Angkor aerial survey also has serious nature conservation potential

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Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428

Along with second Lidar survey of Angkor, the data obtained from aerial mapping of the areas promises to be a boon for future nature conservation works, particularly with forest cover and endangered tree species tracking.

Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428

Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428

Mapping tech holds promise
Phnom Penh Post, 28 April 2015

Aerial mapping techniques used to produce two new studies into forest canopies around the Angkor temple complex could provide a major boost to future conservation efforts in Cambodia and other tropical countries.

The first of the studies combined very high resolution (VHR) imagery with plant field data, while the second combined VHR imagery with images taken from Google Earth to produce detailed maps of the tree species in the Angkor Thom complex.

According to the studies’ authors, the methods could be used to monitor the presence of endangered or protected tree species, as well as to produce accurate estimations of the quantity of timber present in forests – data essential to implementing incentive-based conservation schemes such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program.

“In a few hours of flying, we can collect data over hundreds of square kilometres that would take decades to acquire on the ground,” said Dr Damian Evans, one of the reports’ authors.”>

Full story here.

Pole photography for archaeology – Part 4: Evaluations and Tips

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I end off my series on using a pole camera for archaeology (check out Parts 1: The Problem, 2: Field Test and 3: Parts list) with some pole photography tips and evaluative notes about the system I made. I also have some ideas for things I might want to try out for later, and the cost of the whole setup.
My pole photography setup using a Canon G11 and a carbon fibre pole
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Pole photography for archaeology – Part 3: Parts List

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You’ve seen the polecam in action in the last post, in this post we’ll take a closer look at the polecam rig, the parts I used and the factors I considered for each part. Hopefully this information will be useful if you need some ideas about how to make a pole camera setup.


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Pole photography for archaeology – Part 2: Field Testing

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In the first post, I wrote about how I got into Pole Aerial Photography, along with the requirements and constraints I was working under. In this post, I’m going to introduce my pole photography setup and how it worked in the field.

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Pole photography for archaeology – Part 1: The Problem

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In this series of posts I’ll be blogging about how I put together a pole camera to help me conduct some archaeological work, and how to put together one yourself, if you’re so inclined. 10 months ago, I conducted an archaeological investigation of a rock art site which involved very little excavation, but relied heavily on photography as the primary means of recording. The bulk of the rock art was located on a cliff face 15-35’ above the surface. To access the art up close, I hired a contractor to erect a scaffold in front of the cliff face, which allowed me close access to most of the paintings. On the other hand, the scaffold had a limited time offer (two weeks) and it cost me nearly half the research grant. And it also didn’t cover all the rock art that I needed to record. To cover the other parts of the rock art that wasn’t accessible by the scaffold, I had to rely greatly on zoom photography, but because some of the areas I needed to photograph were so high, quite a few of the images were skewed.

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Kite aerial photography mixes work, play

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27 March 2007 (Jakarta Post) – Not related to the archaeology of Indonesia, but this feature on the use of kites for photography presents a low-cost option for creating aerial photographs for archaeological applications. I haven’t heard of any major use of aerial photography for archaeology in Southeast Asia – yet.

Kite aerial photography mixes work, play

Flying kites as a hobby often implies child’s play, which is not too far off the mark. But rather than a mere pastime, kites also help in research and public service work — at least for Anshori Djausal, 55. His hobby has contributed much to aerial mapping.

Known as a pioneer of kite aerial photography in Indonesia, Anshori has been engaged in this activity since the 1990s, which has also taken him to several European and Asian countries to follow international kite festivals.

But he relishes his happiest moments as those through which his aerial photo experiments served research and mapping in Indonesia, aside from tourism development.

Aerial photography has typically utilized hot-air balloons, planes, helicopters and satellites. Kite aerial photography has become an alternative today because it is more practical and far less expensive than the use of aircraft or helicopters.

Today, kite aerial photography is an alternative method used in geographical mapping, planning and surveys, and through which data collection can be conducted easily, effectively and efficiently.

A 2-by-15 meter kite can be used for photographing with a pocket camera at a height of 100 meters and over and at wind speeds of 15-30 mph.