D. N. Gimbel
(Archaeos, Inc., New York, USA)

For four seasons, Archaeos — a non-profit research organization based in New York City — has been conducting a detailed mapping project at the medieval city of Vijayanagara in India. This site, whose name means “City of Victory,” was the capital of the Sangama (Samgama), Saluva, and Tuluva dynasties, which successively ruled all of southern India from the beginning of the 14th through the end of the 16th centuries.
Archaeos’ work at Vijayanagara currently focuses upon mapping of two separate archaeological areas, the North Ridge and the Noblemen’s Quarter and utilizes a series of modern surveying, computer, photographic, and video systems to capture as much archaeological data as possible and to record the actual process of mapping and working at the site for future researchers and for educational purposes. The technologies employed by Archaeos at Vijayanagara include: Total Stations linked to custom modified data collection systems that can export raw data into a CAD program for rendering, digital photography, digital video, and QuickTime Virtual Reality.
The core of this process is the data collection system, which currently contains approximately 150 such feature codes, each with up to six associated sub-categories of nested information. Its design gives us the ability to collect complex levels of data about architectural and artifactual remains at the site and to do so in such a manner that such data may eventually be easily imported into systems such as GIS for statistical and other forms of analysis.
The ability to customize “feature” and “control” codes has not only allowed us to gather an extensive amount of information about each and every point shot during an archaeological survey but has radically changed our understanding of at least one major portion of the city’s urban core.