I'm Andy Whiting, a lapsed archaeologist from Dorset (an area which also has some great Iron Age hillforts) looking to get more actively involved in archaeology/heritage again a decade after completing my undergraduate degree. I've never lost the interest but at times I have struggled to commit to volunteering or starting my own projects (work, kids, etc). During this lockdown period I have been trying to find something to get stuck into which isn't related to my day job (project management on systems for naval ships). This project is close to my heart as I grew up in Bedfordshire, spending many weekends walking and playing in the Chilterns.
I'm very much looking forward to contributing to this fascinating project!
Hi Andy, welcome! Hope you enjoy getting stuck in. The tutorials should get you started off, but do check out the "live" training sessions and mapathons advertised here: https://chilternsbeacons.org/wp/community/welcome/project-news/
A great way to learn more and connect with others in the group. Have fun!
Hello, my name is Roger and my wife Vib and I live in north Bedford. We are very interested in the Roman Villa that was found in Manton Lane, near where we worked for many years. We also like walking round the hill fort on Mowsbury Hill and we'd love to be able to look for more features on the LiDar maps in th elocal area if it is covered.
Off now to investigate further on this site...
Sadly the survey we flew probably doesn't quite cover your area (believe me, we wish we could have made it even bigger!), but I hope you may still find sites of interest at which to take a closer look.
If you want to see if your area of interest has been flown by the Environment Agency, you can take a look at what they've flown, and their data, on websites such as that of the National Library of Scotland, here: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=8&lat=52.00673&lon=-0.27040&layers=6&right=LIDAR_DTM_1m
Hi Ed and thanks for the welcome.
I've had a quick look at the fascinating map you sent and in fact the Mowsbury Hillfort at TL 06615 53299 IS LiDAR mapped and you can see the features that I know from the ground quite clearly. I now need to read the tutorials to get a better undestanding of everything but there are a few other pressing matters first.
Unfortunately the Roman Villa at Manton Lane just falls outside the mapped area...
When were the LiDAR images mapped ?
Our survey of the Chilterns AONB (plus a bit) was flown in the winter of 2018-2019, whilst the Environment Agency are undertaking an ongoing programme of flying, with the intention of surveying the whole country by 2021. The purpose of their surveys is primarily flood risk mapping, so they have focused on lower-lying, more flood prone areas initially... which meant the Chilterns was, and remains, quite a black hole in their data, being primarily dry chalk uplands.
Another difference to note is that the EA data is flown largely at "1 m resolution," i.e. 1 measurement for every square metre on the ground; we flew our survey at 25 cm resolution, meaning 16 measurments for every square metre on the ground, and thus much smaller pixels in the image, and so the potential to spot much more archaeology, and see it in more detail!
My name is Glenn. I've been a resident of The Netherlands for many years but visit the Chilterns when I can. It's a great area for walking and taking in the views.
I'm a physicist by training and have some knowledge of handling large data sets. I have not done any archaeology since my early 20s when I participated in a couple of proton magnetometer surveys of mediaeval sites in and around Guildford. At the time, I was doing my PhD and assisted one of my sponsors from the Ancient Monuments Laboratory. It rained both days but that is about par for the course I guess where such manual surveys are concerned. In those days, the data had to transcribed by hand to a computer readable form. Couldn't imagine the huge amount of data LIDAR produces.
I hope that I can make contribution to this project.
Welcome Glenn. I certainly don't envy the task of transcribing vast quantities of data by hand!
The LiDAR dataset isn't too enormous in the grand scheme of things. The raw digital terrain model data at 25 cm resolution, as ASCII files, is only about 120 GB for the whole 1400 km2. Each visualisation (a TIFF produced from the DTM to make lumps and bumps more apparent) is then about 250 GB. The processing for each visualisation takes about a week, with probably only a few hours of my input needed and then a lot of hours of my computer working away.
And yes, rain is entirely par for the course. Happy searching!
As Susan says, plenty of work still to do! Feel free to jump on in, using the Tutorials to get started. Feel free to post here on the forum with any questions. Also perhaps take a look at signing up for one of the "Mapathons" - one tomorrow, one next Friday - a great chance to meet others (remotely) and see how people have been working. Links are in the stickied post above this thread in the forum, or off the side of the Tutorials and Blog pages.
Hi, I would also love to get some feedback, just to be allowed to see what the experts have said about the features I sent in. It would be a great incentive to hear that some features are interesting, but also useful to be told that there is no need to send in, for example, these obvious field boundaries or whatever they are. I see the plan was hopefully to get this started by Christmas 2019. Not asking for any new work, just access to what is being done with our submissions. Also is it useful to submit any extra details about existing scheduled ancient monuments ? Thanks very much.
I am a recently retired oil company geophysicist by the way, so this is a good way for me to keep up those work skills.
Hello Simon - if you go to the drop-down under your user name and click on 'My Account' - there is a listing of the records you have created that have been reviewed and either accepted or rejected, together with reviewers comments. That said ... to date there have been something like 10,000 records created in the Citizen Portal, and a little over 2,000 or so have been reviewed since the Review Portal went live at the end of January (Ed knows the actual numbers), so its going to take a little while to get through them all!
And I would say keep plugging away at those field boundaries and pits - they all tell us something about the historical land use. Ed's recent post gives some idea of where there is still much to be done.