The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-1-2024
10 May 2024
 | 10 May 2024

Affordable Sensors for Speditive and Accurate Documentation of Built Heritage: First Tests and Preliminary Results

Alessio Martino, Andrea Maria Lingua, and Paolo Maschio

Keywords: Built Heritage, Cultural documentation, Affordable sensors, Photogrammetry, LiDAR, Accuracy assessment

Abstract. When facing unregulated human interventions, the tumultuous backdrop of wars, and the relentless impact of climate change, a significant effect is held on those structures that stand as custodians of our cultural identity and historical legacy. The need to document their status is an essential first step toward preservation and restoration. This contribution will analyze and compare diverse datasets acquired through three distinct methods: Terrestrial Laser Scanner, Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro with no additional tool, and iPhone 15 Pro using Pix4D viDoc RTK Rover to assess the quality and accuracy of point clouds, as well as to determine the feasibility of each technique for the expeditious documentation of endangered built heritage. The use of mass-distributed low-cost sensors provides a rapid and cost-effective means to capture detailed 3D models of built heritage while, at the same time, democratizing the process of documentation. Low-cost sensors not only facilitate documentation but also enhance the efficiency of conservation efforts. The precision of LiDAR sensors helps identify structural vulnerabilities, allowing conservationists to prioritize interventions and allocate resources wisely. Furthermore, detailed imagery will enable conservationists to monitor subtle structural changes over time, acting as an early warning system against potential threats. As an additional aid, the RTK Rover enables centimeter-level positioning accuracy while maintaining a compact and fast deployable design, and the direct measurement of Ground Control Points (GCPs) significantly streamlines the surveying process and equipment footprint.