Message #94
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998
Subject: EDM Device

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Henry Gilbert 

I am a graduate student doing research in paleontology
and archaeology, and I am interested in using some type
of EDM device for plotting artifact locations. I would
like to hear what your preferred EDM device is and why.
We currently use airphoto plots and GPS readings for
fossils, but this is not precise enough to accurately
plot artifacts.
Henry Gilbert, Department of Integrative Biology
3060 VLSB U. C. Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720

Dear Henry -- Your best bet is to identify expert
articles and ask key persons:    
SAA Bulletin 14(2): Interface--Use of Laser Tools in Archaeology
SAA Bulletin 14(4): Interface--Total Stations
Rock Images and Landscapes Digital Mapping and Recording Project (Wed, 08 May 96)
SWA E-mail List (Researchers with interests in mapping): Dye, Steven R.
Ebert, James I.
Garcia, Daniel
Lenhart, Austin
Reply: From: James I. Ebert, Ph.D. Ebert & Associates, Inc. There are dozens of EDM “devices” out there and they are all pretty much the same. They all cost pretty much the same, too, the basic ones with relatively low accuracies and short ranges (which is all you need for archaeology and palaeontology). The most important thing to look for is a data logger, the thing that hooks up to the instrument to record the coordinates and feature data, that will record the sorts of information you want to append to the xyz’s. But most of those are “pretty much the same,” too! If you don’t intend to be using a total station all the time, your choice will probably depend on what you can rent for your fieldwork, and what’s the best deal in terms of rental. Technology such as that which goes into total stations is changing just as rapidly as everything else that’s software-driven, and total stations, GPS, etc. become antiques quickly (in a year or two), so you probably don’t wan to go spending $5000-10,000 for something you are only going to use for a few weeks a year.