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Towards a standard specification for terrestrial laser scanning in cultural heritage – one year on

Lookup NU author(s): David Barber, Professor Jon Mills


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The development of a specification to standardise the capture, presentation and delivery of point clouds for cultural heritage applications is a necessary step in the acceptance of laser scanning as an every day survey technique. For a number of years English Heritage, England’s national body for the conservation of cultural heritage, has maintained a specification stating the requirements for the capture of metric survey data by photogrammetric, rectified and orthorectified photography, REDM and hand methods. The development of laser scanning and its obvious potential in cultural heritage has led to the development of a similar set of standards for this new technology. This project, through consultation with English Heritage, users and manufacturers, sought to develop standards that were relevant and applicable to the instruments currently available for laser scanning. The project also aimed to steer the development of laser scanning by outlining to manufacturers and developers the particular requirements of cultural heritage survey. Due, however, to the rapidly evolving nature of new technologies it is anticipated that the specification will continue to be adapted over the next few years. This paper reports on the document’s development one year on from the project’s end. It will provide an example of the use of the specification on a terrestrial laser scanning project in the UK, in addition to discussing and summarising the benefits and issues that have arisen. This will include a summary of the economic benefits of the specification. It is hoped that the work will lead to an increased use of laser scanning for cultural heritage in the UK, in addition to ensuring the expectations of end users are managed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bryan PG, Barber DM, Mills JP

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - Commission 5

Year of Conference: 2004

Pages: 966–971

Publisher: ISPRS