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Archaeologist uses satellite imagery to explore ancient Mexico
Date:5/13/2008

e central valleys of Zapotec. The National Geographic-funded portion of the study began last summer when he documented important archeological sites and selected candidates for excavation.

Imagery from Earth Observing 1 and Landsat satellites obtained over three years will help Middleton identify the natural resources found at archeological sites. He will work with colleagues John Kerekes and David Messinger along with graduate student Justin Kwon in RITs Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science to analyze the large amounts of data taken at different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Their own research uses similar techniques to analyze urban landscapes, and inspired Middleton to apply the technology to archeological landscapes.

We are excited to be collaborating with Bill in this application of remote sensing technology to archaeological study, says Kerekes. This project shows a true strength of RIT with an environment that allows physical scientists and engineers like us to easily work together with a social scientist like Bill.

Adds Messinger: Applications of remote sensing have long been a motivating factor for our technology work in the field of remote sensing, and the chance to work closely with an end-user here at RIT is a fantastic opportunity for our students and faculty. By learning more about how the technology can help in this application, we will be in a much better position to guide our future sensor development and algorithmic research.

The technology works by differentiating materials on the ground on the basis of reflected light. Objects that look the same in visible light may have very different reflective properties when sampled across the spectrum.

When you put the data back together as a picture you begin to see things you couldnt see before, and you can make distinctions that to your eyes look the same, Middleton says.

Satellite imagery covering more than 30,000 square
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Contact: Susan Gawlowicz
smguns@rit.edu
585-475-5061
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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