The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B5
30 Jul 2012
 | 30 Jul 2012


P. Grussenmeyer, E. Alby, T. Landes, M. Koehl, S. Guillemin, J. F. Hullo, P. Assali, and E. Smigiel

Abstract. Different approaches and tools are required in Cultural Heritage Documentation to deal with the complexity of monuments and sites. The documentation process has strongly changed in the last few years, always driven by technology. Accurate documentation is closely relied to advances of technology (imaging sensors, high speed scanning, automation in recording and processing data) for the purposes of conservation works, management, appraisal, assessment of the structural condition, archiving, publication and research (Patias et al., 2008). We want to focus in this paper on the recording aspects of cultural heritage documentation, especially the generation of geometric and photorealistic 3D models for accurate reconstruction and visualization purposes. The selected approaches are based on the combination of photogrammetric dense matching and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) techniques. Both techniques have pros and cons and recent advances have changed the way of the recording approach. The choice of the best workflow relies on the site configuration, the performances of the sensors, and criteria as geometry, accuracy, resolution, georeferencing, texture, and of course processing time. TLS techniques (time of flight or phase shift systems) are widely used for recording large and complex objects and sites. Point cloud generation from images by dense stereo or multi-view matching can be used as an alternative or as a complementary method to TLS. Compared to TLS, the photogrammetric solution is a low cost one, as the acquisition system is limited to a high-performance digital camera and a few accessories only. Indeed, the stereo or multi-view matching process offers a cheap, flexible and accurate solution to get 3D point clouds. Moreover, the captured images might also be used for models texturing. Several software packages are available, whether web-based, open source or commercial. The main advantage of this photogrammetric or computer vision based technology is to get at the same time a point cloud (the resolution depends on the size of the pixel on the object), and therefore an accurate meshed object with its texture. After matching and processing steps, we can use the resulting data in much the same way as a TLS point cloud, but in addition with radiometric information for textures.
The discussion in this paper reviews recording and important processing steps as geo-referencing and data merging, the essential assessment of the results, and examples of deliverables from projects of the Photogrammetry and Geomatics Group (INSA Strasbourg, France).