July 12, 2012

Dale here:

Two characteristics of our project are especially important.  First, it is important to us that the entire process is scientific, i.e. transparent, documented, replicable and aligned with ISO, AIC, ICOM photographic documentation standards. To this point, the entire sequence, from capture to computational image is open format, non-proprietary and open source. The metadata and computational pathway of each pixel is readable, documented, archival and can be assembled into a 3D computational image at any time in the future using whatever developments in normal reflection or photogrammetry software and camera hardware occur. To fulfill the scientific requirements of photo documentation in conservation and preservation, 3D or otherwise, there can be NO proprietary files or software conversions and the owner of the initial capture needs to own and archive all workflows using a metadata “lab notebook”.  No steps can be hidden.

Second, we are principally aiming to develop reliable protocols for 3D, photogrammetrically accurate images using a CONSUMER GRADE DIGITAL CAMERAS, rather than expensive and complex laser scanning technologies. If reliable workflows can be defined, ANYONE with a digital camera with a manual mode setting, raw capture capability, and a flash and a laptop computer may be able to gather RGB color and 3-D data and assemble 3D digital surrogates that can be used to monitor very slight condition changes that occur over a very long period of time.

On the LinkedIn Group Heritage Conservation/Historic Preservation of the Built Environment Network, Graham U’ren, a trustee at Built Environment Forum Scotland, posted a comment noting the visually exciting and richly detailed Scottish Ten project,  an “ambitious five year project using cutting edge technology to create exceptionally accurate digital models of Scotland’s five UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites”. The Scottish Ten project is partnering with CyArk a 501C3 non profit who uses their proprietary software to build and store 3D image files from laser-scanning point-clouds. They use highly precise, high speed terrestrial laser scanning systems, some capable of sub-millimetre data capture and aerial optical remote sensing technology.  Visit their project website at

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