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Willem Vletter

Reconstruction of prehistoric and historic road and path networks in vegetated areas through the application of Airborne Laser Scanning.

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Michael Doneus
Prof. Theo Spek

Case study
Leithagebirge, Austria
Veluwe, Netherlands

The main aim of the dissertation is to develop a methodology for the reconstruction of road and path networks based on ALS data. Basic research will be tested in two different case-study areas with different landscape settings on an interdisciplinary basis. Since there has been no research on this topic, the main research question is:
What are the possibilities of large scale ALS data for the reconstruction of (pre-) historic road and path networks?

Reconstructing path networks needs following basic steps: identification of paths, mapping of paths, creating a (relative) chronological model of the mapped instances, reconstructing paths in void areas, validating the results, and finally the visualisation and discussion of the results.
Based on these steps, several sub questions will have to be addressed:

  • In how far can techniques for line extraction be used for a semi-automatic identification and mapping of roads and paths on ALS data?
  • What factors can be applied to determine the relative chronology of road networks and how can this be visualised?
  • What model based on landscape characteristics together with found networks can help us predict paths in order to complete missing parts of our path networks?
  • How can the development of road and path networks over time and space be visualised?

These questions will be discussed and tested in the mentioned case-study areas.

Universität Wien
co Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science
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