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By Thomas G. Whitley

2004 69th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Montreal, Canada

One of the benefits of GIS is the ability to rapidly analyze massive amounts of spatial data. This typically means using a "top-down" or aerial view of large expanses of terrain. Given that few inhabitants of any region make observations by orbiting satellite, we must assume that spatial choices are made using a series of cognitive landscapes visualized from an individual or "immersive" perspective. Through the creative use of standard spatial tools it is possible to simulate an immersive perspective for a wide variety of archaeological situations and address the sociocultural issues of decision-making, risk management, and site selection processes.


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