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Open AccessArticle

Cultural Heritage Sites in Danger—Towards Automatic Damage Detection from Space

1
Earth Observation Center (EOC), German Aerospace Center (DLR), 82234 Wessling, Germany
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Section, Cyprus University of Technology, 3036 Limassol, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhong Lu, Henrique Lorenzo and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(9), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8090781
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Cultural Heritage)
The intentional damage to local Cultural Heritage sites carried out in recent months by the Islamic State have received wide coverage from the media worldwide. Earth Observation data provide important information to assess this damage in such non-accessible areas, and automated image processing techniques will be needed to speed up the analysis if a fast response is desired. This paper shows the first results of applying fast and robust change detection techniques to sensitive areas, based on the extraction of textural information and robust differences of brightness values related to pre- and post-disaster satellite images. A map highlighting potentially damaged buildings is derived, which could help experts at timely assessing the damages to the Cultural Heritage sites of interest. Encouraging results are obtained for two archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. View Full-Text
Keywords: change detection; cultural heritage; texture analysis change detection; cultural heritage; texture analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cerra, D.; Plank, S.; Lysandrou, V.; Tian, J. Cultural Heritage Sites in Danger—Towards Automatic Damage Detection from Space. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 781.

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