Paris Dialogue on Archaeological Lidar

At the beginning of December I was fortunate to attend the Paris Dialogue on Archaeological Lidar, organized by Damian Evans, Sarah Klassen, Christophe Pottier, and Anna Cohen of the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative. The meeting was hosted at hosted by the École française d’Extrême-Orient and funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

I’m not a technical lidar expert by any measure, although it’s already changed our day-to-day work identifying and managing sites and properties in Virginia. I found myself here after last year’s “Keeping Our Secrets” forum at SAA, on which I was a panelist. During that panel, we discussed sensitive geospatial data and how to approach it. Damian Evans was in the audience, and he brought up some very important points about the coming arrival of free, easy-to-use lidar that will dramatically change the amount of landscape detail that anybody will be able to see. A rich discussion ensued, and then earlier this year Damian contacted me to invite my participation in this workshop. I agreed.

Participants came from a wide range of backgrounds and areas of practice, and that in itself was a big draw for me (not that I needed a lot of convincing). All in all there were about 40 attendees, including academic archaeologists from a range of areas of practice, European cultural heritage managers, technologists, media and industry professionals.

I’ve got a ton of notes, which I’ll eventually compile and post here.

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