GROUND AND AERIAL DIGITAL DOCUMENTATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE: PROVIDING TOOLS FOR 3D EXPLOITATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, 3D, Point-clouds, Laser scanning, Digital Photogrammetry, Aerial Remote Sensing, On-Line Tools
Abstract. Archaeology is by its nature strictly connected with the physical landscape and as such it explores the inter-relations of individuals with places in which they leave and the nature that surrounds them. Since its earliest stages, archaeology demonstrated its permeability to scientific methods and innovative techniques or technologies. Archaeologists were indeed between the first to adopt GIS platforms (since already almost three decades) on large scale and are now between the most demanding customers for emerging technologies such as digital photogrammetry and drone-aided aerial photography.
This paper aims at presenting case studies where the “3D approach” can be critically analysed and compared with more traditional means of documentation. Spot-light is directed towards the benefits of a specifically designed platform for user to access the 3D point-clouds and explore their characteristics. Beside simple measuring and editing tools, models are presented in their actual context and location, with historical and archaeological information provided on the side. As final step of a parallel project on geo-referencing and making available a large archive of aerial photographs, 3D models derived from photogrammetric processing of images have been uploaded and linked to photo-footprints polygons. Of great importance in such context is the possibility to interchange the point-cloud colours with satellite imagery from OpenLayers. This approach makes it possible to explore different landscape configurations due to time-changes with simple clicks.
In these cases, photogrammetry or 3D laser scanning replaced, sided or integrated legacy documentation, creating at once a new set of information for forthcoming research and ideally new discoveries.