ARCTIS - Archaeological Toolbox for Imaging Spectroscopy

ARCTIS is a user-friendly MATLAB® toolbox with a corresponding graphical user interface (GUI) that helps the image analyst – not necessarily a specialist in remote sensing or in imaging spectroscopy – to maximize the information extracted from the recorded 3D data cube. It is a tool to display hyperspectral data (multilayer TIFF images or ENVI files) in many different ways and to retrieve as many pieces of information as possible from the imagery. As such it was created to test currently available AIS processing practices as well as validate the value of completely new information extraction techniques.


The GUI is divided into five sections, which follow a hypothetical workflow:

Section 1: Project management. 

Section 2: Image pre-processing, including image import/export, data stacking, the elimination of specific bands, functions for contrast adjustment and smoothing in z- as well as xy-directions.  

Section 3: Image processing functions, grouped into similarity index calculation, principal component analysis, low/high pass filters and edge detection functions, inflection point calculation (see below), vegetation index calculation, distribution fitting (see below) and (k-means) data clustering.  

Section 4: Display control, visualization and Output. 

Section 5: Contains several tools which are believed to be helpful for image analysis, such as displaying an animated sequence of the 3D data cube, viewing data along slices, and displaying spectral profiles of selected pixels.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The toolbox can be used free of restrictions under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means that you can use it for any purpose. No warranties are given. An easy-to-read summary of the license can be found here.

We request that you actively acknowledge our work by quoting following open access publications:

  1. Atzberger C., Wess M., Doneus M., Verhoeven G., 2014.  ARCTIS—A MATLAB® Toolbox for Archaeological Imaging Spectroscopy. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 8617-8638; doi:10.3390/rs6098617
  2. Doneus M., Verhoeven G., Atzberger C., Wess M., Ruš M., 2014. New ways to extract archaeological information from hyperspectral pixels, Journal of Archaeological Science (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.08.023.

If you publish visualizations of the test data, please add "(data source: LBI ArchPro & ABT GmbH)" to the figure caption.

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Metadata for testdata

Copyright LBI ArchPro & ABT GmbH
Case Study Area Carnuntum
Date of data acquisition 26 May 2011
Purpose of scan Archaeology
Imaging spectrometer AisaEAGLE (SPECIM)
Number of bands 65
Spectral sampling interval 8.6 to 9.5 nm
Spectral resolution 3.3 nm at FWHM
Spectral range 403-995 nm
Binning 8
Flying height above ground 600 m
Ground Sampling Distance 0.4 m
Speed of aircraft 50 m/sec
Digitisation 12-bit