The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W7
13 Aug 2015
 | 13 Aug 2015

Filling gaps in cultural heritage documentation by 3D photography

W. Schuhr and J. D. Lee

Keywords: Tangible, Intangible C.H., Archives of 3D photography, UAV-platforms, Monument Information System (MIS), 3D-Technology, Internet/Web, Lasered crystals, 3D printer

Abstract. This contribution promotes 3D photography as an important tool to obtain objective object information. Keeping mainly in mind World Heritage documentation as well as Heritage protection, it is another intention of this paper, to stimulate the interest in applications of 3D photography for professionals as well as for amateurs. In addition this is also an activity report of the international CIPA task group 3. The main part of this paper starts with “Digging the treasure of existing international 3D photography”. This does not only belong to tangible but also to intangible Cultural Heritage. 3D photography clearly supports the recording, the visualization, the preservation and the restoration of architectural and archaeological objects. Therefore the use of 3D photography in C.H. should increase on an international level. The presented samples in 3D represent a voluminous, almost partly “forgotten treasure” of international archives for 3D photography.

The next chapter is on “Promoting new 3D photography in Cultural Heritage”. Though 3D photographs are a well-established basic photographic and photogrammetric tool, even suited to provide “near real” documentation, they are still a matter of research and improvement. Beside the use of 3D cameras even single lenses cameras are very much suited for photographic 3D documentation purposes in Cultural Heritage.

Currently at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, low altitude aerial photography is exposed from a maximum height of 13m, using a hand hold carbon telescope rod. The use of this “huge selfie stick” is also an (international) recommendation, to expose high resolution 3D photography of monuments under expedition conditions. In addition to the carbon rod recently a captive balloon and a hexacopter UAV- platform is in use, mainly to take better synoptically (extremely low altitude, ground truth) aerial photography. Additional experiments with respect to “easy geometry” and to multistage concepts of 3D photographs in Cultural Heritage just started. Furthermore a revised list of the 3D visualization principles, claiming completeness, has been carried out. Beside others in an outlook

*It is highly recommended, to list every historical and current stereo view with relevance to Cultural Heritage in a global Monument Information System (MIS), like in google earth.

*3D photographs seem to be very suited, to complete and/or at least partly to replace manual archaeological sketches. In this concern the still underestimated 3D effect will be demonstrated, which even allows, e.g., the spatial perception of extremely small scratches etc...

*A consequent dealing with 3D Technology even seems to indicate, currently we experience the beginning of a new age of “real 3DPC- screens“, which at least could add or even partly replace the conventional 2D screens. Here the spatial visualization is verified without glasses in an all-around vitreous body. In this respect nowadays widespread lasered crystals showing monuments are identified as “Early Bird“ 3D products, which, due to low resolution and contrast and due to lack of color, currently might even remember to the status of the invention of photography by Niepce (1827), but seem to promise a great future also in 3D Cultural Heritage documentation.

*Last not least 3D printers more and more seem to conquer the IT-market, obviously showing an international competition.