Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Part 1: A New Member of the FPAN Team

Pic. 1: Not that kind of a drone...

Drones. Drones are everywhere these days and recently FPAN was able to purchase one of their own to use in outreach and education. Rapidly gaining in popularity over the last several years, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles, to be more precise) are sure to become a regular tool of future archaeologists. Providing a quick, relatively cheap way to record fairly large amounts of data from the air, drones are currently allowing archaeologists new and exciting ways to investigate the past. Even better, they allow for the non-invasive investigation of cultural resources and the collection of robust data sets to  for digital preservation. They may even help archaeologists preserve information about sites that are threatened by current sociopolitical issues, allowing for some small measure of preservation in worst case scenarios.

Pic. 2: A drone captures images of the Sphinx.

There are many, many different uses for drones and a slew of software applications that allow for amazing visualization capabilities. In the coming years these applications and the hardware are sure to change rapidly. So too will laws surrounding these useful machines. We'll cover all of that in upcoming posts!

Pic. 2: "3D model of the planned colonial town of Mawchu Llacta in highland Peru, reconstructed from 241 aerial photos."

For now, we thought we'd simply introduce you to our new colleague, Boas 1. He's a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopter and boy is he fun to work with. We're going to be working to see how he can best assist archaeologists in their efforts, but in the meantime he's been helping us bring great cultural sites to folks who can't visit them; also, to see them from an angle only the birds usually can. Check out one of his latest endeavors here.

Pic. 4: DJI Phantom 3 Advanced.

Text: Kevin Gidusko

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