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Online Map Leads Archaeologist to Maya Discovery (nytimes.com)
106 points by pseudolus 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

This is almost the same way I hunt minerals, excepting I use LANDSAT and ASTER data overlaid with MRDS records, USGS geological units, Public Land Survey System, magnetic anomalies and gravity anomalies.

Last weekend I found a major agate deposit, very gorgeous white agate mixed with amethyst.

I'm the maintainer of the Google Earth LANDSAT and ASTER data access. Unofficially, the actual maintainer no longer works with the USGS so I've taken it upon myself to keep the dataset available and up to date.

If you're interested in lidar data for the United States, the USGS has a great tool online:


I've used it to map old quarries and other sites in my area.

New Hampshire has an ongoing project to map stone walls using lidar: http://www.granit.unh.edu/resourcelibrary/specialtopics/ston...

Here's a map I made for the UK, well, England and Wales...


How is that being used in the functioning of your website?

Or was it just a fun thing you were playing around with on a hidden page?

The latter really. It's a side project within a side project.

Hanoz - can you give some info on the coverage of the lidar data?

From viewing your map, it seems ~ 70% of England is covered at 1m resolution. Is the other 30% covered by different resolutions or are there some areas not covered at all? Any idea what the Environment Agency's thinking is? (e.g. some areas hit by 2015 Boxing Day floods are not covered at 1m).

(I'm maybe interested in using their data, depending on what the coverage is). Thanks.

Here's a link to Washington state's Lidar project. They have much higher resolution data published, but only for a portion of the state.


There's also a tool at https://coast.noaa.gov/inventory/

Not sure how it differs/overlaps with the National Map viewer.

Is the data available in a machine-readable format?

You can get USGS lidar point clouds: https://www.usgs.gov/news/usgs-3dep-lidar-point-cloud-now-av...

A commenter above you posted a link to a NOAA data site. I believe that site is a resource for GIS shapefiles: https://coast.noaa.gov/inventory/

There's an open-data win here.

Also a technology win in that sites that have had digs still revealed new archaeology with lidar mapping (aeroplane and drone).

Presumably we have enough tech now that the Dr who found the 27 new sites can train an ML algorithm to recognise sites and buildings (and do metrological analysis automatically?)? Is there a generalised image analysis system for aerial imagery that catalogues buildings/roads/ruins/foliage/etc.?

Training data is an issue. Microsoft released some datasets of buildings in North America (125 million footprints). Later, they decided to use the same technology to generate building footprints in Uganda and Tanzania:


They needed different training data to cope with the different landscapes.

Facebook has faced similar challenges trying to use ML to generate road centerlines for OpenStreetMap.

Maya mia!

Didn’t work for me. Caveat: I’m already at the limit.

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