ISAW Hosts "Progress, Problems, and Possibilities of GIS in the South Caucasus: An International Workshop"


On May 6 and 7, 2016, ISAW held the workshop Progress, Problems, and Possibilities of GIS in the South Caucasus. Organized by Karen Rubinson, ISAW Research Associate, and Ian Lindsay, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, attendance at the workshop included American and European scholars and students working in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, a scholar from the Republic of Georgia, and representatives of the NYU library system, including Andrew Battista, Librarian for Geospatial Information Systems, Stephen Balogh, Data Services Specialist, and Gabriel McKee, Librarian for Collections and Services at ISAW. ISAW professor Sebastian Heath, who teaches digital humanities, led Friday afternoon’s discussion on data tagging, metadata, and data sharing and preservation that followed Battista’s presentation “An Introduction to GeoBlacklight: Spatial Data Discovery, Description and Preservation at NYU.”

Participants agreed that the South Caucasus requires a different approach to geospatial data collection because of the distinctive landscape of steep mountains and valleys with archaeological deposits made invisible by accumulated wash, so they plan on collectively developing a South Caucasus model of GIS research in archaeology, to complement those long since proposed for the Mediterranean and the Middle East. A way to share digital data already created, such as digitized versions of photographic satellite images, was proposed.    

The workshop was supported by ISAW, with additional support provided by The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) that was made possible by a grant from the US Department of Education.