Since 2008 I have been involved in extensive research and development into the use of open source GIS software for archaeology in a move away from proprietary software.
You can find the most recent case study on the ELOGeo Repository at the University of Nottingham.
The open source GIS packages used are extremely powerful and replace proprietary software, such as ArcGIS, on all levels.
My favourite GIS packages are:
I have also done a large amount of 3D modelling, visualisation and analysis using open source GIS software. For this purpose, I frequently use:
Inkscape is a fantastic and extremely powerful open source illustration package, which I often use to produce line-drawings or to touch up maps exported from GIS in PDF or SVG formats.
Furthermore, I have recently started experimenting with photogrammetry software Agisoft Photoscan, which admittedly is not open source, but highly powerful at producing 3D models from overlapping images.
In the course of our daily active application of, and research into, open source GIS methods, my former colleagues and I produced vast documentation: not only on the use of open source GIS, but also for archaeological survey, the download and processing of survey data, the application of open source illustration software Inkscape, and the use of open source database software PostgreSQL, together with PostGIS.
All documentation is available for free online:
- Hodgkinson, A.K. 2010. Open Source Survey & GIS Manual. Documentation. Oxford Archaeology North. Download
- Robinson, C., Campbell, D and Hodgkinson, A.K. 2010. Archaeological maps from qGIS and Inkscape: A brief guide. Documentation. Oxford Archaeology North. Download
- Hodgkinson, A.K. 2011. Using the Helmert (two-point) transformation in Quantum GIS. Documentation. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. Download
- Hodgkinson, A.K. 2011. Download of the Leica 700 and 800 series Total Station. Documentation. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. Download
- Hodgkinson, A.K. 2011. 3D Visualisation and Analysis of archaeological vector and raster data using open source geospatial software. Documentation. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. Download
Documentation by colleagues
- Robinson, Christina (2011) QGIS Handy Hints. Documentation. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. Download
- Robinson, Christina (2011) Basic introduction into pgAdmin III and SQL queries. Documentation. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. Download
- OSGeo UK: Hodgkinson, A.K. 2011 GvSIG as a first choice open source GIS tool for archaeological data processing, visualisation and analysis: Oxford Archaeology.
- ELOGeo Nottingham: Hodgkinson, A.K. 2011 gvSIG for Archaeologists: Open source GIS for archaeological data processing, visualisation and analysis.