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

Editorial Introduction

Although emphasis is usually placed on our increasing ability to visualise imagery, the past two decades have seen enormous advances in ways by which image data can be captured.

In this Case Study Paul Carey, Stephen Trew and John Meneely illustrate the combination of a series of by now relatively standard tools in the creation of some impressive visualizations of an archaeological site in Ireland. First, their study shows how image data can be rapidly acquired using conventional aerial photography. In terrain that would otherwise be difficult to survey conventionally, these images were geo-rectified (i.e. placed onto a standard spatial co-ordinate system) using the global positioning system. Second, a digital photogrammetric workstation was used, together with the scanned and rectified imagery to produce a variety of visualization of the site and its stone circles. These include conventional two-dimensional maps of the stones known as block diagrams, and fully navigable 3D representations. All of these results can be made available to other archaeologiests as digital files or via the WWW and create for posterity an invaluable archive of the newly-excavated site.

Although the techniques employed and the contet are highly technical, we suspect that the general methodology employed will become increasingly used in a variety of other academic contexts. Indeed, we can think of numberous applications including many outside archaeology.

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