Lecture: Seeing Through the Forest: Lost Cities, Remote Sensing and LiDAR Applications in Archaeology



About the Speaker
Dr. D. Kyle Latinis is a Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore (2015-present) where he is also the Director of the annual NSC Field School designed to train East Asia Summit participants in archaeology, anthropology and related fields. Prior to NSC, he was a Director and Senior Social Scientist with the US Department of Defense (2011–2014; including 18 months of applied research in Afghanistan), and Dean of Graduate Studies and Social Sciences at the University of Cambodia (2009–2011). Dr. Latinis has over 25 years of experience in Southeast Asia conducting research, advising and lecturing. He earned a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore (2008) and a PhD in Ecological Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (1999)
About the Lecture

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is one of the newest remote sensing technologies to be used for archaeology and related sciences. Results are revolutionizing the field, especially among researchers studying ancient urban landscapes in Southeast Asia (The Guardian, 11 June 2016).

LiDAR applications digitally peel away forest canopies and vegetative cover resulting in sophisticated surface images and detailed topographic maps of natural and cultural landscapes. LiDAR data has been integral for recent research and training initiatives at the Nalanda–Sriwijaya Centre (NSC).

LiDAR abilities cannot be underestimated. However, there are limitations. Ground-truthing through archaeological surveys and excavations continue to play necessary and central roles.

The following discussion will introduce LiDAR technology, capabilities, and limits followed by examples of LiDAR application for two recent NSC projects: Mahendraparvata – the 9th century Angkorian capital city of Jayavarman II, legendary founder of the Angkorian empire; and Koh Ker [Chok Gargyar] – the mysterious 10th century Angkorian capital city of Jayavarman IV, often depicted as a rogue usurper king. Future NSC research possibilities using LiDAR applications for other Southeast Asia sites will also be introduced.




Apr 21 2017


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2