GIS-based system classifies sensitive areas using a combination of statistics, database tools and archaeological research
GIS-based system shows areas most likely to include archaeological sites

GIS display shows areas most likely to include archaeological sites.
  • Implementation Services/Software Development
  • GIS Analysis/Spatial Modeling

  • Water & Natural Resources

  • Washington State


GeoEngineers developed the GeoPredict© predictive modeling tool for the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) that identifies potential archaeological sites throughout the state. The GIS-based system classifies sensitive areas using an innovative combination of statistical methods, database tools and archaeological research. The system created predictions for every 100 square feet throughout the state—a total area of more than 54,000 square miles—and identified that 11% of the study area is at high-risk for encountering archaeological resources.

By identifying potential sites in advance, planners are able to prioritize their efforts, reduce the risk to cultural resources and simplify regulatory processes.



GeoEngineers brought a range of professional skills and experience to bear on this project. Our work:

  • Compiled archaeological data and compared environmental factors with geographic proximity to known archaeological resources
  • Used statistical calculations to classify areas as high, moderate or low potential for an archaeological discovery and provides a measure of confidence in those classifications
  • Developed statewide geomorphic data layer using automated techniques
  • Used standard ESRI and SQL Server tools for geoprocessing


  • Equipped planners and cultural resource managers with an easy-to-access desktop application for resource modeling
  • Prioritized archaeological surveys more efficiently, saving time and money
  • Reduced risk of disturbing resources during construction projects
  • Increased efficiencies in planning, permitting and construction regulatory processes
  • Created greater awareness of and helped protect un-surveyed archaeological areas
  • Washington is now one of only three states with a similar modeling tool at its disposal.


[GeoEngineers’ GIS team] is responsive and always finishes their contracts with a product that is a national example.

Dr. Allyson Brooks, Director
Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation