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Heritage-3DIM - Modelling and Monitoring Cultural Heritage with 3D Geospatial Data

Title: Heritage-3DIM - Modelling and Monitoring Cultural Heritage with 3D Geospatial Data

Principal investigator: Gil Gonçalves

Research team: Luísa Gonçalves, Paulo Providência, Hugo Rodigues, Florindo Gaspar, Mercedes Solla Carracelas, Iván Puente Luna, Jose Juan De Sanjose Blasco

Dates start/end: 10-2016 / 03-2018


Evaluation and intervention in major infrastructures are often supported by periodic visual inspections. Depending of the infrastructure characteristics there is a need to use binoculars or specific equipment, like mobile underbridge inspection units in the case of bridges or rappel in the case of dams as well of large buildings or structures. The state of conservation is often assessed: (i) only at ‘critical’ points, and not exhaustively, (ii) in a more or less subjective way, due to the inspections staff judgement, and (iii) in a narrow way, due to the human vision limit to the visible spectrum. In this scope, new technologies can play an important role in the documentation, and to support the interpretation, diagnosis, monitoring and preservation of existing structures and cultural heritage legacy. However, the complexity of these technologies continues to increase and 3D digital construction and documentation of existing heritage buildings is intricate and typically involves a hybrid approach for the visualization of heterogeneous datasets such as survey data, multispectral images, geophysics data, thermographic images and 3D imaging data (laser scanning, photogrammetry). Thus an integrated approach is necessary to analyse all these large amounts of different information types and to support the repair and rehabilitation methods chosen to apply in order to preserve existing structures and historical sites. With the present project, the team proposes to develop and evaluate the advantages of an innovative inspection method using multi- sensor data integration to assess the state of conservation of existing structures, namely to obtain enhanced efficiency in damage classification. A framework based on cost-effective innovative techniques will be integrated also in order to obtain high-fidelity realitybased 3D models so that the relevant spatial, temporal and multi criteria queries and analyses can be performed in a real 3D environment. In addition, for the development of this innovative inspection method, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV or drones) will support the intelligent identification of the anomalies on the rooftops and facades of the heritage buildings, where the access cannot be made without the installation of a access supporting structures. For this purpose, innovative object based image analysis (OBIA) methodologies will be devel- oped, based on neural networks and machine learning algorithms. The use of the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) method is also proposed to characterize and document the existing underground structures that often lay close to religious or military heritage constructions. This is a geophysical and non-destruc- tive technique which, at least on a first approach, can be much more economical and less intrusive than other methods, such as excavation. Three-dimensional imaging methodologies will be applied to create a reconstruction of the subsoil, and thus provide an intuitive and easily comprehensible layout of the un- derground spatial distribution. The resulting 3D images are also georeferenced, which can be integrated into a GIS. The project aims to bring together partners to form a team on advanced digital heritage modelling and to focus its interest on a prestigious Portuguese cultural Heritage site (the Monastery of Batalha). The project includes the collaboration of international entities with relevant know-how on the assessment and conservation of heritage assets, such as the Centro Universitario de la Defensa of the University of Vigo, and the University of Extremadura.