COMBINING PUBLIC DOMAIN AND PROFESSIONAL PANORAMIC IMAGERY FOR THE ACCURATE AND DENSE 3D RECONSTRUCTION OF THE DESTROYED BEL TEMPLE IN PALMYRA
Keywords: Close Range Photogrammetry, Spherical Photogrammetry, Cultural Heritage, Reconstruction, Dense Image Matching, 3D Modelling, Syria, UNESCO
Abstract. This paper exploits the potential of dense multi-image 3d reconstruction of destroyed cultural heritage monuments by either using public domain touristic imagery only or by combining the public domain imagery with professional panoramic imagery. The focus of our work is placed on the reconstruction of the temple of Bel, one of the Syrian heritage monuments, which was destroyed in September 2015 by the so called "Islamic State". The great temple of Bel is considered as one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century AD in the East with a unique design. The investigations and the reconstruction were carried out using two types of imagery. The first are freely available generic touristic photos collected from the web. The second are panoramic images captured in 2010 for documenting those monuments. In the paper we present a 3d reconstruction workflow for both types of imagery using state-of-the art dense image matching software, addressing the non-trivial challenges of combining uncalibrated public domain imagery with panoramic images with very wide base-lines. We subsequently investigate the aspects of accuracy and completeness obtainable from the public domain touristic images alone and from the combination with spherical panoramas. We furthermore discuss the challenges of co-registering the weakly connected 3d point cloud fragments resulting from the limited coverage of the touristic photos. We then describe an approach using spherical photogrammetry as a virtual topographic survey allowing the co-registration of a detailed and accurate single 3d model of the temple interior and exterior.