Digitally and Culturally, There’s Room for Research

By Nicole Lathrop

In the combination of archaeology, drones and digital recording of heritage, the overlap of uses have created a veriety of methods in thourogh recording. There are areas, however, where the gaps have left oportunities open for the advancement in technology for such purposes. Ground penetrating radar, “time” function through geographic information science, and the ability to colour correct photographs have all become a standard practice, and with programs like DStretch, darktable and WebODM, the softwear aspect of postprocessing has become more accessible.

There are some aspects of in-field processing that require a little more power than others. For a more indepht analysis of site location you may use a GPS instead of compass, sextant and clock. The results are more accurate, take less time, and overall is an easier process to learn than celestial astronomy to pinpoint location. While not all advancements are this durastic, the theme is the same. Easier to learn, less to haul into the field, faster results. This is the driving force behind most technological advancements in archaeology. We now find total stations that can be connected to drones for quick, fly-over surveying.

One program that is useful for historic archetecture is Sketch Up, which can model off measurements, and create recreations. This is particularly useful for structures no-longer standing. There are other camera based apps which can turn smartphone imagery into a floorplan of an existing building. I had created a mockup of the floor plan of the Buena Vista Heritage Museum ( for use in exhibit design and as supplimental graphics for the elevator panel. (The building is from 1882, though the elevator was added much later in 1993.)

In my next article I will be looking at 3D modeling using imagery, and its effectiveness in recording historic archetecture. The ideal app will be the least labour intensive, with the most accurate, detailed reesult that can be rotated/manipulated for the most information in both digital and print formats.

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