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Experts Create 3D Map of Richard III's Grave

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A color-coded 3D scan of the grave of Richard III.

A LIDAR scan of the grave of Richard III; the different colors relate to depth of the excavation (red is surface-level, blue is the lowest level of the dig).

Credit: David Ackerley/University of Leicester

University of Leicester researchers are using two scanning techniques to create a detailed three-dimensional (3D) digital visualization of King Richard III's grave, which was located by archaeologists in Leicester last September.

Laser scanning together with digital photogrammetric techniques helped generate an interactive map of the grave, enabling a reconstruction that will preserve the grave as it was when the king's skeleton was exhumed.

Postgraduate researcher David Ackerley placed a terrestrial laser scanner at certain points around the grave to map the precise shape. The instrument uses Light Detection and Ranging technology to transmit laser pulses in a 360-degree arc and track the time required to bounce off a surface and return to the scanner. Data from each measuring point was merged into a 20-million-point cloud that shows details such as exact soil textures of the grave walls. The data will be converted into a triangulated irregular network surface and merged with a survey produced via digital photographs.

Visiting academic Jose Manuel Valderrama Zafra took more than 80 grave pictures from various perspectives and used modeling software to create a 3D model. By mapping the 3D model onto the surface derived from the laser scans, the researchers hope to add depth and context to the surface to see colors, features, and exact shapes and dimensions.

From University of Leicester (United Kingdom) (07/10/13)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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