Global positioning system (GPS), remote-controlled miniature helicopters and aerial photography. The Maharashtra archaeology department is in the process of preparing a master plan of heritage sites in the state using the latest available technology, along the lines of UNESCO-listed world heritage sites.
Two pilot projects to document a fort and temple have been launched to be done using these methods to be started by September-end.
“Photographic records of existing settings for each monument site can provide valuable reference for encroachment, erosion and any such physical threats when visited again with regular frequency for updating the visual database. Internationally, aerial photographic documentation is frequently used to know the status of historic sites,’’ said Gopal Bodhe, aerial photographer.
The department of archaeology and museums, led by state culture minister Sanjay Devtale, had organised a demonstration workshop in the city for custodians and its advisory committee members, focusing on the use of GPS as an enabling tool for preparing the master plan for archaeological monuments, sites and museums in Maharashtra.
Bodhe said by using these tools, there was also scope to apply the concepts of ‘heritage tourism’, ‘adopt a monument scheme’ and multimedia or ‘sound and light’ show for sites and in museums in the state.
Another expert Sachin Joshi said the legibly proportional maps can be prepared without resorting to detailed on site physical topographical survey using GPS and one could even locate hidden man made structures and sites that cannot be perceived on the ground station viewpoint.
A demonstration of how flying a remote controlled helicopter-like miniature device can assist aerial photography in many ways besides the conventional flight by man was also given at the workshop by expert Ajay Turkar.
“Thermal imaging can locate historic water storage tanks (now seemingly dry) through soil humidity with micro wave scan technology,” Turkar said.