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Geomatics for cultural heritage surveying and cartographic heritage

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Archaeology, 3D modelling, historical maps
Fig.1 Structured-light projection scanning for 3D modelling (Colonna dei Francesi, Ravenna). Left: wireframe view; right: phototextured view (Bitelli)
Fig. 2. Vector plotting and raster orthophoto Mesopotam, Albania, (Bitelli et al, 2005).
Fig. 3. Digital processing and 3D modelling from an 18th century scenographic map of Bologna (Bitelli & Gatta, 2011).

The applications of Geomatics in the field of Cultural Heritage have several purposes: study and documentation of movable or immovable objects, structural monitoring in support of restoration, integration with non-invasive diagnostic techniques (e.g. multispectral/thermal surveys), highprecision replica of works of art, surveying in support of structural analysis, creating databases for the visualization and exploration in virtual reality, new products for museums. The contextualization in the territory is done by low altitude (UAV, balloon) photogrammetric surveys, large scale numerical cartography, terrestrial or aerial laser scanning, high-resolution satellite imagery.

The research of the team is oriented to the data acquisition stage, making use of integrated instrumentation (topography, digital photogrammetry, 3D scanning systems of various types, GNSS, satellite remote sensing, GIS), and to the development and application of algorithms and techniques for optimal processing and high-fidelity 3D modelling.

Activities: multi-scale and multi-technical surveys of archaeological sites, from the territory to the single object; surveying and 3D modelling of architectural complexes, also in support of FEM analysis, painted surfaces, sculptures; highprecision topographic control for ancient buildings and infrastructures; 3D survey of small findings, high precision monitoring of decay evolution on historic outdoor brick masonry.

The group has worked in major multi-disciplinary projects in a variety of interventions: Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Albania, Syria, Malta, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Peru, Bolivia.

A particular topic, with some significant realizations, is the use of digital methods for the management and enhancement of historical cartography: analysis of the genesis of the ancient map, metrical acquisition by dedicated scanners, accuracy evaluation, special methods of georeferencing, innovative visual techniques, multidisciplinary study of the map contents.

The group participates in Alma Heritage Science, the Integrated Research Team of the University of Bologna on Science & Technology for Cultural Heritage.

Main Pubblications

Bitelli G., Girelli V.A., Remondino F., Vittuari L. (2007). The potential of 3D techniques for Cultural Heritage object documentation. Proc. Videometrics- IX, Vol.6491 S1-S10, San Jose, USA.

Bitelli G., Girelli V.A., Marziali M., Zanutta A. (2007). Use of historical images for the documentation and the metrical study of Cultural Heritage by means of digital photogrammetric techniques, The Int Arch Photogram Rem Sens, Vol. XXXVI- 5/C53, 141-146.

Zanutta A., Bitelli G. (2008). Some aspects of close-range photogrammetric surveys for Cultural Heritage documentation. ARCHAIA: Case Studies on Research Planning, Characterization, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, Archaeopress, Oxford, 77-90

Bitelli G., Girelli V.A. (2009). Metrical use of declassified satellite imagery for an area of archaeological interest in Turkey, J. of Cultural Heritage, vol. 10S, 35-40.

Bitelli G., Gatta G., Girelli V.A., Vittuari L., Zanutta A. (2011). Integrated Methodologies for the 3D Survey and the Structural Monitoring of Industrial Archaeology: The Case of the Casalecchio di Reno Sluice, Italy, Int. J. of Geophysics, Vol.2011, ID 874347, 8 pp.

Bitelli G., Gatta G. (2011). \. In A. Ruas (Ed.) “Advances in Cartography and GIScience”, Vol.2, 129-146, Springer-Verlag.

Bitelli G. (2012). Remote Sensing and Integration with Other Geomatic Techniques in Archaeology. In Lasaponara R. and Masini N. (Eds.): “Satellite Remote Sensing. A New Tool for Archaeology”, 113-127, Springer Verlag.

Bitelli G., Mandanici E., Vittuari L. (2013). A land in its setting: Remote Sensing satellite imagery for the characterization of the Eblaite Chora. In Matthiae P. and Marchetti N. (Eds.): “Ebla and its Landscape”, Left Coast Press Inc., Walnut Creek, USA.

Bitelli G., Cremonini S., Gatta G. (2014). Cartographic Heritage: toward unconventional methods for quantitative analysis of pre-geodetic maps, J. of Cultural Heritage, vol. 15, 2, 183-195.

Bitelli G., Colla C., Gabrielli E., Girardi F., Ubertini F. (2015). Salt Effects in Plastered and Unplastered Outdoors Brick Masonry: Quantitative Laser Monitoring of Surface Decay Evolution, Int. J. of Architectural Heritage, Vol.9, 5, 581- 593

Castellazzi G., D’Altri A.M., Bitelli G., Selvaggi I., Lambertini A. (2015). From Laser Scanning to Finite Element Analysis of Complex Buildings by Using a Semi-Automatic Procedure, Sensors, 15, 18360-18380.

Gatta G., Arioti E., Bitelli G. (2016). Geomatics science applied to cartographic heritage and archive sources: A new way to explore the XIXth century Gregorian Cadastre of Bologna (Italy), an ante-litteram 3D GIS, J. of Cultural Heritage

Research projects

PRIN2004 "Integrazione di tecniche di rilevamento terrestre, fotogrammetriche e satellitari al fine del monitoraggio di strutture ed aree di interesse architettonico ed archeologico". Sc. Resp. L. Vittuari

PRIN2007 "Approccio multiscala per la salvaguardia di strutture archeologiche murarie in Ercolano: dal rilievo e modellazione alla diagnostica e analisi strutturale". Sc. Resp. A. Zanutta

EU FP7-ENV-2008-1 GA_226995: EU-CHIC - European Cultural Heritage Identity Card. PI: R. Zarnic, UniBO: R. Mazzeo, Local Sc. Resp.: G. Bitelli (2009-2012)

EU FP7-Ideas ERC-2009-AdG 20090415: EBLA CHORA - The early state and its chora. Towns, villages and landscape at Ebla in Syria during the 3rd Millennium BC. PI: P. Matthiae, Local Sc. Resp. G. Bitelli (2010-2014)

Fondazione Cariplo: “Ritratti di città in un interno. Consolidare la memoria collettiva della città attraverso l’informatizzazione e la divulgazione della cartografia storica”. Sc. Resp.: G. Bitelli (2008-2014)

PRIN2015 “GAMHer – Geomatics Data Acquisition and Management for Landscape and Built Heritage in a European Perspective”. PI: G. Bitelli (2017-2020)