Exploring ancient ruins in 3D with Google Earth

12/8/11 | 1:10:00 PM

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(Cross-posted from the LatLong Blog)

Searches can become stories. Some inspire us, others change the way we see the world or just make us smile. This is the latest in a series of videos about people who have used Google to discover or do something extraordinary.

The field of archaeology has changed much over the years. New modes of transportation have made even the most remote sites accessible, while cameras simplify how a historical record is created and shared with the world.

Spurred on by these innovations, researchers are also embracing technology as a creative way to aid their research and explore ancient sites. To conduct archaeological studies in the Middle East, Professor David Kennedy of the University of Western Australia turned to Google Earth.

From his office chair in Perth, Professor Kennedy has remotely identified thousands of archaeological sites without having to step foot on Saudi Arabian or Yemeni soil. Historically it has been difficult to undertake ground surveys and aerial photographs of these areas are seldom available for research, making the countries some of the least explored archaeologically. By carefully studying satellite imagery of the Arabian peninsula in Google Earth, Professor Kennedy has unearthed an enormous record of archaeological sites, from ancient geoglyphs to stone Wheels to Pendant-shaped tombs and animal traps called kites that could be up to 9,000 years old.

Watch Professor Kennedy’s Search Story video to see how Google Earth aided his search for these ancient sites across the Middle East.


Professor Kennedy isn’t the only archaeologist to discover the potential in using satellite imagery to aid traditional field methods. Visit www.OneWorldManyStories.com to discover how the scientific community has used Google Earth to uncover ancient relics, find a new hominid ancestor, identify hidden forests, and put craters on the map.

Do you have a great Google Earth story? Share it with us.