Dr Anthony Beck
I like all things to do with space, place and informatics. This originally stemmed from an undergraduate program focussed on GIS and archaeology. I used to spend a lot of time designing and implementing archaeological recording systems: this meant grappling with data flow, databases, data quality and surveying. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a NERC grant to undertake PhD research at Durham University into the archaeological applications of high resolution satellite imagery in semi-arid environments. This involved substantial fieldwork in Syria, where I managed to implement a fully digital GIS based field recording and interpretation system. After my PhD I joined the School of Computing at Leeds University. I conductde full-time research on the VISTA project looking at innovative techniques to resolve the schematic (design), semantic (language/naming) and syntactic (format) heterogeneities within the UK utility sector. This has taken me into the exciting world of Geo-ontologies and Knowledge Engineering. In late 2009 I was shortlisted (final 6) for the Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Entrepreneur of the year award for spin out activities associated with the VISTA utilities project. I then worked on a number of different projects. In addition to being the lead author for the grant application I was the project champion for the DART project (the Detection of Archaeological Residues using remote sensing Techniques: www.dartproject.info). This project developed a deeper understanding of the physical, chemical and biological contrast factors and detection dynamics associated with geophysical and electromagnetic detection of heritage objects. The successful detection of features in ‘difficult’ areas will provide a more complete understanding of the heritage resource which will impact on research, management and development control. I provides d cross-cutting consultancy and research support (GIS, remote sensing, data management, knowledge management and field capture) to a number of projects developed within a 5 year joint Omani/Earthwatch programme. These projects focus on natural and cultural environmental research and capacity building projects. The first two projects aim to secure the long-term viability of the endangered Arabian Leopard and Arabian Tahr. The programme is working towards open up access to the wealth of environmental data in Oman so that policy can be more effectively generated and the public have better engagement with their environmental heritage. I held an EPSRC funded Knowledge Transfer Secondment (KTS) with 1Spatial. This span out of the work done with VISTA. I now work for 1Spatial providing geospatial and data management consultancy services to organisations around the world.