open source GIS and data sharing

Benjamin Ducke
Thu Sep 28 12:02:52 CEST 2006

It's good to see that this list has become so lively!
I would like to throw in a few things:

I am sure that the biggest problem to learning GRASS is
the bad state of documentation. The user interfaces of IDRISI
or ArcGIS have given me as much frustration as GRASS has caused
others, but I suppose students get better training for
those commercial products, so they find them easier.

As those of you who attended the QMDAA course on GRASS GIS
may know, I am currently writing a QGIS/GRASS tutorial for
archaeologists to cover all that I have taught at QMDAA and more.

For this, I need at least two open access, unrestricted GIS datasets:

1. sth. on landscape scale, inlcuding soil maps, DEM and hydrology
2. sth. on site scale for intrasite examples.

Will we be able to scrape together those datasets?
Can AHDS provide them?

Development of QGIS and GRASS for archaeology is making fast
progress. Integration with R promises the most powerful analytical
GIS ever, etc. etc.

HOWEVER, we are currently VERY short of archaeologists with
programming skills to implement all the things we want.
I have implementation plans ready for many things, but lack
the time to do it all myself. So I would like to ask you all:

1. to promote investment in targeted OS software development for
the QGIS/GRASS platform instead of commercial license acquisition
wherever you can

2. to try and encourage colleagues from other disciplines such as
computer science, geoinformation science etc. to focus on archaeological
projects and OS software development for graduate projects etc.

3. to help building up a community site to host a GRASS/QGIS software
project specificially for archaeology.



Benjamin Ducke, M.A.
(Archaeoinformation Science)
Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
(Inst. of Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology)
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Johanna-Mestorf-Straße 2-6
D 24098 Kiel

Tel.: ++49 (0)431 880-3378 / -3379
Fax : ++49 (0)431 880-7300

More information about the Archaeology mailing list