GIScience integrated with computer vision for the examination of old engravings and drawings

Authors: Motti Zohar*, University of Haifa
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: GIScience, computer vision, artworks, drawings
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 12
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Landscape reconstructions and deep maps are two major approaches in cultural heritage studies. In general, they require the use of historical visual sources such as maps, graphic artworks, and photographs presenting areal scenes, from which one can extract spatial information. However, photographs, the most accurate and reliable source for scenery reconstruction, are available only from the second half of the 19th century onward. Thus, for earlier periods one can rely only on old artworks. Nevertheless, the accuracy and inclusiveness of old artworks are often questionable and must be verified carefully. In this presentation we demonstrate the use of GIScience methods with computer-vision capabilities to interrogate old engravings and drawings as well as to develop a new approach for extracting spatial information from these scenic artworks. We have inspected four old depictions of Jerusalem and Tiberias (Israel) created between the 17th and 19th centuries. Using visibility analysis and a RANSAC algorithm we identified the locations of the artists when they drew the artworks and evaluated the accuracy of their final products. Finally, we re-projected 3D map digitized features onto the drawing canvases thus embedding features not drawn originally and consequently, identified them and enabled potential extraction of the spatial information they may reflect.

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