UAV Systems for Photogrammetric Data Acquisition of Archaeological Sites

International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era 01/2012; 1(1):7-14. DOI: 10.1260/2047-4970.1.0.7


The use of UAV systems for surveying archaeological sites is becoming progressively more common due to the considerable potential in terms of rapidity of survey, costs and accuracy. The paper presents the first results of the photogrammetric survey of the archaeological site of Himera in Sicily (Italy) using by UAV systems. A complete documentation of the site through the production of a DSM and an ortho image were carried out. The research further evaluated two different image processing workflows: a typical photogrammetric approach and a computer vision approach. An ortho image of the archaeological site with a very high resolution was obtained.

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Available from: Mauro Lo Brutto
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    • "Several experiments were carried out for the latter aspect, comparing software arising from photogrammetry and from Computer Vision (CV) (Irschara et al., 2010; Neitzel & Klonowski 2011; Verhoeven et al., 2011; Haala & Rothermel, 2012; Lo Brutto et al., 2012; Rosnell & Honkavaara, 2012; Mancini et al., 2013; Sona et al., 2013), but few examples were reported concerning the quality of metric accuracy in relation to the use of CV techniques and, in particular, to the use of Structure from Motion (SfM) approach against different image network configurations (Nocerino et al., 2013). At present it is unclear if the use of more stable block configuration could improve the accuracy and the reliability of results for UAV images processed by CV approach. "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is becoming very common for photogrammetric survey especially due to numerous advantages compared to "traditional" aerial photogrammetry. The work carried out describes the first results obtained using different UAV systems for Cultural Heritage surveys. The study was performed acquiring two different datasets on an archaeological site and a "land art" site respectively. These datasets have different characteristics in relation to the extension of the surveyed areas, the used platform, the flight parameters. A Computer Vision approach has been used to produce 3D models and ortho-images with a very high level of detail. Some tests were also carried out to evaluate the metric accuracy of the images orientations and 3D models.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
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    • "Il processamento delle immagini è fortemente influenzato dalla notevole irregolarità dei blocchi fotogrammetrici e dall'elevato numero di immagini necessarie per una completa copertura delle aree di studio. Diverse sperimentazioni sono state effettuate per quest'ultimo aspetto, mettendo a confronto software derivanti dalla Computer Vision e classici programmi fotogrammetrici (Neitzel 2011; Verhoeven et al., 2011; Lo Brutto et al., 2012). L'attività svolta nel presente lavoro ha lo scopo di effettuare una prima valutazione sulle potenzialità delle piattaforme UAV nel campo del rilievo dei beni culturali attraverso l'analisi di diversi dataset che si differenziano per la tipologia dei velivoli utilizzati, per le caratteristiche dei voli e per l'estensione delle zone riprese. "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is becoming very common for photogrammetric survey especially due to numerous advantages that present compared to classic aerial photogrammetry. The work carried out describes the first results obtained using different UAV systems for surveys in Cultural Heritage study. The work was carried out by acquiring some datasets relating to archaeological sites; these datasets have different characteristics in relation to the type of used vehicle, flight characteristics and extension of the surveyed areas. Some evaluations were also carried out about the metric precision of the images orientations and the level of detail obtained from 3D models and orthophotos.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Nov 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Archaeologists using airborne data can encounter a large variety of frame images in the course of their work. These range from vertical aerial photographs acquired with very expensive calibrated optics to oblique images from hand-held, uncalibrated cameras and even photographs shot with compact cameras from an array of unmanned airborne solutions. Additionally, imagery can be recorded in one or more spectral bands of the complete optical electromagnetic spectrum. However, these aerial images are rather useless from an archaeological standpoint as long as they are not interpreted in detail. Furthermore, the relevant archaeological information interpreted from these images has to be mapped and compared with information from other sources. To this end, the imagery must be accurately georeferenced, and the many geometrical distortions induced by the optics, the terrain and the camera tilt should be corrected. This chapter focuses on several types of archaeological airborne frame imagery, the distortion factors that are influencing these two-dimensional still images and the necessary steps to compute orthophotographs from them. Rather than detailing the conventional photogrammetric orthorectification workflows, this chapter mainly centres on the use of computer vision-based solutions such as structure from motion (SfM) and dense multi-view stereo (MVS). In addition to a theoretical underpinning of the working principles and algorithmic steps included in both SfM and MVS, real-world imagery originating from traditional and more advanced airborne imaging platforms will be used to illustrate the possibilities of such a computer vision-based approach: the variety of imagery that can be dealt with, how (accurately) these images can be transformed into map-like orthophotographs and how these results can aid in the documentation of archaeological resources at a variety of spatial scales. Moreover, the case studies detailed in this chapter will also prove that this approach might move beyond current restrictions of conventional photogrammetry due to its applicability to datasets that were previously thought to be unsuitable for convenient georeferencing.
    Full-text · Chapter · Dec 2013
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