Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land

New developments in information technology are rapidly revolutionizing the fields of archaeology, history, and the social sciences. The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land (DAAHL) is one example of this that you can see for yourself at*. This is the first 'node' in a network of online archaeological atlases that are part of the MedArchNet (Mediterranean Archaeology Network project), which is an international effort to create a 'portal science' for archaeology around the Mediterranean Sea.

The DAAHL brings together experts in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the archaeology of the Holy Land (Israel, Palestine, Jordan, southern Lebanon, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula) to create the first online digital atlas of the region. Using the power of Google Maps and the Google Earth API, the tens of thousands of recorded archaeological sites for the region - from the remote prehistoric periods to the early 20th century - will be entered into a comprehensive database along with site maps, photographs and artifacts. The good news for you is that you can also use this digital atlas as a research tool.

Archaeologists study the past by looking at similarities and differences in human material culture across space, time, and form. The DAAHL project uses a variety of Google Maps and Google Earth API interfaces to help. Archaeological sites can be mapped by time period, by the ancient empire with which they were associated, and against a background of historic maps drawn in the 1870 and 1880. Another exciting new development in the Digital Atlas is the Virtual Museum, which displays three dimensional objects in a Google Earth API, suspended over their find spot at the site they originated. The application lets you roll the object in all three dimensions, which is as close to holding the object as it can be.

So head to to explore the region and the archaeological resources it contains.

*The historical and archaeological data for this project has been developed by a team of over 30 international scholars working in the region. This DAAHL website has been developed at the Geo-Archaeological information Systems Lab at Arizona State University, and is served from the California Institute for Telecommunications and Technology (Calit2), UC San Diego.

Thomas E. Levy, University of California, San Diego, Stephen H. Savage, Arizona State University, and Chaitan Baru, Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego

[NFGB] Link - from Google Student Blog
Related From Google Blogs:
The Earth's Vital List: What are the 12 things you can't live without?
Happier travels through Street View with Pegman
Welcome YUI!, gets fresh
Count down to 2009 with Google Mobile Tips

No comments: