Laser scanning Kinneil House

A few months ago, the Digital Documentation team spent 2 days in the Kinneil Estate near Bo’ness. There were several reasons for this visit; one of them was to collect data (laser scanning and GNSS) in the area of the Roman fortlet for a PhD research project on the Antonine Wall.

The other reason for the visit was to laser scan Kinneil House itself for the Rae Project, our programme of digitally documenting all of HES’s properties in care. I was sadly not involved in scanning the House, which has some incredible Renaissance wall paintings and really is worth a visit. I was, however, given the task of processing the data, registering the scans in Cyclone and producing the deliverables: TruViews and a set of orthoimages (plans, elevations and sections).

The project consisted of P40 scans with HDR imaging for the exterior, plus HDS6100 and Faro scans for the interiors (total around 60 scans). I registered the scans and then cleaned them in Cyclone to isolate the building, remove trees, people and occasional noise from the data. For the orthoimages, I experimented with different visual styles, to see which one would bring out more detail in the point cloud. In the end, for each view I exported the same ortho-TIFF with different visual styles (shaded and silhouette) and combined them in Photoshop. Here are some of the results:

The Hidden Landscape of a Roman Frontier is joint PhD programme between HES and Canterbury University. For more info see here or follow Nick Hannon @Hannon_Arch on Twitter.

The local charity group Friends of Kinneil have been very enthusiastic about our work on the site. You can follow their activities on Twitter @kinneil.

And, as always, follow Rae Project activity on Twitter #RaeProject.

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A trip to York, and Lancashire, and London…

It has taken me a while to post this, but the last month has been really busy. So, recap of the past 3 weeks:

Week 1, a trip to York (and Lancashire, and London) on an intern exchange programme, hosted by Historic England’s Geospatial Imaging team. Li (who has already blogged about this -check out her blog here) is the Geospatial team’s CIfA placement and will be joining us this following week in Edinburgh (and Inverness, and Fortrose, and Elgin) for the second half of our exchange.

My week with Historic England was busy, packed with site visits (amazing Rievaulx Abbey and Mount Grace Priory), an SfM photogrammetry session at English Heritage’s archaeology store in Helmsley, a laser scanning survey of Bellmanpark lime kilns in Clitheroe, and finally a day trip to the Natural History Museum in London. I had the chance to participate in field work as part of the team, both in Helmsley (photographing a 19th century curiosity for SfM photogrammetry with Li), and Clitheroe (survey for structural monitoring of the historic lime kilns using P40 laser scanner and TST ). Having experience with the techniques and equipment from my own internship in Digital Documentation, it was great to see how the Geospatial team use the same technology to tackle similar problems. I’ve left York full of new ideas and keen to try them out in future projects.

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Which brings me to the end of the week, when I was so lucky to be invited to Historic England’s visit to the Natural History Museum Research Labs in London. We spent the day touring the Imaging and Analysis labs and hearing about the amazing research that takes place there. I could probably write an entire post about this, but for now just 2 words (or 5): SEM photogrammetry. Dramatic pause. Also, confocal microscopy, CT scanning, 3D modelling. It was an absolutely fantastic experience and a perfect ending to my week with Historic England.

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During the last 2 weeks, most of my time has been spent working on a BIM model of the Palace at Edinburgh Castle. This subject definitely deserves its own post, so stay tuned. The building has undergone many phases of development and alterations, which have resulted in an extremely complex structure – geometrically, but also functionally. Creating a BIM model for this type of building is not straightforward, even with the advantage of having a complete point cloud as a basis for modelling.

Having had the opportunity to follow this project all the way from laser scanning on site to data processing and registration and now to modelling in Revit, I can see that creating a BIM model for the Palace will be a great asset for in-depth understanding of the structure, the way the building works, and the way it has changed over time. The model is being developed in-house by HES and requires the coordination of different teams and disciplines. Eventually, when both structural and M&E information is added to the architectural model, we will have a complete picture of this building from a single source – probably for the first time ever. More on the Palace BIM project to follow within the next few weeks.

The Palace block, Edinburgh Castle. Screenshot of the point cloud in Recap.