Geodesy is an integral part pf the OeAI and its cooperation partners because recording, processing, and presenting spatial data plays a fundamental role in the scientific synthesis of almost every scientific project.

With comprehensive knowledge from the areas of geodesy, geoinformatics, geophysical and archaeological survey as well as the interconnection with other geo-scientific disciplines, the unit mainly deals with the spatial dimension of archaeological research. Through the interdisciplinary collaboration at the OeAI, ideas and methods can be developed with a maximum of innovative creativity, quality, and efficiency.

The main tasks include training in basic geodetic concepts, advising in the application of geodetic instruments and methods as well as in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and the creation of maps and images.

A long-term research project is the continuous further development of a web-based geographic information system that will aid in visualizing current and historical space-related data. By linking it with specialist databases from different scientific disciplines further permits complex spatial analyses and increases the added value of all data.

The creation and maintenance of precise geodetic networks and the cartographic documentation of archaeological-historical contexts and their topographic contexts as well as the non-destructive exploration of the surface of the terrain through archaeological and geophysical survey methods is central to the field work activity on excavations or archaeological surveys. The applied documentation methods generally comply with the specifications of the concrete questions that are subject to a scientific analysis. The traditional measuring instruments include tape measures, leveling device, tachymeter, and GPS receiver. Geophysical survey can be conducted with ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, electrical resistance, and susceptibility measurement systems. Geoarchaeological samples are extracted with the help of coring equipment.

Another task involves innovation strategic analyses for the use of new technologies. For example in the last several years the complete three-dimensional documentation has increased in importance. Complex geometries can be easily and comprehensively analyzed analyzed on the screen based on virtual 3D reproductions. The use of standardized 3D exchange formats permits the uncomplicated and fast data exchange within the scientific community. The instruments used at the OeAI include terrestrial 3D laser scanner, photogrammetric measurement cameras, highly precise 3D object scanner and modern measurement drones.