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Daily Blog for John Thornton O'Connor


Ahhh…Kaimuki

Posted on July 8, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha kakou,

Saturday marked the completion of the 2012 Geospatial Research and Mapping field program.  Students presented their research throughout the morning with academic posters.  The work completed over the past month was impressive in its scope and sets the stage for future research projects.  Discussion was initiated pertaining to project topics.  The way in which certain projects overlap creates the possibility of comprehensive studies employing multiple methods developed over the course of the GRAM program.  A large body of knowledge has been generated that can be drawn upon for successive programs.

Following research presentations, we said our good-byes.  I will be working with portions of the REU data over the next week, but it will be nice to take a little break.  I am very happy to have returned home to my family in Kaimuki.  Month-long projects are exciting and the intensive work schedule allows the opportunity for extensive research designs to take shape and studies to be carried out.  However, I always miss my girls and I am happy to be home.  Thanks to all who supported our work over the past month.  Best wishes to all those with whom I have worked.

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Map making and academic poster construction

Posted on July 6, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha kakou,

This morning was spent preparing maps for my research presentation tomorrow morning.  My academic poster is titled Remote Sensing and Ancient Polynesian Landscapes.  Last month, I set out to determine what remote sensing platforms and methods are most effective for the identification of archaeological features.  I determined that LIDAR-derived imagery was the best approach for recognizing Hawaiian archaeological structures at the regional scale.  Certain features that have been obscured over time, such as habitation platforms and agricultural field boundaries, become visible through manipulation of LIDAR digital elevation models.  Orthophotos created from lower altitude suborbital photography can complement satellite and LIDAR imagery for high resolution analysis of basalt aggregates.  I included various maps to illustrate how different imagery can serve to depict various features (see below).

  

The GRAM program comes to an end tomorrow.  We will be presenting our research around 10:00am at the CSULB campus.  Poster information will be posted for each research project, and academic posters will be uploaded to the NSF-REU site following completion of the program.

-  John Thornton O’Connor

LIDAR image analysis

Posted on July 6, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Hello,

We obtained the LIDAR data for our focus area of the Koloa field system.  Manipulating the histogram parameters creates workable imagery showing pre-contact habitation platforms and agricultural fields in a well-defined medium.  Hillshade digital elevation models were constructed based on this information.  The resulting hillshades are helpful in revealing anomalies in natural terrain.  Areas of anthropogenic modification are readily apparent contributing to the identification of archaeological features in a region where much of the prehistoric landscape has been hidden by modern land use.  Below is a series of images displaying 1) area of interest 2) LIDAR data 3) manipulation of LIDAR imagery for improved resolution 4) hillshade effect over area of interest 5) subset of modified LIDAR image delineating archaeological features and 6) subset of hillshade layer where platforms and filed boundaries are visible.

   

 

Academic posters will be printed Friday afternoon and student presentations will begin Saturday morning.  Summaries of individual research projects will be posted to student project pages accessible through the corresponding group project page.

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Holiday

Posted on July 5, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha,

I hope everybody had a safe 4th of July.  I went to the computer lab first thing in order to check the results of some overnight image sequencing processes.  The program I am using failed once again to mosaic all of the compiled photographs.  I will begin experimenting with smaller batch runs in Photosynth and Photoscan tomorrow morning.  However, a different approach may be necessary by which the operator (me) has more direct control over image alignment.  Mosaic creation may need to be attempted with the aid of software such as Photoshop by which images will be pulled into place one at a time.  Photo alignment will take considerably more time, but this approach will most likely guarantee a useful image.

The GRAM program is coming to an end which means lots of work in the next few days.  I began constructing my research poster for our forum this Saturday.  I look forward to the upcoming student research presentations.  I am also looking forward to spending time with my family as I return to Oahu on Sunday.  The GRAM program has been an eye-opening experience as to the available methods for archaeological feature analysis gained from various remote sensing platform applications.  I will be using the skills gained over the past month in my future academic and professional work.  This project has greatly enriched my understanding of software such as ERDAS and ArcGIS for use in archaeological contexts.  The benefit of working with a diverse student and instructor unit surpasses any exploration of these methods that I may otherwise have experienced alone.

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Data processing…

Posted on July 3, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha,

Our research hui is busy generating large amounts of data.  Today consisted of 9+ hours in the lab reviewing KAP images and reorganizing  photographs for subsequent work.  I am trying to create a viable orthophoto for the Koloa field system.  A photoscan mosaic was attempted last night for 1082 photographs.  The resulting image was not sufficient for spatial analysis.  Today, 531 images were eliminated from the original grouping as an attempt at orthophoto refinement.  The images are processing in the laboratory right now.  I will be in the GIS lab tomorrow morning to see what we get.  Dr. Wechsler is currently subsetting LiDaR data for the same section of Koloa for comparative analysis.  Hopefully, all our images will be prepared and ready to go by Thursday morning.  I spent a little time today manipulating images of other archaeological locations and playing with different bandwidth combinations.  I want to explore various possibilities and approaches in anticipation of a complete data set later in the week.  Crunching data takes time!

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Georeferencing

Posted on July 2, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Good evening,

This morning began a long week of data processing.  I began the day with orthophoto creation from KAP and UAV data of Koloa archaeological  preserve 1.  True-color and near-infrared mosaic images were constructed primarily through the use of Agisoft Photoscan.  The images were then georeferenced, that is tied into coordinates determined by global positioning systems points taken while in the field.  This is a relatively simple though time consuming process.  Georeferencing defines the spatial dimensions of an image by giving it place in the world.  I had previously completed georeferenceing exercises using ERDAS (see my first post).  Today, Lawrence and I georeferenced the preserve 1 images in ArcMAP 10 and overlayed the orthophotos on a Worldview multispectral image.  Successive images illustrating the process of GPS point association are displayed below.

    

The same process was completed for images in multiple images of various spectral bands.  Orthophotos are currently being processed for a major portion of the existing Koloa agricultural field system.  These images will be georeferenced tomorrow along with corresponding LiDaR DEMs.  Much work ahead.  Very exciting!

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Ua hoi au i kaliponi no ka hana nui

Posted on July 2, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha kakou,

I nehinei makou i haalele ai mai Kauai mai i ke kula nui ma kaliponi.  Pono au e hana nui ma anei e hoopaa kou hana no keia papa.  Ma hope o kou hoopau au e hoi ai i kuu ohana i Kaimuki.  Mahalo au ia na kanaka e kokua ai ko makou hui ma Kauai.  E hao ana au kela wahi aka e hele aku ai i Mahaulepu i ka mua.  A hui hou aku no i ka poe o ka NTBG.  Mahalo ia o Burneys.  E malama pono i kou kino ke aloha.

  

-  John Thornton O’Connor

Kaumaha au i kou haalele ana mai Hawaii nei

Posted on June 30, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

This morning was spent  processing KAP and UAV-acquired imagery while preparing for tomorrow’s travel to Long Beach.  Bags were packed and orthophotos were created.  I reworked several images of the Koloa field system in efforts to improve the resolution and accuracy of the photograph mosaics.  My attempts appear to have been in vain as image clarity seems to be a constraint of the employed cameras.  The resulting images show no improvement upon the prior orthophotos.  I will experiment more with image manipulation once we have returned to CSULB.  All created orthophotos will be georeferenced and LiDaR-derived digital elevation models will be compared for analysis of archaeological features.  However, we have a long plane flight in the morning.  I’ll miss Kauai but I will be back on Oahu with my family in a week.  A hui hou.

- John Thornton O’Connor

Data processing…

Posted on June 30, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Howzit,

Remote-sensing information acquisition has ceased.  Data processing has been ongoing throughout the duration of this program, but efforts will be stepped up over the next several days.  I will be compiling aerial photographs for portions of the Koloa field system as part of an imagery collection for Teddy Blake.  Today, I created lower quality orthophotos for the “preserve 1″ area and certain agricultural sections documented with fixed-wing remote controlled aircraft and KAP.  I will begin to recreate these images in higher resolution for detailed analysis and then georeference the images into a comprehensive GIS for cultural preservation and scientific research purposes.  Below are images of “preserve 1″ and a small portion of the field system.  The problems inherent in the field image are immediately apparent and will have to be corrected in successive photo compilations.

  

Data processing will continue until the completion of the GRAM program next week.  I will hopefully have exciting imaging to post each day.  Please check back soon.

-  John Thornton O’Connor

 

Soil sampling and research updates

Posted on June 29, 2012 by John Thornton O'Connor

Aloha kakou,

We returned to the Koloa Field System this morning for soil sampling and more KAP.  We laid out two 100 meter transects and then took samples along those transects based on feature appearance.  Soil samples will be analyzed with our portable X-ray fluorescence unit and elemental compound information will be used for comparative analysis.  During sample collection, we put up another research kite with true-color and near-infrared cameras.  This kite rig was mobile and therefore we were able to walk the kite at a stable elevation across the landscape.  We covered a wide portion of the archaeological fields until we noticed a bull staring at us and stamping its foot.  We then proceeded in the opposite direction of the large ungulate and reeled in the cameras.

  

This evening, all research groups presented their work thus far.  The variety of projects and the direction of individual research is impressive.  The GRAM program is a great opportunity for all participating students.  The presentations initiated interesting theoretical and methodological discussion through questioning by the professors.  Criticisms helped to refine the scope and direction of all projects.  Work will resume tomorrow.  I will most likely be in the lab creating models all day.  A hui hou.

- John Thornton O’Connor

About John Thornton O'Connor

John is an archaeology student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His interests are Oceanic archaeology, evolutionary theory, ocean-adaptive subsistence technologies, and networking systems. John's current research employs a multidimensional approach to artifact analysis for the assessment of inter-assemblage class similarity and cultural transmission networks in East Polynesia.