Efficiently capturing large, complex cultural heritage sites with a handheld mobile 3D laser mapping system

Zlot, Robert, Bosse, Michael, Greenop, Kelly, Jarzab, Zbigniew, Juckes, Emily and Roberts, Jonathan (2013) Efficiently capturing large, complex cultural heritage sites with a handheld mobile 3D laser mapping system. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 15 6: 670-678. doi:10.1016/j.culher.2013.11.009

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Author Zlot, Robert
Bosse, Michael
Greenop, Kelly
Jarzab, Zbigniew
Juckes, Emily
Roberts, Jonathan
Title Efficiently capturing large, complex cultural heritage sites with a handheld mobile 3D laser mapping system
Journal name Journal of Cultural Heritage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1296-2074
Publication date 2013-12-21
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.culher.2013.11.009
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 15
Issue 6
Start page 670
End page 678
Total pages 9
Place of publication Issy les Moulineaux, Cedex, France
Publisher Elsevier Masson
Language eng
Subject 1206 Conservation
1601 Chemistry (miscellaneous)
3314 Anthropology
1202 History
Abstract Accurate three-dimensional representations of cultural heritage sites are highly valuable for scientific study, conservation, and educational purposes. In addition to their use for archival purposes, 3D models enable efficient and precise measurement of relevant natural and architectural features. Many cultural heritage sites are large and complex, consisting of multiple structures spatially distributed over tens of thousands of square metres. The process of effectively digitising such geometrically complex locations requires measurements to be acquired from a variety of viewpoints. While several technologies exist for capturing the 3D structure of objects and environments, none are ideally suited to complex, large-scale sites, mainly due to their limited coverage or acquisition efficiency. We explore the use of a recently developed handheld mobile mapping system called Zebedee in cultural heritage applications. The Zebedee system is capable of efficiently mapping an environment in three dimensions by continually acquiring data as an operator holding the device traverses through the site. The system was deployed at the former Peel Island Lazaret, a culturally significant site in Queensland, Australia, consisting of dozens of buildings of various sizes spread across an area of approximately 400 × 250 m. With the Zebedee system, the site was scanned in half a day, and a detailed 3D point cloud model (with over 520 million points) was generated from the 3.6 hours of acquired data in 2.6 hours. We present results demonstrating that Zebedee was able to accurately capture both site context and building detail comparable in accuracy to manual measurement techniques, and at a greatly increased level of efficiency and scope. The scan allowed us to record derelict buildings that previously could not be measured because of the scale and complexity of the site. The resulting 3D model captures both interior and exterior features of buildings, including structure, materials, and the contents of rooms.
Keyword 3D digitisation
Laser scanning
Mobile mapping
Heritage sites
Large-scale scenes
Peel Island
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 21 December 2013. School of Architecture Publications Aboriginal Environments Research Centre Publications ATCH (Architecture Theory History Criticism) Publications

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Created: Mon, 30 Dec 2013, 07:22:01 EST by Dr Kelly Greenop on behalf of School of Architecture