A digital elevation model and a topographic map of an archaeological site in Syria were created from a field topographic survey with a handheld laser range finder and data post-processing using a notebook personal computer with Geographical Information System software. The method enabled rapid on-site topographical mapping even under technical and political restrictions in the country. In an area of about 1 km2, coordinates of random points on the land surface were measured, and a DEM with a 10.m interval grid was generated from the point cloud using Kriging interpolation. The DEM enables various topographic representations to be constructed, such as contour lines, cross sections and slope distribution maps. The DEM-derived contour lines with a 1.m interval were combined with vector data showing roads and buildings to provide a topographic map. Topographic cross sections created from the DEM generally agree with sections surveyed with a hand level and a measurement tape. The obtained DEM and map are useful for preliminary field research.
- Field survey
- Laser measurement system