Applying space technologies to archaeology: START Tool

START team: graduate students of the International Space University

UNESCO and the International Space University (ISU) have been working in partnership since the inception of the Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention.

In order to assist UNESCO, ISU created a group of students that undertake research on the uses of space technologies for archaeology. As a result of their efforts, ISU has developed the START tool and its accompanying website designed to demonstrate the applications of space systems for the archaeological community with regard to discovering, monitoring or mapping archaeological sites of interest.

The START Tool is a practical guide for archaeologists with an interest in learning how space systems can be used to complement existing terrestrial and aerial tools. It was created by twenty interdisciplinary students from sixteen countries during ISU’s 2006/2007 Masters of Space Science/Space Management programme.

The website provides background information regarding space systems, data acquisitions methods, distribution and applications to archaeology at an introductory level. The goal of the website is to promote an understanding of the benefits of space systems when discovering and identifying new sites, making detailed maps of known sites, and monitoring human and environmental interactions with sites.

The START tool is a complete support tool for the space archaeological activities of UNESCO’s Open Initiative.

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