Armchair Archeology with Google Earth

More work is being done with Google Earth to make archeological discoveries. About a year ago an Italian systems analyst used aerial photography from Google Earth to make a discovery of the remains of a Roman villa. Now, it turns out a friend of mine by the name of Scott Madry has made the news with some archeological discoveries in France. He appears in the Raleigh News & Observer. For many years, Scott has analyzed aerial and satellite photos for his work. One area of his research has been how a Celtic people called the Aedui lived in France for about three centuries starting about 300 B.C. Scott had read about the Italian’s discovery and decided to see what Google Earth could do for him. He was amazed by the quality of the data available for free in GE, and he was quick to find new sites. Scott says: “I found more in the first five, six, seven hours than I’ve found in years of traditional field surveys and aerial archaeology.” He ended up discovering over 100 candidate locations before presenting his findings at the international Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference this spring. Other researchers were fascinated enough that Scott wil be offering a course on using the technology for archeologic discovery at next year’s event. Yet another amazing application of Google Earth’s wealth of information!
[UPDATE: I called Scott up and found out he had been reading Google Earth Blog for months and didn’t realize it was me writing it! Turns out there is more to this story, which I will follow up on when I get back from travelling this week.]

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Hi there, GE’ers! I am the Scott mentioned in this article. I would be happy to answer any questions people may have about my archaeological research in France using Google Earth. Feel free to contact me, and I will monitor this blog as well.
    For more info:
    Best regards,

  2. wayne wells says:

    I have been looking at different places around the world with google earth.I have a very keen eye and have found some intreasting structures in syria,egypt and south america.Its amasing what you can find with google earth.

  3. Any chance GE will someday offer time sensitive, past imagery, and/or seasonal imagery as separate layers?
    For aerial archaeology work, being able to toggle between imagery from different seasons, or different times of day, would be very useful for revealing things hidden in vegatation, in crop marks, different soil conditions, shadows and different angled sunlight, etc.
    Over the longer term, as archives accumulate, being able to toggle archived GE imagery with current imagery will make an excellent historical research tool…

  4. Have you found any artifacts from Egypt? Because when I grow up, I want to be an archeologist.(By the way,I’m a teenager.

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