Aerial Photography > Dense Point Clouds

Since 2009 I’ve done a fair amount of work with aerial photography, all the while continuing to explore architectural photography and photogrammetry while on the ground. I’ve tried in the past with some success to merge the two things but have found the results to be lacking something. That something, I think, is the hyper dense point cloud – and now I have it pretty much figured out.

Below are tow animated GIF images showing first the point cloud describing our local hospital (which I was contracted to cover with aerial photographs a few years back) and the second is a textured 3-D model of the scan.

Its so amazing to think that the flight over this structure can be reconstructed virtually a few years later with even more options to “fly around”…

Dense Point Cloud

Dense Point Cloud

Textured 3-D model

Textured 3-D model

Orthophotos from a Dense Point Cloud

45 degrees

45 degrees

RCP

RCP

on axis

on axis

45 degrees

45 degrees

on axis

on axis

Luzerne County Courthouse

Luzerne County Courthouse

continued site work…

East Elevation of the North Carolina State Capitol.

East Elevation of the North Carolina State Capitol – Raleigh, NC

I’m still tweaking and updating when I get a chance… Finding some cool graphics to share, like this orthophoto, above and this aerial photo, below:

Staunton nightlife

Staunton nightlife

Long overdue site construction

Preliminary point cloud depicting the Old Stone House in Newtown (Stephen's City, VA)

Preliminary point cloud depicting the Old Stone House in Newtown (Stephen’s City, VA)

I will be updating and rearranging parts of this website in the coming days. So if you’ve visited here before, please refresh pages to make sure you have the latest versions. Thanks for your patience!

Civil Rights Memorial

The Civil Rights Memorial in Richmond, VA

The Civil Rights Memorial in Richmond, VA

Testing animated GIF

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Enriching HABS documentation with Orthophotography

HYBRIDIZED 00001a 1 When I am hired to prepare a set of documents to describe the existing conditions of buildings I sometimes try to incorporate older drawings and the like. If I am working with original construction drawings it can be very interesting to see how and where the existing structure is different than the one designed. If I am working with measured drawings of unknown provenance it can be very frustrating to see how inaccurate the drawings are! So as a rule, I only deliver measured drawings that I create from my original site work  since its the only way I know that I can really trust the work and stand behind it.

Hybrid Drawing

Hybrid Drawing

Line Drawing

Line Drawing

Realizing how valuable a good set of measured drawings truly is, it is wonderful to consider what a treasure our HABS HAER collections are! These are uniformly drawn to standards generally higher than the profession gets by on, even today. Sometimes I am looking at doing some work on a project and I am fortunate to learn that a HABS set of drawings already exist. This gives me an opportunity to overlay some of my work (with photogrammetrically derived images) onto this “layer” of information in seamless fashion.

Hybrid Drawing

Hybrid Drawing

Line Drawing

Line Drawing

I’ve long done this kind of work with rectified photography in a sort of manual approach. I’m discovering that its equally great to “Hybridize” the HABS line drawings with orthophotography as well (derived from 3-D models derived from a scanning process). The images posted here show a recent look at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The HABS collection of drawings is very nicely done and available to all to explore through the HABS web site (here). The images posted here show how the line drawings can be built upon with technology available today,  They become the foundational layer of a living document that describes an important piece of architecture in great detail.


 

07hatteras base E

05hatteras base S03hatteras base W01hatteras base N

The Clocktower Building in Staunton, VA

Three views of a model of this iconic corner building

Three views of a model of this iconic corner building

Just a quick share of the results of a test project to evaluate some new technology. Check out the video below to see all three views above in their 3D context.

Measuring the deformation of masonry walls in an historic structure

Contour map of deformation SE

Contour map of deformation SE

For my project at the the Old Town Hall in New Castle, DE, I am first establishing the existing conditions of masonry walls – including their deformation. This documentation will help us to choose where to set targets for monitoring over the coming months/years.

Contour map of deformation NW

Contour map of deformation NW

see the project page HERE

3D Scanning of sculpture at Kykuit

The Rose Garden Fountain at Kykuit

The Rose Garden Fountain at Kykuit

I used a series of calibrated photographs of this sculpture to create the basis for documentation of this sculptural fountain about five years ago. At that time I was able to make reasonably detailed drawings of the fountain’s architectural features and – if needed – I could provide accurate 3D point measurements of any point of the stone surface.

More recently I went back to the photos and reprocessed them photogrammetrically to create a more enhanced description of the fountain in the form of a high density point cloud, mesh and 3D model. The video above ^ shows the model of the entire fountain in these various formats.

The video below shows the upper portion of the model in a little greater detail.

This work was conducted to provide for documentation of this work of art so that a replacement could be made in case the original was damaged through structural failure or catastrophic event.

Byproducts of the three dimensional model include accurate orthophotography depicting the model in plan and elevation. see below…

Plan View of the fountain

Plan View of the fountain

Orthophoto of the fountain in its entirety

Orthophoto of the fountain in its entirety

Orthophoto of the upper portion of the fountain

Orthophoto of the upper portion of the fountain

Detail of damaged portion of the fountain

Detail of damaged portion of the fountain