Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Anthropological and Spatial Studies

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.03.00  Humanities  Anthropology   
2.17.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Geodesy   
6.02.00  Humanities  Archaeology   
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 
social/cultural anthropology, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, spatial studies, geodesy, geographic information systems, remote sensing
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  20004  PhD Tatiana Bajuk Senčar  Ethnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  171 
2.  25635  PhD Liza Debevec  Anthropology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  119 
3.  22570  PhD Nataša Gregorič Bon  Humanities  Junior researcher  2004 - 2008  170 
4.  25640  PhD Žiga Kokalj  Geography  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  374 
5.  15112  PhD Krištof Oštir  Geodesy  Researcher  2004 - 2008  589 
6.  15688  PhD Tomaž Podobnikar  Geodesy  Researcher  2004 - 2008  613 
7.  23960  Melita Robič    Technical associate  2004 - 2008 
8.  06445  PhD Zoran Stančič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2004 - 2006  325 
9.  18930  PhD Ivan Šprajc  Archaeology  Head  2004 - 2008  495 
10.  15116  PhD Borut Telban  Anthropology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  423 
11.  20005  PhD Tatjana Veljanovski  Geodesy  Researcher  2004 - 2008  154 
12.  23512  PhD Klemen Zakšek  Geodesy  Junior researcher  2004 - 2007  194 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,038 
Research programme of the Institute for Anthropological and Spatial Studies at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts connects two fields: anthropological research and development and application of methods and techniques of geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. All our anthropological studies are based on many years of fieldwork. A large corpus of archaeological and archaeoastronomical field data pertaining to the Maya culture was collected in central parts of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. The remains of settlements of different types are largely from the 1st millennium A.D., when the Maya culture attained its peak; the material vestiges observable on the surface are rich and diverse, including architectural structures of different sizes, functions and types, sculpted monuments, some with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and multiple small finds. The problems we intend to solve, using satellite imagery of the area and GIS, concern subsistence activities and land use, communication, socio-political organization and dependence of site location on environmental and related economic factors. In social and cultural anthropological research in Papua New Guinea we continue our investigation of the previously unexplored area in the East Sepik Province. A special attention is given to cosmology of Karawari speaking people, cultural history and historical topography of the area, people's poetic expression and to anthropology of landscape in general. Within Slovenia our research is focused on suitability or unsuitability of globalisation as a conceptual frame for understanding how citizens of Slovenia perceive Europe and EU. Methods and techniques of GIS and remote sensing, which we develop ourselves, are invaluable for interpretation of data we collect in the field. In remote sensing we investigate problems of automatic registration. The main objective of this project is to present a comparative study of some recent image registration techniques and to develop new image registration methods. In the project, techniques for multisensor and multitemporal image data will be particularly emphasized. This comprehensive study will enable the user to select algorithms that work best for a particular application domain. Our GIS studies are focused on: digital terrain model (DTM) of Slovenia, statistical analysis of different quality datasets, techniques of cognitive mapping, and modelling of natural and cultural landscape.
Significance for science
The significance of the research program is manifold. All our activities include development and improvement of new theoretical approaches, methodological procedures and research techniques; the anthropological studies are characterized by originality of field data, and by theoretically and methodologically founded interpretations and comparative analyses and syntheses; within spatial studies, the available and newly developed methods and techniques are applied not only in anthropological studies but also in the attempts at solving problems related to economy, natural and cultural heritage protection, etc. The anthropological studies have resulted in internationally recognized discoveries concerning specific questions in the fields of archaeology and archaeoastronomy of Mesoamerica, and social anthropology of Papua New Guinea, West Africa, Albania and Slovenia. Additionally, since the anthropological studies are focused on lifeways, worldviews, concepts and symbols of peoples that live or used to live in different geographical regions and time spans, they also allow us to develop novel theoretical bases, which can contribute to a deeper understanding of the diversity of human ideas, internal logic of various cultures, and the complexity of human interaction. In our efforts to develop methods of spatial data processing we have achieved notable progress, which situated us among the leading national and international institutions. It is precisely multidisciplinarity that gives us advantage over other similar research groups, enabling us to perform theoretically and methodologically profound analyses of processing problems and, thereby, to search for the best methods for every particular set. We have developed a number of new techniques for processing optical and radar satellite images, laser scanning data (relief modeling) and digital elevation models (visualizations). Important results have also been achieved in the development and optimization of methods for evaluating quality of highly diverse spatial data, such as those related to problems of method standardization, metadata bases, interoperability, etc. Our results are thus interesting for various scientific disciplines and applicable also in economy. With regard to the distinctive interdisciplinarity of the research program, it should be underscored that the application of Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing techniques in anthropological research, apart from allowing us to solve specific problems, also has important theoretical and methodological implications: the results and answers to concrete questions represent a useful illustration of potentials of this methodology, and contribute to the recognition and formulation of specific problems that can be solved in the most satisfactory way precisely by applying such approaches. Our constant international cooperation demonstrates the relevance of our findings in both Slovenian and global context. Half of the projects we conduct or participate in are international, financed by foreign foundations. Researchers are exchanged with numerous institutions on a regular basis. The agreements on scientific cooperation we have signed with Université de Franche Comte (France), Univerzitet u Sarajevu (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (Mexico) make possible a fruitful exchange of personnel and ideas, and also facilitate cooperation in terms of formalities. Particularly important in this sense is the Slovene-French Institute ModeLTER, which we founded in 2007, with the purpose of making it a leading European organization aimed at combining archaeological, geographical and geodetic knowledge in the attempts to solve questions focused on human activity in space through time. The quality of our work is attested in articles and reports published in distinguished international journals and, above all, in citations reflecting international acceptance of published results.
Significance for the country
The research activities of our program group go beyond Slovenian national boundaries, taking into account both the subjects we are working on and the presentation of our results. Our presence on the international scientific scene contributes notably to the perfection of professional skills, as well as to the acknowledgment of Slovenian scientific endeavors on an international level. Within the activities of our program group, basic and applicative research is interrelated. Beside developing methods and techniques for spatial studies, such as processing algorithms, and performing basic research in archaeology and social anthropology, the latter studies greatly benefit from the application of Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing techniques: our results achieved so far prove that this methodology, although still developing and gaining acceptance on the global level, represents a convenient tool for elucidating important questions posed by both anthropological and other disciplines within humanities. Furthermore, the methods and techniques referred to are also employed in our attempts at solving concrete, socially and economically relevant questions. With regard to thematic diversity of anthropological research it should be underlined that the results of studying different cultures allow a better understanding of social, ethnical, political and other problems still present as much in the world as in our own country, and that without knowing other life styles even our own culture, national identity, and historical processes that led to modern Slovene social reality cannot be objectively evaluated. Furthermore, since we constantly disseminate the results of our work to a wider public, and considering we also include our proper findings into the university teaching process, such efforts aimed at broadening horizons can also significantly contribute to a fruitful, tolerant and competent incorporation of Slovenia into diverse forms if international cooperation. In addition to what has been stated, the program is also directly related to Slovenian socio-economic reality and cultural development. The results of our work attest to the significance of the methods of spatial studies and their application in the solution of problems related with the development of economy infrastructure, communications, etc., as well as with the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. To mention but a few of our most relevant contributions, we designed a dynamic toll collection methodology, which will represent, when implemented, a radical change in the way the road-use expenses are determined, collected and distributed. Our work within FABRICA Centre of Excellence contributed to the enforcement of principles of responsible management of natural resources and to the propagation of consciousness about suitability and economic advantages of solar energy. For the Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia we elaborated a geomorphologically and numerically accurate Digital Terrain Model of Slovenia and its surroundings. We may also mention our concern with educating professional public, reflected in workshops and meetings we organize.
Most important scientific results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
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