Mapping, Monitoring & Visualising our Built Heritage

John Meneely

Queen’s University Belfast

Traditionally, quantification of surface change on in-situ building blocks relied upon mechanical techniques. These were often time-consuming, risked damaging the surface being measured, and required a statistical interpolation between a limited number of points. To overcome these difficulties requires a rapid, non-contact mechanism for monitoring surface change using a dense network of measurement points. It is in search of improvement in the speed and precision of surface analysis that this research trialled the use of a laser object scanner and ground based LiDAR as a means of accurately and non-destructively monitoring the progressive decay of building stone in the field.

By adopting this surface monitoring approach it is possible to replace often anecdotal evidence of change with time bound measures that can be expressed quantitatively and presented in a range of visual formats that can be easily understood by non-scientists. This type of monitoring helps stakeholders make better informed decisions, as well as giving scientists valuable information to increase their understanding of the decay processes involved, improve the accuracy of predictive models and better inform conservation strategies.

Results from this on-going trial have proved that repeat scanning at regular intervals, using large and small scale laser scanning technologies can provide accurate measures of surface change over time on stonework.

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