Extending GeoPACHA: Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, History, and Archaeology


ACLS Digital Extension Grants




Principal Investigator: Steven Wernke, Vanderbilt University; Co-Principal Investigator: Parker VanValkenburgh, Brown University. In partnership with scholars at universities across North and South America, this project enhances and extends the Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, History and Archaeology (GeoPACHA), an open source, browser-based tool for discovering and documenting archaeological sites in Andean South America. GeoPACHA is producing the first truly global map of settlement history in the prehispanic and colonial Andes by 1) aggregating diverse collections of legacy archaeological data collected through field survey; 2) expanding these datasets through virtual survey of satellite and historic aerial imagery; and 3) providing training data for machine learning algorithm approaches to site detection on a massive scale. The thousands of sites being documented with GeoPACHA will enable new views of the organization and transformation of interregional political, economic, and defense networks in the Andes from 1000 to 1600 CE.