Over the past 15 years much financial and professional effort has been invested in the collection and analysis of spatial archaeological data by government, research and commercial sectors. Within this digital domain asset, landscape data forms a substantial component and includes: aerial photography; topographic surveys created by LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and digital photogrammetry; and geophysical surveys.

Once this data is recorded and interpreted, the printed report is often seen as the final deliverable, while the digital archaeological assets created often remain hidden and unused within the source organisations, eliminating any possible knowledge transfer to the wider archaeological community.

  • 27% of archaeological grants awarded by the Heritage Council (HC) have been to research projects whose primary activity is the collection and analysis of spatial data (aerial survey, LiDAR, geophysics). This figure doesn’t include the 34% of projects classed as “survey” which also yielded some spatial data.
  • Extensive aerial survey and LiDAR surveys carried out by numerous governmental and research bodies including The Discovery Programme, HC, UCD, NUI Galway, DoEHLG, and Meath County Council.
  • In 2007 alone, 264 detection licenses were issued by the DoHELG of which the majority would be used for the primary collection of geophysical data sets.
DIT The Discovery Programme UCD The Heritage Council DMC