Dr. John Kantner, University of North Florida

Geographic Information Science, Modeling, and Multimedia

Since 1991, Dr. Kantner has used digital technologies in my research and educational activities. Trained in Geographic Information Systems at UC Santa Barbara, he also became involved in multimedia production and web development. Examples of research and outreach products are provided elsewhere. Below are a sample of Dr. Kantner's publications that discuss the methodological and theoretical foundations of this kind of work.

Journal Articles

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The result of ongoing GIS-based research with former graduate student Ron Hobgood, A GIS-based viewshed analysis of Chacoan tower kivas in the US Southwest: were they for seeing or to be seen? (2016) contrasts visibility and intervisibility within the surrounding viewshed of two tower kivas, Kin Ya'a and Haystack, providing an alternative perspective to traditional interpretations by suggesting that rather than acting as lookout points, they were instead central places built to be looked upon by the surrounding community.


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Archaeological Aerial Thermography: A Case Study at the Chaco-era Blue J Community, New Mexico (2014) describes done in collaboration with Dr. Jesse Casana and his students from the University of Arkansas. In this research, an unmanned aerial vehicle, also colloquially known as a "drone," was customized for precise geographical control and outfitted with a high-resolution thermal camera to create a "heat map" of a section of a 1,000-year-old Puebloan village south of Chaco Canyon. This innovative method was able to detect not only sites hidden under vegetation, but also buried masonry features.


Book Chapters

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Based on a session held at an annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, 2012's Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies, edited by Devin A. White & Sarah L. Surface-Evans, provides the most comprehensive review of cost-path modeling for archaeology. Dr. Kantner's discussant chapter critically evaluates some of the promises and pitfalls of cost-path applications for understanding past human movement.


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Spatially Integrated Social Science, published in 2004, features research by social scientists who are using various spatial analytical approaches, such as Geographic Information Systems. It includes a chapter by Dr. Kantner that discusses cost-path analysis, a GIS-based technique for modeling how people move across a landscape. After an assessment of the various approaches for modeling cost-paths, he provides a case study of how cost-path analysis was used to assess the function of pre-Contact roadways during the Chaco era in the Puebloan Southwest.


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The Reconstruction of Archaeological Landscapes through Digital Technologies (2003) is the result of a joint Italy-United States Workshop held at Boston University in 2001. Georgia State University graduate student Ron Hobgood co-authored a chapter with Dr. Kantner on the use of digital technologies for reconstructing past behavior in the Puebloan Southwest. In addition to the cost-path analysis conducted to understand the function of Chaco-era roadways, the chapter includes Ron's work on tower kiva viewsheds.


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A 2000 publication of the British Archaeological Reports series, Virtual Reality in Archaeology includes a chapter by Dr. Kantner that discusses the interpretive issues faced when building three-dimensional models of pre-Contact Puebloan architecture, especially a model of a Chacoan great kiva. Since many elements of a realistic model can not be readily discovered in the archaeological record, the modeler must include architectural features derived from ethnographic accounts or other sources. An earlier version presented at the 2000 annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology is available online.