Combining UAV-Derived Data with Traditional Methods to Create a Model of a Historical Texas Site

Authors: Brian McLaughlin*, The University of Texas at Dalas, Anthony Cummings, The University of Texas at Dallas
Topics: Field Methods, Historical Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: UAV, Ground Control Points, Surveying 3D, Modeling Presidio de San Saba
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Balcony M, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


High quality 3D data can be created using low cost UAVs with a high level of relative accuracy. To align such 3D datasets correctly with other types of cadastral and thematic datasets they must also have a high level of absolute accuracy. Achieving high absolute accuracy requires placing properly surveyed and measured ground control points (GCPs) in the area of study. The goal of this work is develop a 3D model of a historical landscape that allows for its alignment with other datasets to allow for site restoration. Our research was completed at the Presidio de San Saba in Menard Texas, a historic fortress created by the Colonial Spanish Army in 1757, and utilizes UAV data as the backbone of the 3D model to catalog previous excavation efforts. Data from the UAV were incorporated with LiDAR, terrestrial photogrammetry, and conventional survey methods to develop a model of site’s original location and dimensions to aid the restoration efforts. Our research outlines the necessary steps needed to create 3D models with a high degree of absolute accuracy so other data sources can be utilized to complete restoration projects. Our work contributes to the growing tradition of drawing on UAV flexibility in data collection to aid in creating models of the real world that can be utilized in multiple scenarios.

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