What is a TRAIL Meeting?

TRAIL Meetings:

  • incorporate presentations of case studies and methods, interactive workshops, poster presentations, and a round table session.
  • bring together an international group of interdisciplinary scientists, professionals, and postgraduate (Masters and PhD) students.
  • provide opportunities for practical training through small group work. We aim for a 4:1 student teacher ratio in workshops to provide learning opportunities that go beyond basic technical skills. Workshops focus on specific themes and every participant will have time to attend most of the different workshops.
  • are residential, with the entire group staying and taking meals on-site at the conference venue. We have an active social programme as part of the meeting, including an international potluck.

TRAIL Meeting Ethos

TRAIL Meetings:

  • aim to foster open discussion among professionals, researchers and students who have previously worked with lidar or are currently involved in the preparatory or active phase of a project using it.
  • provide a forum to pursue collaborations and promote method sharing.
  • encourage sharing perspectives on research across Europe in archaeology, heritage management, geomorphology and other disciplines interested in detailed topographic interpretation.
  • actively promote the participation of students and early career professionals and researchers.

History of TRAIL

TRAIL was founded to provide opportunities to share expertise and provide training in the archaeological use of lidar so that researchers, professionals and students from a variety of backgrounds could improve their skills in detection and interpretation methods. TRAIL Meetings began in 2011, and are led by the French-Slovenian ModeLTER team, a collaboration of the MSHE C.N. Ledoux / CNRS and IAPS / ZRC SAZU.

Every TRAIL meeting revolves around a central theme. TRAIL I focused on data processing techniques, visualizations, and interpretation, while TRAIL II and III emphasised ALS data and archaeology in forests. The main theme of TRAIL IV was the use of lidar data for the study of pathways and movement. Past workshop topics include:

  • the basic techniques:
    • data processing
    • data management
    • visualization
    • (semi-)automated detection
  • data integration:
    • coupling to GIS / modelling issues
    • (historical) cartographic sources
    • aerial photography
    • geophysics
    • field survey (ground trothing)
  • interpretation
    • landscape-archaeological perspective
  • heritage management
    • especially in relation to forestry
    • land use dynamics
  • deep learning

Past TRAIL Meetings have been held in France at Bibracte (2011), Frasne (2014) and Chambord (2016), and in Slovenia at Postojna (2018).