New Alternatives to Terrestrial Laser Scanning: The Case of Poorly-Lit Features and Sites

Author(s): Ted Parsons

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

3D modeling is an integral part of many archaeology projects. Photo-based 3D modeling using Structure from Motion and Multiview Stereo (SfM/MVS) algorithms is widely used. SfM/MVS requires minimal field gear and can produce very high-quality output: Agisoft’s PhotoScan Professional® is the most popular commercial implementation of SfM/MVS. Adequate illumination is a major consideration for SfM/MVS, however, especially in remote or rugged field settings where it is impractical to provide supplemental lighting. Such locales include poorly-lit caves and semi-subterranean rock shelters. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) is a proven alternative to SfM/MVS in these settings, but TLS units are bulky, heavy, and very expensive. Prior work includes infrared cave imaging using Microsoft’s Kinect® video game controller as a depth-mapping sensor. While smaller, lighter, and far cheaper than TLS, a Kinect-based system nonetheless requires a laptop computer for the scanning software, and 115v AC electrical power. New lightweight, self-powered, alternatives to TLS (and the Kinect) including Google and Sony’s smartphone-based systems, Scanse Sweep®, and the moderately expensive DotProduct DPI-8X® compact handheld scanner are evaluated as possible alternatives.

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New Alternatives to Terrestrial Laser Scanning: The Case of Poorly-Lit Features and Sites. Ted Parsons. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449562)

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Abstract Id(s): 24845