3D photographic survey of the Ta Nei Temple in Cambodia

Staff of the ASPARA Authority processing data
3D model produced using SfM. Shown is the west face of the inner gallery at the Ta Nei Temple

 A 3D photogrammetry of the Ta Nei Temple was conducted with staff of the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (ASPARA Authority) from July 21 to 30. The survey was conducted as part of joint research and collaboration with the ASPARA Authority, which is responsible for conserving and managing the Angkor Complex. The goal of the joint research and collaboration is to establish a way to provide an elevation view and document scattered stones around the site based on a 3D photographic survey. This technical support will facilitate basic documentation of theTa Nei Temple, which the ASPARA Authority plans to start conserving over the next few years.
 3D survey techniques are constantly advancing. The current survey attempted a technique known as Structure from Motion (SfM). This technique is noteworthy since it is relatively simple and does not require expensive equipment or software. The site is extensively photographed with a simple camera, like that found in a smartphone, and the image data are processed using open-source software, yielding a 3D model of the site. A model is obtained after a series of steps and its precision has to be further verified, but its level is sufficient to allow its use as basic data.
 In the future, several problems will still need to be resolved in order for the resulting model to be put to practical use as Cambodian management staff use this technique to document the entire temple. Developing countries like Cambodia have difficulty arranging special budgets and equipment for site conservation, but SfM should emerge as a way for local staff to document the state of a site as part of their everyday operations.

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