Special Issue "Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2021).
The deadline for this Special Issue has been extended from 15 December 2020 to 15 April 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Karel Pavelka
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Dept. of Geomatics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, 160 00 Prague 6 - Dejvice, Czech Republic
Interests: remote sensing; photogrammetry; laser scanning; spatial documentation for cultural heritage and in archaeology; astronomy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern technologies allow processing not only contemporary data, but older and historical (mainly) image materials also. There are many examples where historical materials have been used to reconstruct monuments destroyed by various influences, be it their degradation by time, wars, terrorism or natural destructive influences. Existing historical materials together with new data allow unprecedented and objective analysis of the state of objects, development of settlements, human activities and monitoring of changes in natural conditions or climate, etc. Status analysis using historical and new data is the main theme of this Special Issue.

The main topics are:

- Specific spatial analysis applications of information’s from historical photographic and satellite data in comparison with the current state;

- Work connected with nontraditional processing of historical data, extraction of spatial information from historical photographs and other sources (maps, engravings, etc.);

- Projects and applications related to technical issues for the work focused on technology of historical data processing including technologies enabling time and spatial analysis;

- Review articles on state-of-the-art technology related to the scope of this Special issue.

Other related topics on processing historical and new spatial data are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Karel Pavelka
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • photogrammetry
  • remote sensing
  • spatial data analysis
  • historical photos
  • declassified satellite images
  • city growing
  • reconstruction of landscape
  • extinct historical objects
  • 3D documentation

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Article
A Post-Anfal Village in Iraqi Kurdistan: The Remote Sensing Retrogressive Analysis
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4208; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094208 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
The Anfal genocide represents one of the most important events in the recent history of Iraqi Kurdistan. This topic is still very sensitive for the majority of local people; on the other hand, it needs to be studied as part of a modern [...] Read more.
The Anfal genocide represents one of the most important events in the recent history of Iraqi Kurdistan. This topic is still very sensitive for the majority of local people; on the other hand, it needs to be studied as part of a modern social transformation of the Iraqi agricultural landscape. The violent liquidation of Qazbagi village in the 1980s prompted a large-scale change in the morphology and social structure of the settlement area. This development could be reconstructed through multi-temporal remote sensing, combined with field verification and oral research. According to the results of this study, research focused on the development of rural settlements can be extended to older periods (modern history before the 20th century, the Middle Ages) and thus elucidate the process of nucleation and dispersion of agricultural settlements, which has rarely been studied in an Iraqi context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Technological Development and Application of Photo and Video Theodolites
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3893; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093893 - 25 Apr 2021
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Theodolites are fundamental geodetic measuring instruments for all practical geodetic tasks, as well as for experimental geodetic scientific purposes. Their development has a long history. Photo and video theodolites represent the advanced development of classic theodolites. Development started in 19th century, but only [...] Read more.
Theodolites are fundamental geodetic measuring instruments for all practical geodetic tasks, as well as for experimental geodetic scientific purposes. Their development has a long history. Photo and video theodolites represent the advanced development of classic theodolites. Development started in 19th century, but only in the last 15 years has commercial application been achieved in the geodetic profession. The latest development, called image-assisted total stations (IATS), is a theodolite which consists of a classic robotic total station (RTS) with integrated image sensors. It was introduced in the early 2000s. With the development of theodolites, their application became much wider; today, they can be used for structural and geo-monitoring, i.e., for the determination of static and dynamic displacements and deformations of civil engineering structures such as bridges, dams, wind turbines, and high buildings, as well as natural structures, such as mountain slopes. They can be implemented in geodetic monitoring systems, which are an integral part of engineering structural diagnosis, and they provide essential information about the current condition of the structure. This paper describes the technological development of photo and video theodolites divided into phases according to the main innovations in their development. The application of modern video theodolites (i.e., IATS) is presented through several experimental studies that were performed. The procedure of conducting measurements with this kind of instrument, as well as the analysis of acquired data and achieved results, is elaborated. Lastly, the authors conclude, according to the achieved results, that IATS can today be used for determination of quasi-static and dynamic displacements with small and high amplitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
An Innovative Approach to Accuracy of Co-Seismic Surface Displacement Detection Using Satellite GNSS Technology
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2800; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11062800 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
This paper discusses a new method for determining co-seismic displacement using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for the precise detection of positional changes at permanent stations after an earthquake. Positioning by the Precise Point Positioning (PPP) method is undertaken using data from [...] Read more.
This paper discusses a new method for determining co-seismic displacement using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for the precise detection of positional changes at permanent stations after an earthquake. Positioning by the Precise Point Positioning (PPP) method is undertaken using data from the GNSS satellites and one designated station. A time series is processed by an anharmonic analysis before and after an earthquake and these one-day solutions increase the accuracy of measurements. The co-seismic static displacement can be precisely detected from the analysed time series before and after the earthquake, which can be used for the verification of seismic models. Reliability of the estimation of the size of the co-seismic offset is given by the mean square error (RMSE) of the shift. In this study, RMSE was determined by two approaches, initially from variances within PPP processing, and secondly when no positional change from the GNSS before or after the earthquake was assumed. The variance of the data in the time series gives a more realistic estimate of RMSE. This dual approach can affect seismological interpretation due to the need for the interpreting geophysicists to determine which case of co-seismic displacement is more probable for any given locality. The second approach has been shown to provide a more realistic co-seismic displacement accuracy in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Earthen Jewish Architecture of Southern Morocco: Documentation of Unfired Brick Synagogues and Mellahs in the Drâa-Tafilalet Region
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041712 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
This article seeks to highlight the vanished and not-so-well-known material culture of historical southern Moroccan Jewry. Jewish settlements could be found practically in the whole of North Africa before the Second World War; however, afterwards, it almost completely disappeared due to the political [...] Read more.
This article seeks to highlight the vanished and not-so-well-known material culture of historical southern Moroccan Jewry. Jewish settlements could be found practically in the whole of North Africa before the Second World War; however, afterwards, it almost completely disappeared due to the political changes in the region and the establishment of the state of Israel. In southern Morocco, the last Jewish communities were present until the 1950s. Thanks to the interest of the Moroccan authorities, an effort has been made to restore some monuments and keep them as part of the cultural heritage that has attracted foreign tourists for the last few years. As part of the expeditionary research of Charles University and the Czech Technical University in Prague, several documentation projects were carried out in 2020, some of the results of which are described in this paper. Modern automatic methods of geomatics, such as easy to use laser scanning, mobile laser scanning in PLS modification (personal laser scanning), and close-range photogrammetry were used. The results of documentation were processed in the form of 3D models and basic plans, which are used mainly for analyzing residential zones of the Jewish population, the so-called mellahs. In this article, two case projects are described. In both cases, all the mentioned documentation methods were used. The technologies used were analyzed in terms of data collection speed, price, transport, and possible difficulties in use. The PLS technology is relatively new and still under development, such as miniaturising of other measuring instruments. Accuracy testing and usability of above-mentioned technology in cultural heritage documentation real practice is the benefit of this research. Finally, a second aim was to provide information of abandoned cultural places and constructions, which are on the edge of interest and endangered by destruction. It clearly shows that PLS technology is very fast and suitable for these types of objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Astronomical Investigation to Verify the Calendar Theory of the Nasca Lines
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041637 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 710
Abstract
As in many regions of the world, astronomy also played a major role in the ancient Peruvian cultures. However, the discussion of the astronomical relevance of the Nasca geoglyphs is very controversial. A really precise and extensive investigation of astronomical phenomena has not [...] Read more.
As in many regions of the world, astronomy also played a major role in the ancient Peruvian cultures. However, the discussion of the astronomical relevance of the Nasca geoglyphs is very controversial. A really precise and extensive investigation of astronomical phenomena has not yet taken place; the necessary data were simply missing. In the Nasca project Dresden, these data have been recorded in recent years and stored in an Oracle database. In the very first step, all geoglyphs with an astronomical orientation documented by Maria Reiche were checked and verified. Subsequently, all lines of the entity “straight line” were systematically examined with regard to the celestial bodies of the Sun and bright stars. For this purpose, on the one hand, the ellipsoidal azimuths of all straight lines were calculated and, on the other hand, the elevation angles in relation to the horizon with the help of digital terrain models (DTM) were determined. Corrections for refraction, the curvature of the Earth, visibility and atmospheric disturbances were largely considered. The azimuths of the celestial bodies during the Nasca period were calculated with software developed in-house (theses by students) and compared with those of the lines. As a result, it was possible to establish that there are individual straight lines that are aligned with the Sun and the seven randomly selected bright stars. However, the number of hits found does not justify the theory that the Nasca Pampas are an astronomical calendar system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
4D Building Reconstruction with Machine Learning and Historical Maps
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041445 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1001
Abstract
The increasing importance of three-dimensional (3D) city modelling is linked to these data’s different applications and advantages in many domains. Images and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data availability are now an evident and unavoidable prerequisite, not always verified for past scenarios. Indeed, [...] Read more.
The increasing importance of three-dimensional (3D) city modelling is linked to these data’s different applications and advantages in many domains. Images and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data availability are now an evident and unavoidable prerequisite, not always verified for past scenarios. Indeed, historical maps are often the only source of information when dealing with historical scenarios or multi-temporal (4D) digital representations. The paper presents a methodology to derive 4D building models in the level of detail 1 (LoD1), inferring missing height information through machine learning techniques. The aim is to realise 4D LoD1 buildings for geospatial analyses and visualisation, valorising historical data, and urban studies. Several machine learning regression techniques are analysed and employed for deriving missing height data from digitised multi-temporal maps. The implemented method relies on geometric, neighbours, and categorical attributes for height prediction. Derived elevation data are then used for 4D building reconstructions, offering multi-temporal versions of the considered urban scenarios. Various evaluation metrics are also presented for tackling the common issue of lack of ground-truth information within historical data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
GNSS Profile from the Greenland Korth Expeditions in the Context of Satellite Data
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031115 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Over the last two decades, a small group of researchers repeatedly crossed the Greenland interior skiing along a 700-km long route from east to west, acquiring precise GNSS measurements at exactly the same locations. Four such elevation profiles of the ice sheet measured [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, a small group of researchers repeatedly crossed the Greenland interior skiing along a 700-km long route from east to west, acquiring precise GNSS measurements at exactly the same locations. Four such elevation profiles of the ice sheet measured in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2015 were differenced and used to analyze the surface elevation change. Our goal is to compare such locally measured GNSS data with independent satellite observations. First, we show an agreement in the rate of elevation change between the GNSS data and satellite radar altimetry (ERS, Envisat, CryoSat-2). Both datasets agree well (2002–2015), and both correctly display local features such as an elevation increase in the central part of the ice sheet and a sharp gradual decline in the surface heights above Jakobshavn Glacier. Second, we processed satellite gravimetry data (GRACE) in order for them to be comparable with local GNSS measurements. The agreement is demonstrated by a time series at one of the measurement sites. Finally, we provide our own satellite gravimetry (GRACE, GRACE-FO, Swarm) estimate of the Greenland mass balance: first a mild decrease (2002–2007: −210 ± 29 Gt/yr), then an accelerated mass loss (2007–2012: −335 ± 29 Gt/yr), which was noticeably reduced afterwards (2012–2017: −178 ± 72 Gt/yr), and nowadays it seems to increase again (2018–2019: −278 ± 67 Gt/yr). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Knud Rasmussen Glacier Status Analysis Based on Historical Data and Moving Detection Using RPAS
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020754 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
This article discusses partial results of an international scientific expedition to Greenland that researched the geography, geodesy, botany, and glaciology of the area. The results here focus on the photogrammetrical results obtained with the eBee drone in the eastern part of Greenland at [...] Read more.
This article discusses partial results of an international scientific expedition to Greenland that researched the geography, geodesy, botany, and glaciology of the area. The results here focus on the photogrammetrical results obtained with the eBee drone in the eastern part of Greenland at the front of the Knud Rasmussen Glacier and the use of archive image data for monitoring the condition of this glacier. In these short-term visits to the site, the possibility of using a drone is discussed and the results show not only the flow speed of the glacier but also the shape and structure from a height of up to 200 m. From two overflights near the glacier front at different times, it was possible to obtain the speed of the glacier flow and the distribution of velocities in the glacier stream. The technology uses a comparison of two point clouds derived from a set of aerial photos taken with the eBee drone, and calculating the M3C2 (Multiscale Model-to-Model Cloud Comparison) distances with CloudCompare software. The results correlate with other measurement methods like accurate and long-term measurement with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), satellite radar, or ground geodetical technology. The resulting speed from the drone data reached in the middle part of the glacier, was approximately 12–15m per day. The second part of the paper focuses on the analysis of modern satellite images of the Knud Rasmussen Glacier from Google Earth (Landsat series 1984–2016) and Sentinel 2a, and a comparison with historical aerial images from 1932 to 1933. Historical images were processed photogrammetrically into a three-dimensional (3D) model. Finally, orthogonalized image data from three systems (drone photos, historical aerial photos, and satellite data) were compared in the ArcGIS software. This allows us to analyze glacier changes over time in the time span from 1932 to 2020, with the caveat that from 1933 to 1983 we did not have data at our disposal. The result shows that more significant changes in the area of this glacier occurred after 2011. The main aim of this article is to research the use of photogrammetric methods for monitoring the condition and parameters of glaciers based on non-traditional technology, such as drones or new processing of historical photos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Georeferencing of Multi-Sheet Maps Based on Least Squares with Constraints—First Military Mapping Survey Maps in the Area of Czechia
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010299 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 416
Abstract
The article deals with the possibility of georeferencing old multi-sheet map works. Various approaches to problem solving and a workable method for using the least squares method with the conditions of the adjacency of map sheets are discussed. To increase reliability, the IRLS [...] Read more.
The article deals with the possibility of georeferencing old multi-sheet map works. Various approaches to problem solving and a workable method for using the least squares method with the conditions of the adjacency of map sheets are discussed. To increase reliability, the IRLS robust statistical method is used, which uses iterative weighting of individual measurements based on Huber’s M-estimate. The method is applied to the First Military Mapping of the Habsburg monarchy as a typical representative of old topographic maps, which are not easy to georeference due to unknown parameters of the used cartographic projection. A georeferenced layer of the above mentioned mapping is available on the Mapire.eu portal as well. A basic analysis of the comparison of georeferencing results using our method and the mentioned portal is performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Digital Transformation of the Etymological Dictionary of Geographical Names
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010289 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
This article aims to contribute to the methodology of the structuring of etymological dictionaries of geographical names and the popularization of knowledge regarding the origin of Silesian toponyms. It is based on experiences gathered during the digitization and publication in an electronic form [...] Read more.
This article aims to contribute to the methodology of the structuring of etymological dictionaries of geographical names and the popularization of knowledge regarding the origin of Silesian toponyms. It is based on experiences gathered during the digitization and publication in an electronic form of the SENGŚ (“Etymological Dictionary of Geographical Names of Silesia”) and addresses the problems encountered. The article discusses the rules applied in the compilation of the SENGŚ and presents two information models used during the digitalization of this dictionary: a relational model and a graph model. The first one corresponds to standard approaches when designing electronic versions of dictionaries. The second allows the creation of solutions conforming to the idea of Linked Open Data, which are deployable as parts of the Semantic Internet. An important aspect also considered was the linking of historical materials listed in the dictionary entries with the corresponding records maintained in digital repositories. This association was realized using the AZON platform (“Atlas of Open Scientific Resources”). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
A Gravity Search for Oil and Gas and Groundwater in Egypt Using the Strike Angles Derived from EIGEN 6C4
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8950; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248950 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 607
Abstract
We correlate the gravity aspects (descriptors), namely the strike angles, derived from a recent gravity field model, with the known oil, gas and groundwater deposits/reservoirs and hypothetical paleolakes with the locations of archaeological sites. This allows us to extrapolate the investigation, by analogy, [...] Read more.
We correlate the gravity aspects (descriptors), namely the strike angles, derived from a recent gravity field model, with the known oil, gas and groundwater deposits/reservoirs and hypothetical paleolakes with the locations of archaeological sites. This allows us to extrapolate the investigation, by analogy, to unknown regions. The gravity aspects, derived from the EIGEN 6C4 gravity field model, are used, together with EMAG 2 magnetic anomalies and ETOPO 1 topography model, for the investigation of oil, gas and water deposits in Egypt. One of the gravity aspects, s/c strike angle, is significantly combed (oriented in one direction locally) in places where the known deposits exist. However, they are combed also in some other places. This may be used as a guide as to where to seek new and promising deposits. Accounting for the combed strike angles and the relationship between gravity anomalies and height differences, we reconstructed potential paleolakes under thick sand layers in the Great Sand Sea, Western Egypt (our previous work), and between Kharga and Toshka, Southern Egypt (this work), consistent with the known archaeological sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Spatial Data Analysis for Deformation Monitoring of Bridge Structures
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8731; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238731 - 06 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
Weather conditions and different operational loads often cause changes in essential parts of engineering structures, and this affects the static and dynamic behavior and reliability of these structures. Therefore, geodetic monitoring is an integral part of the diagnosis of engineering structures and provides [...] Read more.
Weather conditions and different operational loads often cause changes in essential parts of engineering structures, and this affects the static and dynamic behavior and reliability of these structures. Therefore, geodetic monitoring is an integral part of the diagnosis of engineering structures and provides essential information about the current state (condition) of the structure. The development of measuring instruments enables deformation analyses of engineering structures using non-conventional surveying methods. Nowadays, one of the most effective techniques for spatial data collection is terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). TLS is frequently used for data acquisition in cases where three-dimensional (3D) data with high resolution is needed. Using suitable data processing, TLS can be used for static deformation analysis of the structure being monitored. For dynamic deformation measurements (structural health monitoring) of bridge structures, ground-based radar interferometry and accelerometers are often used for vibration mode determination using spectral analysis of frequencies. This paper describes experimental deformation monitoring of structures performed using TLS and ground-based radar interferometry. The procedure of measurement, the analysis of the acquired spatial data, and the results of deformation monitoring are explained and described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
From Analogue to Digital Photogrammetry: Documentation of Padise Abbey in Two Different Time Stages
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8330; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238330 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 656
Abstract
Exploration of historical buildings during their life cycles is one of many aspects of the cultural heritage research. For studying different conditions of historical buildings over time, it is convenient to use photogrammetric surveys carried out in different time stages. Modern photogrammetric methods [...] Read more.
Exploration of historical buildings during their life cycles is one of many aspects of the cultural heritage research. For studying different conditions of historical buildings over time, it is convenient to use photogrammetric surveys carried out in different time stages. Modern photogrammetric methods give the possibility to use archived analogue photogrammetric data, re-process them, and achieve new potentially valuable results with sufficient geometric accuracy and with high visual quality. The paper presents re-processing of analogue archival photogrammetric images captured by a metric camera in 1991 and compares the results to the new photogrammetric survey with a digital camera. The object of interest is Padise Abbey in Estonia. In 1991, parts of the abbey were in poor condition and conservation and renovation works were at an early stage. Nowadays, the abbey is partly renovated, and the results of the new photogrammetric survey give an opportunity to study two completely different conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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Article
Macro Photogrammetry & Surface Features Extraction for Paleolithic Portable Art Documentation
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6908; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196908 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
In this article, we propose a methodology for the archaeological documentation of limestone plaquettes decorated with faint paintings and fine engravings. The plaquette number 16330 is presented, belonging to the portable art collection in Cova del Parpalló (Gandía, Spain), one of the most [...] Read more.
In this article, we propose a methodology for the archaeological documentation of limestone plaquettes decorated with faint paintings and fine engravings. The plaquette number 16330 is presented, belonging to the portable art collection in Cova del Parpalló (Gandía, Spain), one of the most important Paleolithic sites in the UNESCO’s Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula. Macro photogrammetry is used to generate a 3D model and basic treatments on raster images. The resulting 3D model has a spatial resolution of tens of microns and was used to generate a digital elevation model (DEM) and orthorectified macro photographs for documenting the engravings and paintings. All stages of the workflow are detailed in-depth, specifying the data collection parameters and the configuration used in the subsequent processing with HyperCube and DStretch software. The resulting documentation is accurate, reproducible, and objective and allows the reinterpretation of the available graphic documentation started in the 1990s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses in Geomatics: Processing Spatial Data on History and Today)
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