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The Application of Digital Photogrammetric Techniques and Aerial Photography to the Preservation of Archaeological Detail.

5 Conclusions

The application of digital photogrammetry and aerial photography to the Copney Stone Circle Complex has provided a valuable dataset that can be easily stored, transferred and compared with data generated from similar surveys in the future. The DPW provides a rapid tool for visualization of the data and easy measurement of spatial relationship, absolute dimension and elevation of the stones. The accuracy of the data generated by the DPW is highly dependent on the scale of the imagery and the quality of the ground control points.

The data generated by the DPW are readily transferred to image analysis, visualization and GIS software that can be run on standard desktop systems.

The Perspective Scene capability of the DPW facilitates not only visually impressive representations of the CSC (Figure 9) but also the generation of specific height and angle views compatible with the generation of 3D walkthroughs using VRML (and therefore is very www-friendly).

The accurate construction of DTM's allows:

  • Generation of accurate base maps, with fine-scale contouring for surveying.
  • Accurate orthophotographs for surveying, visual presentation and image analysis
  • A permanent record of spatial and dimensional characteristics of the CSC.
  • A baseline for comparison in stone weathering surveys. Each stone can be compared, through time, against the base line constructed in this study. This avoids the complication of accelerated breakdown of smaller stones confusing the rate of decay calculated for two or three marker stones.

Simple image analysis of the orthophotos generated from the DPW allows rapid characterization of the 2D stone dimensions and their positions.

Figure 9. Perspective Scene of a section of Circle B. Image is generated from the 1:2000 imagery and from a position just south of the central mound. Similar images can be generated from any position or height in the area.

6. Acknowledgements

This study and its successors would not have been possible without the contribution of skills from specialists throughout the Queen's University. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge:

  • Additional members of the Queen's Imaging Consortium: James Uhomoibhe, Maeveen Carville, Paul Ells, Pat Brannigan;
  • The QUB Conservation Group: Joanne Curran, Patricia Warke and Bernard Smith (Original stone circle petrographic and geochemical study); and
  • The EHSMB for provision of site access. Dr Carey was in receipt of an AGOCG grant that facilitated this study.

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