Photogrammetry – Addictive?

This week I am back in Egypt to present the work of scanning the SS Thistlegorm to the Ain Shams and Alexandria universities.

The SS Thistlegorm work will be launched on the 6th of October 2017 which coincides with the anniversary of the sinking of the ship. A trailer of what is to come can be viewed here – The Thistlegorm Project

Giza and the Pyramids

The Cairo leg of the trip had enough time to visit the Pyramids at Giza. They are truly impressive….the sheer effort and scale needed to construct these tombs 4000 years ago is mind boggling.

Whilst walking around the Great Pyramid my thoughts were drawn to 3D scanning. Has the entire site been scanned? How long would that take to scan and process? What else would we learn from scanning the site? Carrying just an iPhone it was obvious a full scan was going to be beyond me today.

In a desperate attempt to avoid the camel ride salesmen Dr Henderson and I wandered off the site and around some of the remains of the lesser pyramids. There was a tiny fragment of relief carving on a small block. The relief carving had been damaged by people scratching their name into the rock (why do humans need to do this?).

Relief carving on the lower half of the stone block – an animal and human plus what appears to be hieroglyphics. Image © Simon Brown

Reach for the iPhone

The block was small enough to reach around and not have to climb over the archaeology to photograph it.

72 iPhone images later and off I wandered with the phone now complaining it was low on storage. As the iPhone embeds GPS we do get a rough idea where in the world the block is, but do not expect accuracy.

Processing was done in a matter of minutes and for such a rushed job the results were more than good enough to share here:

Photogrammetry Addiction?

The conclusion is pretty obvious, but I just can’t help myself. Photogrammetry is a straightforward strictly non-intervention harmless process (unlike defacing it by scratching your name into the rock…) that records, communicates and shares information like no other.

I’m addicted.