This report presents the results of a project undertaken by the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (UI-OSA) to develop and test LiDAR Surveyor, a feature extraction model to be used with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Bare-earth Digital Elevation Models (BE DEM) to identify conical, compound and, to a lesser extent, effigy burial mounds. The primary objective was to significantly improve the processes used by Riley’s (2009) prototype model in order to decrease the number of false positive, non-mound features.

A second objective was to create a user-friendly graphic interface and operation manual, and make the model available to the historic preservation community in a format that can be run in ArcGIS, a widely-used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software package. The LiDAR Surveyor model will be made available for free in ArcGIS 10 toolbox (tbx) format, along with a User’s Guide. Because of the need to protect mound locations, the model will released only to professional archaeologists and agency officials with research and management needs. This information will be available through the OSA website, and OSA will vet the credentials of requestors.

LvsSAOIThis project was funded by a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), with matching funds provided by the University of Iowa, the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science 7 (EROS) Center, the Iowa Geological and Water Survey (IGWS), and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Office of the State Archaeologist (Mn-OSA).

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119