journal, university

Photogrammetry, and then some

At field school, we were introduced to the awesome concept of Photogrammetry.

Image credit:

Essentially, it’s taking multiple photos of one thing from slightly different angles, then a computer matches all the pixels across those photos to generate info about the object in 3D – down to, say, the last hairline crack in a brick.

I don’t know about everyone else, but getting something in three dimensions from flat images sounds a little bit like wizardry (yes, our brains do this with our retinas and depth perception, but I meant the fact we’ve worked out how do this with literal metal, plastic and pixels).

Cartoon by Jim Benton, whose books are hilarious. This wizard has generated a 3D lemon.

These are some notes I took from our instructors:

• This method doesn’t like vegetation very much, due to the mess and high detail.

• The software used by the archaeologists at uni is called Metashape.

• Photos can be analysed at any resolution, eg from 4K to potato quality.

• Obviously, the better the res, the more 3D information you have, but the time it takes for your computer to think and spit out data goes up exponentially.

• An interesting application of photogrammetry occurred after a Middle Eastern site (building?) was destroyed by terrorists. The locals asked for people to donate photos, and from the ones that poured in that had been taken by tourists, they were able to reconstruct the site.

Pretty neat!

From my notebook

In other news,

• I made a friend in my class, who also discovered Archaeology after an identity crisis. They came a long way from overseas. We have a fair bit in common, and I think the universe is funny.

• There was a club fair at the university last week. I registered interest in a few of them, and one group told me I won a gift voucher for joining – yay! Although, the people had told me I was their first recruit that day. I sincerely hope it does not mean I was the only person to join the Environmental club.

• I had underestimated the field school topic. I didn’t realise there was a 4000-word report to hand in after the trip when I enrolled – oops. Should be writing that, right now…

• There are some thesis projects available next year along the themes of Forensics and Chemistry and I may/may not get involved.

Current status: assignments within date, but am about a week behind in readings. It has been amazing to me how quickly a week slips by; fingers crossed that uni does not dry up all the words and time I use for blogging.

How’s your week been?