The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W5
18 Aug 2017
 | 18 Aug 2017


M. Koehl, Y. Courtois, and S. Guillemin

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, TLS, UAV, dense vegetation, 3D modelling, point cloud segmentation, DTM extraction

Abstract. The Schwartzenbourg castle is a Middle-Ages fortress which was built in 1261. It is situated above the valley of Munster in Alsace, France. It was mainly used as a fortified place and a jail. In the early 15th century, the structure has deteriorated. Even after some repairs, it fell into ruins during the Thirty Years’ war (1618-1648) and stayed uninhabited. During World War I, the German army used the place as a vantage point and also built a blockhouse inside the ruins. Nowadays, the ruins are gradually collapsing and the remains of the old walls are completely covered by thick plants.

The goal of this project was to create a 3D-model of the site before closing its access, which became too dangerous for people. This modelling is divided into two elements: on one hand, a digital terrain model (DTM) of the site in order to replace the castle and to analyze the background of its original environment; on the other hand, a 3D modelling of the ruins of the castle invaded by the vegetation. Indeed, the main difficulty of the measurement is obviously the dense vegetation which hides the castle. Held back for years outside the castle, it has now become an integral part of the ruins. This vegetation is finally today usually the first threat of heritage buildings. After a preliminary inspection of the site as well as difficulties of the project, the first step consisted of the survey of the whole environment of the site. We will therefore describe the different phases of the survey with the initial implementation of a georeferenced network on site. We will present the terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) surveys, then complementary surveys carried out by aerial photogrammetry. To be implemented, we had to wait for an advanced autumn in order to have as few leaves on trees as possible. The major step of processing of point clouds described in this paper is then the extraction of a DTM by using techniques to pass through the vegetation, or better to segment the points into different classes, one of these that would be the soil i.e. DTM, another consists into wall parts of the ruins.