Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Geo-Referencing & Map layer development"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2014 - DURI
Research area(s):
Archeaology, argonomy, GIS, computer science
Project Description:
The project entails creation of Geographic Information System datasets for two geographic areas where Purdue Researchers have been previously or will be active doing field studies. One project location is in Niger and one in Turkey. Each location has data collected that needs to be located on maps through one of several processes which the interns will learn. An outcome will be mounting archaeological or agronomic survey data into an on-line georeferenced database with Google Earth compatibility. In project area one (Niger) long-term Purdue research was performed in an area then captured on aerial photos. The tasks will include digitizing these ~200 old aerial photos, locating them against modern map layers and creating a modern map from them compatible with Google Earth. The locations of past Purdue research work in the area will be added as new map layers. In area two ( Anamur, Turkey) the tasks will include creation of a map layer database and modeling of the elevation data from the area to simulate the movement of ancient peoples up the slopes from the coast to the central highlands. Area two is adjacent to the Gazipasha area where the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Team has conducted twelve summer campaigns. In all, their field survey team has investigated some 300 km2 of archaeological terrain. The survey team is moving to an adjacent area for future surveys and a comprehensive library of map layers needs to be constructed for future use. This will include creation of an elevation model for the whole area from several sources. The interns will also produce a map-based analysis of the current extent of forest cover in the region from various map sources.
Expected Student Contributions:
Both Interns will assist with data assembly and map creation. They will be trained to use appropriate software and to link assemblage of database entries to related research drawings, plans, photographs, and GPS datum points. The interns will assist the team in assembling the data for both projects each semester (two regions in all). In the Niger project, students will determine change using Google Earth GIS tools to compare between old images and modern landuse once the images are digital and located. In the Turkey phase of the project, one goal is to model the path of migration of culture from the coast to the highlands north of the Mediterranean. Classical theory is farmers migrated up the valleys. Dr. Rauh has the theory that here in Taurus Mts. lowlands they moved to the ridges, which are clear of trees, and migrated ( built stone forts and farms) up the ridges into the highlands. He has GPS data from his previous fieldwork data that will be overlaid onto newly constructed elevation models to test this theory. After building data sets for the area, students will be involved in setting up models to test this theory in the area where the teams have worked then try to predict areas to look at next summer as the field team moves into a new region of Turkey for fieldwork.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Attention to detail and familiarity with programs like Excel and an ability to learn other software processes and verification protocols. They should have an interest in maps.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Branch, Benjamin

Student Supervisor

B. Dewayne Branch
CLIR DLF GIS and Data Curation Fellow

Cooperating Faculty

Nick Rauh
Larry Theller
Agriculture and Biological Engineering