Sedgwick County Archaeology GIS

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Merkel, Errol D.
Hughes, David T.

This multifaceted project primarily concerns the establishment of a Geographical Information System (GIS) database for the archaeology of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The database documents archaeological sites and surveys conducted in and for the county by the WSU City Archaeologist program. Documentation has been accomplished using ArcGIS software by ESRI and a digitizing tablet. This spatially locates the known sites and previously conducted surveys and includes the accompanying attributes of each of them. The final product is an electronic record keeping system for the WSU Wichita City Archaeologist Office. The paper records maintained for the past three decades had acquired many errors. WSU and Kansas State Historical Society records have been coordinated and corrected. Inclusion of soil and vegetation type data provides the foundation for future growth of modeling prehistoric site distribution and findings are already showing promise. Modeling will allow professors, university students, and city, county and state planners to study impact on finite cultural resources. The GIS project can function as a resource allocation tool. Limited survey and investigation capacity can be efficiently distributed toward the effort of cultural resource management. The project has an unlimited lifespan. Records are now easily maintained and updated. Inter-office data transfer can be performed electronically and with high accuracy. Adapting to advancing technology has been facilitated with conversion to digital files.

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The project completed at the Wichita State University Department of Anthropology. Presented at the 4th Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Topeka, KS, 2007