During the Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in 2013, I attended a workshop sponsored by the Geospatial Interest Group. Organized as a forum for small groups to discuss the issues that arise when working with geospatial data, the conversations highlighted one basic problem that affects most of us archaeologists dabbling in the world of GIS: we feel isolated.
Sure, there are many forums on the internet devoted to geospatial data, methods, and troubleshooting. There is even a group specifically geared toward geospatial archaeological applications, called antiquist. If you’re running low on time but high on luck, a Google search may provide answers to your troubleshooting crisis. But what I have found – more often than not – is that us geospatially-minded archaeologists often find ourselves disconnected from others in the same field. We suspect that the problems we encounter during tedious GIS sessions have probably been tackled by some brave soul before us, but we don’t always know how to get those answers.
This blog is intended for my colleagues. I hope that the things I’ve learned while playing (and fighting) with GIS may prove useful to others, wherever you may be.