Attend CAA2012 online

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the CAA2012 conference but still want to learn all about the exciting research in computing applications in archaeology there’s the ‘Attend online’ option!
Follow the link to register and virtually attend this amazing event


‘Thinking Beyond the Tool’ IN PRESS

Thinking Beyond the Tool: archaeological computing and the interpretive process (cover by Javier Pereda)

The idea of putting together this book was inspired by the session ‘Thinking beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretive Process’, which was held at the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference in Bristol (17-19 December 2010). The collaborative work and efforts of one year is finally IN PRESS!  The book postulates that archaeological computing has become an integral part of the interpretive process for inquiring and disseminating the past and includes:

  • 12 theoretically informed chapters on a variety of computational methodologies used in archaeology and heritage
  • an introduction by the editors (Costas Papadopoulos, Patricia Murrieta-Flores and myself)
  • a commentary by Jeremy Huggett
The book will be out by the end of March and those of you coming to the CAA2012 keep an eye for it at the Archaeopress stand! Many thanks to all those – both authors and reviewers- who have contributed to this!

Extended Call for Papers @CAA2012!

Still time to submit some great research @CAA2012!

Check out session codes HCI4 and Theory6. University of Southampton, Archaeology CAA 2012 – . Deadline: Wednesday 7th 23:59 UK time.

CAA2012 Call for Papers

Have a look at CAA2012 call for papers:

I’m copying here abstracts of the two sessions I’m co-organising and hope to see many great contributions in the coming days!

  • The Virtuality-Reality Blender. Mediated and Mixed Reality applications in archaeology

and cultural heritage. (Session Code: HCI4 with Stuart Eve, UCL

Virtual environments constitute the main digital platform for inquiring and disseminating aspects of the past. Yet at the beginning of the 21st century, a change of focus in research agendas and media strategies towards the physical spurred an ever-growing body of research on mediated and mixed reality (MR) environments. The fields of archaeology and cultural heritage have provided stimulating grounds for the development of enabling technologies which promise to push the boundaries of interpretation beyond solely virtual or real spaces. Whether such technologies are used as research assisting, interpretive or knowledge dissemination tools, the main idea is to enhance the environment in which the user operates with additional information. To name a few, digital audio and video, annotations and three-dimensional imagery embedded in physical spaces or gestural input in virtual environments.

Already, a significant number of collaborative projects are exploiting how the potential of mixed reality technologies and new methodologies are applied in fieldwork, interpretive archaeology, cultural heritage sites, and museums. More recently, the advancements in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the advent of smartphone and PC tablet devices which are equipped with more powerful operating systems have increased the development of mobile applications. In terms of Augmented Reality (AR), substantial change is also witnessed at the level of real time and dynamic generated content. Issues of sustainability and affordability of the systems are also on the agenda. Apart from the enabling technologies per se, research focuses on interaction design and visitor experience evaluations. These developments provide technological foundation for revisiting theoretical discussions about phenomenology and the perception of the environment, embodiment, and visual cognition.

The purpose of this session is to assemble researchers from a variety of disciplines who currently work on mediated and mixed reality applications in archaeology and cultural heritage and initiate discussions around the affordances and limitations of such systems in our disciplines as well as the theoretical issues concerned.

  • Loc(i) Motion: Current technologies and computational methodologies for exploring human movement in the past and present (Session Code: Theory6 with Patricia Murrieta Flores, Soton and Stuart Dunn, King’s College)

Human movement and mobility has always been a challenging topic in the field of archaeologyinvolving research both in past and contemporary settings- due to the static nature of material culture which usually conditions both its interpretation and reception. In addition, research on movement features in a variety of discourses pertinent to spatial perception, wayfinding and embodied experience providing thus, an ideal ground for interdisciplinary research. Mobility in past societies can be considered a scalar phenomenon whose study requires the consideration of diverse temporal and spatial scales. In order to understand how people travelled and moved during the past, it is necessary to delve into a series of theoretical and practical issues that range from the basic variables and factors that affect human movement such as physiology, perception, and social relationships, to the specific conditions of the environment in which the studied society lived. In the past decade, a wide range of computational approaches in different disciplines has been developed helping us to shed light into a variety of hypothesis related to human movement.

Similarly, current technological advances in motion capture, tracking systems and simulation techniques enable the study of human movement and the experience of moving both in real and virtual spaces; and to extrapolate from one to the other. This has unlocked a variety of new territories for research and practice-led work which informs the computer-mediated fields of heritage such as site and visitor management, fieldwork, serious games in cultural heritage, museology and visitor experience studies. It also allows us to (re) consider some of the assumptions that lie behind the capture and presentation of 3D imagery of archaeological features and environments.

The purpose of this session is to bring together the various technologies and computational methodologies used by archaeologists and other specialists that explore past and present human movement. We also welcome papers that examine potential lines of collaboration  on this topic between a diversity of fields like physiology, psychology, archaeology, heritage management, design and computer science.

Reconstructing artefacts with RFIDs

I particularly like the idea of a simultaneous visualisation of an artefact and its parts. In an artefact’s ‘biography’, conservation is the stage where different fragments of it (e.g. pottery sherds) are glued together. This is a rather permanent intervention with no reversibility option to the previous state and therefore all necessary recording and analysis practices must precede conservation. From the point that you conserve an artefact its archaeological value gives place more and more to its cultural value. I wonder what is the real value of having an interactive visualisation of the virtual artefact apart from the the fantastic gimmicky effect?

See video clip on you tube:

A few more interesting i-phone apps

The Berlin Wall is back!

A great example of  Layar’s developing platform implemented by Hoppala and Superimposed. The concrete barrier built in Berlin by the German Democratic Republic dividing East Germany from West and demolished in 1989 is now back in its original context through this application.
Undoubtedly, the historic value of this area is enhanced by this but I am intrigued to find out about this application’s impact to Berliners!


An electronic AR tour guide for museums

Total Immersion and Heritage Prod on TV – Augmented Reality for Culture and Heritage

Marker-based augmented reality application for Heritage Interpretation.
Too many markers spoiling the authenticity of the building me thinks!

Google Goggles – augmented reality

Interesting post about goggles and archaeology.Certainly Google hasn’t invented the ‘Turing Machine’ but it is interesting to see how specialists will populate this pool of knowledge and to what extend they can influence it.

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