Structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry as alternative to laser scanning for 3D modelling of historical monuments

Omar Al Khalil


During the past few years, new developments have occurred in the field of 3D photogrammetric modeling of culture heritage. One of these developments is the expansion of 3D photogrammetric modeling open-source software, such as VisualSfM, and cost-effective licensed software, such as Agisoft Metashape into the practical and affordable world. This type of SfM (Structure from Motion) software offers the world of 3D modelling of culture heritage a powerful tool for documentation and visualization. On the other hand, low-cost cameras are now available on the market. These cameras are characterized by high resolution and good quality lens, which makes them suitable for photogrammetric modelling. This paper reports on the results of the application of a SfM photogrammetry system in the 3D modelling of Safita Tower, a medieval structure in Safita, north-western Syria. The applied photogrammetric system consists of the Nikon Coolpix P100 10 MP digital camera and the commercial software Agisoft Metashape. The resulted 3D point clouds were compared with an available dense point cloud acquired by a laser scanner. This comparison proved that the low-cost SfM photogrammetry is an accurate methodology to 3D modeling historical monuments. 


low-cost photogrammetry; Structure from Motion (SfM); 3D modelling; point clouds; laser scanning

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