Kiskiak Update 3: Weeks 5 and 6

During weeks 5 and 6 of my research I edited existing GIS maps of the archaeological site in order to best represent the site for an untrained eye. GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is incredibly useful technology in the field of archaeology because it allows us to process and convey multiple types of information at once. Mapping has been one of the key research goals in my advisor’s lab for the past few years. For example, Professor Gallivan and one of my fellow students in the lab used GIS to display data on a map of Kiskiak that shows both the current and past coastline with respect to the site, in addition to the excavated areas of the site. I used my experience from Intro to GIS to edit this map and two others which showed important areas of the site in greater detail. I felt these maps would be most accessible with easy-to-read color coding and labels, so I made the necessary changes and removed all jargon from the maps.

After completing that, I heavily edited the website text for clarity and accuracy. The text went through multiple revisions, with the help of my advisor, my fellow archaeology students, and a friend who had no archaeology experience. I began to envision the website layout in detail and to pair photos with the appropriate website pages. I used online exhibits created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as guidelines for how to present and caption my images. I also continued to communicate with the Naval Weapons Station as they had to approve any photos taken on the base. When I finished these steps, the main thing left was to actually compile the website, which I did during week 7.

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