New technologies for old problems



L-R: Haidee Yatim, Cyberhawk; Lyn Wilson, Historic Scotland; Stuart Thomas, Cyberhawk; James Hepher, Historic Scotland; Rob Nuttall, Historic Scotland; Enrique Valero, Heriot-Watt; Carlo Minciacchi, U. Cambridge and Alan Forster, Heriot-Watt.

Dr Frédéric Bosché, Dr Enrique Valero and Dr Alan Forster, from the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, are collaborating with Historic Scotland in assessing the efficacy and accuracy of various 3D survey technologies to support the sensitive repair and maintenance of some of Scotland’s most important cultural heritage buildings. This collaborative research aims to support surveying professionals in making objective decisions relating to the management of these buildings.

Additional collaboration with Cyberhawk and Dr. Ioannis Brilakis, University of Cambridge, the extended team recently conducted 3D surveys of a significant section of Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh using the latest terrestrial laser scanning, ground-based and UAV-mounted photogrammetric systems.

This successful data acquisition campaign will be followed by intensive ‘data crunching’ to highlight the strengths and limitations of the various methods, and to develop state-of-the-art data processing methods for eliciting survey information of particular value to those entrusted with heritage repair strategies.

Dr. Frédéric Bosché said: “This project is quite unique as it simultaneously aims to compare five different 3D survey systems all deployed upon a real, operational and culturally significant building.  We are delighted to have gathered a team of experts in survey solutions, collaboratively working with Historic Scotland’s recognised digital documentation team on one of the most important international Cultural Heritage sites.”

Dr. Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager for Historic Scotland, said, “We are delighted to partner with Heriot-Watt University to scientifically research wide-ranging digital documentation techniques for our built heritage. It is our aim that analysis of the data gathered will begin to provide practical solutions for interpreting 3D data to address specific conservation issues.”