Spatial documentation of the Petra world heritage site

 
Session

Laser Scanning and 3D modelling

Full Paper Review

No

Authors

Roshan Bhurtha, Zamani Project UCT, South Africa,
Heinz Ruther, Zamani Project UCT, South Africa,
Ralph Schroeder, Zamani Project UCT, South Africa,
Stephen Wessels, Zamani Project UCT, South Africa,

Abstract

This paper describes the spatial documentation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Petra Archaeological Park (PAP), Jordan, as commissioned by UNESCO and executed by the Zamani research team at the University of Cape Town. The project reported in this paper is a holistic approach, both in the variety of spatial technologies as well as the near complete cover of the major monuments and the landscape, including the natural access canyon to Petra, known as the Siq. The documentation was realised with laser scans, 360 degree panoramic images, photogrammetry and RTK-GPS. The vast majority of the acquired data was incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS).

A substantial portion of the 3D models are also integrated into a largely completed 3D Virtual Tour of the site that will be used for scientific and touristic purposes (Wessels et al, 2014). The documentation was a component of the “Siq Stability – Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra” project for the long-term monitoring of potentially unstable rock slopes in the Siq. The 3D laser scan model of the 1.2 km long canyon project was employed as an analysis and management tool for the monitoring initiative. The documentation was a lesser component of the “Siq Stability – Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra” Project for the detection of potentially unstable rocks in the Siq. Part of the monitoring of the Siq is based on laser scanning of the 1.2 km long, up to 100 m high and overall between 3 to 5 m wide access to the site.

Exceptionally, and somewhat unexpectedly, high accuracies were achieved with the sequential registration of some 200 scans in a traverse-like formation of the distance of 1.2 km. The various output produced and their practical applications in the conservation work done at Petra will be showcased and discussed as well as the challenges faced during the fieldwork and data processing phases. A brief expose of the Zamani Project, University of Cape Town, will also be made.

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