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, & Roberts, Jonathan M. (2014) Efficiently capturing large, complex cultural heritage sites with a handheld mobile 3D laser mapping system. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 15(6), pp. 670-678.

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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.

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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 75814
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: 3D digitisation, Mobile mapping, Heritage sites, Large-scale scenes, Laser scanning
DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2013.11.009
ISSN: 1296-2074
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHYSICAL SCIENCES (020000) > OPTICAL PHYSICS (020500) > Lasers and Quantum Electronics (020502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > GEOMATIC ENGINEERING (090900) > Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying) (090906)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Deposited On: 29 Aug 2014 07:26
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2014 05:48

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