Digital Documentation Survey Continuing at Haghpat

AIST crew continues to do amazing digital documentation at the Haghpat Monastery World Heritage Site, including getting our equipment elevated to capture interior domes and architectural intricacies. Outside, use of drones, GPS and terrestrial LiDAR that documents out to 330 meters is being used along with close range detail scanning and photographic techniques.

Using a mast system we are able to elevate the scanners to obtain better line of sight for architectural documentation. The mast systems are20150925_130538 also being utilized for photographic and videography set ups, allowing high resolution techniques to be applied to inaccessible areas of the site. Close range scan details are taken that will be merged with point cloud data from the structure. In this way, we are documenting even the finest of details and architectural features, some of which are damaged from time, weathering and events that have deteriorated their surfaces and diminished their details. The AIST team from the University of South Florida is also well equipped to document this large World Heritage complex at a variety of scales. We will use survey grade GPS to provide control for the project and to create a database of features and resource locations that will help in the management and preservation of this universally-valued treasure. Unmanned aerial vehicle platforms are allowing for newer techniques in landscape documentation such as Structure from Motion, where we will use software and mapping techniques to make 3D terrain models from 2D data such as videos. Photogrammetry techniques will also allow 3D modeling of the site terrain and structural elements. IMG_20150924_093236100P1050339We are documenting not only the entirety of the interior of the complex structures, but all of the site exterior features and environmental terrain settings. In this way, we will have digitally preserved and will archive this important site for future generations and for needed management and planning for long term preservation.

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Lasers, drones, GPS, photographic techniques are helping to digitally preserve a World Heritage treasure in Armenia

Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Haghpat, Lori Province, Armenia

This was oIMG_20150920_181252182-2ur third day at the Haghpat Monastery Complex, and we could not ask for better project conditions. The weather is great (80 degrees and no humidity), brilliant sun, and clear skies [Hope I did not just jinx us]. The people at the Gayane Hotel have gone out of their way to accommodate us. Food and drink are great, and the location perfect for our work, only a five-minute drive to the site. Perhaps we will have a video of the drive soon.

The AIST field team is the best! Bart McLeod, Jorge Gonzalez, Jeff Du Vernay, and Garrett Speed may be the best 3D heritage documentation team in the U.S. Their experience, work ethic, ability to solve problems, and overcome just about any obstacle are really remarkable. Each has their specialty, but they are also multi-talented, and IMG_3589work together as a well-oiled machine. We could not ask for a better field crew.To support my assertions, I ave seen the data collected so far, and it is incredible, especially considering the conditions we have to work under. After a couple days we have figured out the daily patterns of visitors and weather. Jeff manually secured the scanner on the roof of one of the structures for a series of scans in the gusting afternoon winds. Bart, Jorge, and Garrett learned to work around the frequent groups of tourists. We have even managed to get the Priest involved and have 3D scanned him for the archive as well!


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Garrett successfully flew the UAV for the second time today. The data capture is amazing, reaching areas of sculpted stone more than six stories high. It will be a major part of the project’s products, along with his high-resolution and gigapixel photography and photogrammetry.

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Jorge has been concentrating on capturing sculptures with our handheld scanners and his unique photographic talents to capture the various textures of the architectural fabric.

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Bart has been conducting scans of the interiors of the monastery’s structures, and Jeff has been doing the exteriors. They have left little uncovered, the combined data is providing views that have never been seen, even by the original builders. Great work!
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More soon…

Travis F. Doering, Ph.D.

Prepping for a Digital Heritage Project

Today is a trOur Ride to Paris and then Armeniaavel day, with the team going from Tampa to Atlanta, on to Paris, and then to Yerevan, Armenia. Our crew of five seasoned 3D specialists, under the direction of Dr. Travis Doering, will then make their way to the Province of Lori, and the medieval monastery at Haghpat. Months have gone into planning and collaboration for a successful beginning effort for our digital documentation of World Heritage in Armenia- beginning at the site of the Haghpat Monastery. This project brings together the University of South Florida’s (USF) Library and digital initiatives Armenia program, and the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies (AIST), who will begin a program of archival digital documentation, research, and 3D heritage preservation as part of the Armenian Heritage and Social Memory Program at USF. AIST experts in 3D, spatial, and imaging strategies will spend the next 18 days doing field work to document the Haghpat Monastery and surrounding envions using the latest in 3D laser scanning, GPS, and photographic imaging technologies. These data will be shared and presented to the world in efforts to preserve, educate, and better manage important and imperiled heritage. Follow our blog in the coming days to see and hear progress from our researchers as they visit this world treasure and share their findings.

The AIST crew are packed and ready!Getting the equipment ready... 12045290_10204928234271412_2377789054302766156_o