A £100,000 project has begun to map out human activity during the past few centuries in Leicester.
The scheme will use computer mapping technology throughout the city centre to help speed up future developments.
It will help developers and council planners to know more about sites of archaeological interest.
English Heritage regional director Anthony Streeten said the initiative would help the city better manage its historical sites.
The project is being funded by English Heritage and the Leicester Shire Economic Partnership and the work will be carried out by the University of Leicester.
Mr Streeten said: "Leicester has a wonderfully rich heritage and is on the threshold of unprecedented planned regeneration.
"The Urban Archaeological Database will help all of us to understand and appreciate that heritage - both above and below ground.
Leicester was once a Roman administrative centre, but earlier settlements date back to the Iron Age.