Week 2 of the Bronze Age Caithness project started at the heritage centre today, with volunteers back on the computers learning new software packages such as QGIS. Graeme led the sessions in the morning as he showed everybody how to reprocess the LiDAR data creating hillshades. Hillshading is the process of applying a specified altitude and azimuth (height and direction) for a hypothetical sun to illuminate the LiDAR data. This illumination creates shadows that help to show up cartographic features and for our benefit-archaeological sites!
The volunteers also had a look at the LiDAR data overlain with the OS 1st edition map, created by Mark Seaborne. Have a look and play yourself here: http://www.aocarchaeology.com/baillie_lidar/lidar.xhtml You can change the opacity of the LiDAR data so you can view either the 1st edition OS map or the bing aerial mapping and see if it helps you interpret the LiDAR data.
In the afternoon Gemma and Jamie from AOC arrived and we all headed outside the heritage centre to learn a few survey techniques. The groups swapped between hand-drawn plane table survey and digital recording using a total station and DGPS (differential global positioning system). Each method allowed us to plan the various features around the heritage centre (mostly the road and flowerbeds, but it will be archaeology tomorrow!), but the total station and DGPS also recorded everything in 3D so we will be able to use the height data from our surveys.
Enjoy playing with the LiDAR viewer tonight and hopefully see you all tomorrow, come rain or shine, on site for some real surveying!