Image Based 3D Modeling and Virtual Reality as a Means of Preserving Archaeological Features and Artifacts.

Authors: Paul Roddy*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Women
Keywords: 3D Modeling, Virtual Reality, Immersive Technology, Photogrammetry
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Grand Couteau, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Archaeological preservation of features and artifacts has begun to move in the direction of 3 dimensional (3D) modeling and virtual reality through immersive technology. Photogrammetry applied to Structure from Motion (SfM) methodology creates photorealistic models from 2 dimensional (2D) overlapping photographs taken using a standard 35mm digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera. Comparatively, photogrammetry can be employed at a fraction of the cost of contemporary methods of collecting 3D data; laser scanning or Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). Preserving archaeological features and artifacts in a virtual reality has the potential to retain important historical records easily accessed by researchers, students, and the public through web based platforms. Though SfM cannot replace current hands on filed processes, SfM enhances the process and ultimately the resulting preservation documentation. The procedure applied to reconstructing the scene begins with multiple 2D photographs taken from many angles and orientations then uploading the images into Agisoft PhotoScan. The resulting models are realistic, 3D examples of the subjects they represent. The implications of StM affirm that through relatively inexpensive processes, historically important features and artifacts can be preserved indefinitely in the state from which they are discovered and/or reconstructed. With enough interest, virtual preservation could become ubiquitous where over time entire cultures from the past may be reconstructed and explored virtually. Collections of artifacts could be catalogued and placed in online platforms with easy access via the World Wide Web.

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