Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Connect the dots between drones, archaeology, and site monitoring

NBC reports on the increasing use of drones for very cool uses by archaeologists. The lede:

Robotic aerial vehicles are on the front lines for combat and security monitoring, but they're also increasingly on the front lines for archaeology and other research.
Oddly, the reporter does not indicate any awareness that archaeological sites are in dire need of security monitoring against looters, monitoring that drones could accomplish at radically reduced costs compared to traditional means (on-the-ground site inspection, satellite imagery). The reporter instead expresses trepidation that the drones themselves might do harm to archaeological sites:
Such vehicles have to be operated safely, so that they don't injure the people nearby — or, for that matter, the ancient sites being mapped.

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