Mapping Iraq's Ancient Cities





While many Soldiers head home in the late hours of the second shift, Sgt. Ronald Peters sits at his desk scanning over imagery, maps and the Internet, sometimes as late as 5 a.m., looking for answers.

Peters, a geospatial analyst from Fort Lewis, Wash., with Multi-National Corps-Iraq C-7, is undertaking the largest mapping projects of his career. His work is helping to resolve a concern shared by both the U.S. military and the Iraqi government as troops have pulled out of cities and continue the drawdown.

"We try not to say we're mapmakers, it's more like being able to geographically depict a possible solution," Peters said.

Peters said while most everything has been mapped, geospatial analysts extract certain features from one map and combine it with features from another map to make a new one. For example, a map showing structures and roads could be combined with a map showing different types of soil to plan an irrigation system for farmers.

"What we can do is take the data that creates all the available maps and pinpoint what a customer specifically wants to create a new map that fits their needs," he said.

What was needed in this case was something that had never been done before, a complete mapping of all available information on archeological sites in Iraq.

"Back in June, one of the engineers working on future operations wanted to see all the archeological sites in Iraq," Peters recalled. "Everybody knows this is the cradle of civilization.

There's Babylon, Ur, some pretty famous archeological sites in Iraq."

As bases were closed and troops withdrew from cities, the existing bases need to expand, without infringing on historical sites.



comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list