Monitoring survey of heritage listed fencing using terrestrial laser scanners and CloudCompare software

Strange, Enoch Matthew (2019) Monitoring survey of heritage listed fencing using terrestrial laser scanners and CloudCompare software. [USQ Project]

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This dissertation will provide an introduction to the area of research, review related literature for the purposes of isolating an original problem or issue that requires investigation, outline the aims and objectives of the research, describe the methodology that will be used, detail the schedule for all the work involved; and provide justification for the research.

In order to introduce my research proposal, it is helpful to refer to recent historical events. In Iraq, in 2014 and early 2015, ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) destroyed a number of buildings with huge religious and cultural significance. This included the 2000 year old temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria and the Buddhas of Bamiyan. The enlightened world rightly decried these acts of religiously inspired madness and many otherwise unconnected citizens of the world were confronted with a strange sense of loss. The loss that the global community felt is inexorably related to the high value placed on such historical artefacts. This value necessitates vigorous and committed attention to the maintenance, documentation and protection of historical artefacts.

Over the last few decades, with the emergence of technologies such as 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry enabled UAV, we are able to realise the value of digitally recording and documenting the natural and built environment. So, just as a pencil, paper and crude measuring instruments were once the only tools available to preserve and document items of heritage value, there is a need to test and understand how best to apply the new tools to satisfy our obligation to future generations.

A review of previous studies reveals a combination of both photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning tools are commonly used for this purpose. The literature study also affirms that new research has been predominantly based in the area of HBIM (Historic Building Information Modelling) particularly of UNESCO sites, cathedrals, castles and monasteries but also for archaeological digs. There seems too few examples of application of the new tools to items of emerging historical and heritage significance like fences, significant trees, statues, rotundas and the like.

Historically, for items exposed to the elements of nature, relatively simple methods such as photographs and checklists were used for documenting the condition of items. When small incremental movements threatened the structural integrity of an item, traditional monitoring surveys were used to inform the planning of remedial works. Presumably these methods were cost effective and the most suitable methods, but is this still the case?

It is likely that, items of emerging significance cannot attract the limited and expensive resources of 3D laser scanning equipment dedicated to the task, however this is changing. The ambitions of global technology companies such as Google, to ‘map the world’ and the increasing use of Light Detection and ranging (LiDAR) to develop Autonomous Vehicles is contributing to an ever increasing database of spatial data. Provided access to the data is granted, it is interesting to imagine a world where surveyors can measure movement over time, of any suburban structure, by repurposing some of this ‘old’ scan data.

This research proposes to repurpose seven year old-scan-data to conduct a monitoring survey of a distressed heritage listed fence in inner suburban Sydney. A recent scan, which this time, focused on the subject fence is compared to a 2012 scan (that inadvertently captured the fence) using software designed for deformation analysis of scan data.

The results of the research suggest that terrestrial laser scanners can provide high quality, high value, less esoteric industry deliverables than those produced by traditional methods.

It is hoped that this research may be of interest to custodians of Heritage items; those interested in building a digital heritage database and the documentation of the item for digital heritage purposes; contractors involved in maintenance and preservation and improving remedial works methods; as well as surveying firms considering investing in Terrestrial Laser scanning technology for monitoring survey applications.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Liu, Xiaoye
Qualification: Bachelor of Spatial Science (Honours) (Surveying)
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 04:08
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2023 04:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital Heritage preservation, 3D laser scanning, Virtual worlds, realism, monitoring survey, 3D modelling, laser scanning, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM), CloudCompare

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