Mapping: 3D Laser Scans of Britain Reveal Ancient Roman Roads

LIDAR

For the past 18 years, the U.K.’s Environment Agency has used a remote sensing methodcalled LIDAR (short for Light Detection and Ranging) to scan and map 72 percent of England’s surface. The 3D terrain images are used to monitor changing coastlines and model floods. But the maps recently revealed something else: an exciting archaeological find. Within the images, experts spotted miles upon miles of ancient Roman roads that may date back as far as the first century CE.

Roman squads who invaded Britain in 43 CE constructed a series of roads that crisscrossed the country, allowing soldiers to travel hundreds of miles to far-flung forts and settlements. These routes helped solidify Rome’s control over the country’s native Celtic tribes. While some of these paths remain today, many eroded over the centuries, or were obscured by new structures or vegetation.

History buffs regularly search for these “lost” routes, the Times of London reports. Among that group was a 70-year-old retired road engineer named David Ratledge, who has spent almost five decades researching vanished highways in the northwest county of Lancashire.

After the Environment Agency made its LIDAR data sets public via the Survey Open Data Website in 2013, Ratledge examined the maps and spotted a Roman road that connects the towns of Ribchester and Lancaster. According to LiveScience, he previously spent years looking for this particular route, to no avail. Thanks to LIDAR —which can detect differences in the land’s height as little as five centimeters (about 2 inches)—the mystery was finally solved.

“Previously in Lancashire we only had aerial photographs from the 1940s and 1960s to go on, but with photographs features only show up after a drought and we don’t get many of those!” Ratledge said in a press release. “With LIDAR, once you know what to look for, it’s blindingly obvious—you just know you’ve found a road.”

Meanwhile, two archaeologists, Hugh Toller and Bryn Gethin, have used LIDAR data to locate other lost highways, including swaths of a Roman route called the Maiden Way. The Maiden Way once connected the village of Kirkby Thore—which was home to a Roman cavalry camp—with a Roman fort in Low Borrowbridge, Cumbria. Eventually, Toller and Gethin hope to find even more Roman roads using images captured by remote sensing technology. These discoveries may help historians gain a fuller understanding of how Rome once conquered and controlled England.

via http://mentalfloss.com/article/75298/3d-laser-scans-britain-reveal-ancient-roman-roads

NEOOC Course Design Clinic / 27 FEB 2016

Event Description

Orienteering mapping and course design clinic that will focus on both theory and application of course design, the practical and technical aspects of designing courses using software, and setting courses. For experienced orienteers only. Bring your own laptop if desired, but workshop will start in a computer lab with the software already loaded. After we learn the basics of mapping using technology, we’ll head outdoors to practice our skill.

Date, Time & Location

Saturday February 27, 2016

  • 9 AM – 11 AM Workshop / Mapping Clinic (indoors)
  • 11 AM – 12 PM Lunch (on your own)
  • 12 PM – 4 PM Hands on Practice in the Woods, Campus (outside)

Kenston Local Schools / Intermediate School Building (click for large map)
17419 Snyder Road
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

KIS Location Mapping Clinic

Registration (REQUIRED)

Registration for this event is online, and required, and takes place through Kenston Community Education’s event registration portal.

Click here to register: Registration Link

NEOOC Members receive discounts on selected events at Kenston. Use the coupon code ‘NEOOC’ at checkout to apply the discount. Using this coupon for the Mapping Clinic event will make the registration free for you.

Staffing

The clinic / workshop will be co-taught by Bob Boltz, and assisted by Andreas Johansson (both NEOOC members)

Additional Information

This event is held at Kenston Local School’s Campus, and you’ll need to register in a separate system the school uses for events. Don’t worry – it’s not difficult. Simply follow the link and register for the class.

Once registered in the Kenston Community Education system, you will get a confirmation email to the email address you have selected. Each person that attends need to register.

NEOOC Members receive discounts on selected events. Use the coupon code ‘NEOOC’ at checkout to apply the discount.

Activity_Enrollment

Mapping Resources for Orienteering

There are lots of great tools for orienteering, and mappers interested in creating their own maps. We have put together a small sample of the tool we use in the club for creating maps, setting up events, and so on. Our favorites are probably OCAD (the industry standard) and Purple Pen (for route setting), and many of the club members track their runs using GPS, and then some sort of analysis tool. Visit our Mapping Resources page for more.