts, installations, and loci within a site's daily 3D or aerial scan. We present ArchField C++, the latest version of our digital field recording software that enables real-time digital GIS 3D Top Plan production within a rendering engine designed for visualizing massive 3D datasets. ArchField directly connects to Total Stations and our RTK GPS units to record sub-centimeter measurements for artifacts, scanning markers, loci boundaries, and camera positions. The processing pipeline enables the generation of publishable orthographic and perspective maps from the first day of excavation to the last. As a backend it uses a PostGIS database and the ability to export and import various vector, raster, DEM and 3D datasets that can be hosted by on-line geo-referenced databases. We present the application of ArchField C++ to our 2014 field excavations of the early Iron Age site of Khirbat al-Jariyah located in Southern Jordan.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 Digital Heritage
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781509002542
StatePublished - Feb 25 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: KAUST, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology


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