Below: A digital elevation model (DEM) created by Jones. The two mines nearing the field station are circled in red. Near them tailing piles (piles of rock removed from the mines and stripped of the desired minerals) are also visible.
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Uncovering a New England Ghost Town
LiDAR and GPR Explorations of Historic Architecture in Western MA
Gwendelyn Jones used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data available from local drone alongside multispectral LiDAR data and 3D modeling software to explore the landscape around Smith College’s MacLeish Field Research Station to understand and characterize the history of human impacts upon the local landscape. Using an archaeological approach, these digital tools allowed Gwendelyn to explore lost and undocumented mines, 18th and 19th century architecture and home sites on a broad scale that is not feasible with conventional methods. The final products of this research included an extensive publishable paper on the entire project. This project demonstrated how LiDAR data and digital modeling can be useful as tools for exploration and analyses while revealing the unexplored past of our local environment.