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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 572; doi:10.3390/su9040572

Spatial Open Data for Monitoring Risks and Preserving Archaeological Areas and Landscape: Case Studies at Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt and Shush, Iran

1
Italian National Research Council, C.da Santa Loja, Tito Scalo, Potenza 85050, Italy
2
School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Potenza 85100, Italy
3
National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Cairo 1564, Egypt
4
Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, University of Basilicata, Matera 75100, Italy
5
Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran 14178, Iran
6
Archaeology Department, Faculty of Arts, University of Kafr el Sheikh, Kafr el Sheikh 1501, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Federico Martellozzo and Beniamino Murgante
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 9 April 2017

Abstract

Instrumental to the concept of sustainability must be the search for feasible ways to implement sustainability, especially connecting heritage and tourism. This should be understood in relationship with the persistence in time and the current and future conception of the human-made environment. This study deals with the spatial characterization over time of the urban sprawl close to and around two important archaeological areas: Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt and Shush, Iran. For both of the investigated sites, change detection analyses have been conducted using satellite declassified Corona and multidate Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery available for free from the USGS Earth Explorer. The study involves the collection of Corona 1964, Landsat TM 1984, Landsat ETM+ 1998 and L8 2016. The past and current urban and agricultural areas have been extracted by using consolidated classification techniques. Analyses and quantification of the spatial dimension of the urban expansion showed that, for both the study sites, urban areas have expanded to a significant percentage. In particular, the analysis of Corona and Landsat TM, ETM+, L8 imagery in Kom el Shoqafa revealed that, for the urban area, the evaluation of the change detection presented generally increasing chronology in both of the study areas, but for the agriculture lands, we can see that the changes sometimes decreased and sometimes increased. As a whole, outputs from our investigations clearly highlight that the current availability free of charge of long term satellite time series provides an excellent low cost tool for several applications including environmental monitoring and change detection to observe and quantify urban and land use changes from a global down to a local scale. We examine the capabilities of integrating remote sensing and GIS and suggest some innovative solutions to preserve the archaeological sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: space data; urban sprawl; sustainable development; cultural heritage; archaeological conservation space data; urban sprawl; sustainable development; cultural heritage; archaeological conservation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lasaponara, R.; Murgante, B.; Elfadaly, A.; Qelichi, M.M.; Shahraki, S.Z.; Wafa, O.; Attia, W. Spatial Open Data for Monitoring Risks and Preserving Archaeological Areas and Landscape: Case Studies at Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt and Shush, Iran. Sustainability 2017, 9, 572.

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