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With support through a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), CyArk developed a low-cost heritage documentation kit for use by heritage professionals around the world. The kit includes a digital camera, laser distance meter, tablet computer, GPS receiver and a compact tripod. Accompanying the kit are video tutorials on how to digitally document a site as well as upload the data to the internet. This inexpensive solution, under $1500, can be deployed quickly and relies on advances in photogrammetry software combined with limited laser scan measurements to quickly and accurately document heritage sites, thus requiring only moderate technical ability. Three kits were deployed by CyArk and were given to the Center of Preservation Research (CoPR) at the University of Colorado Denver, the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) and UNESCO. The hardware inventory and accompanying materials are made freely available to any interested parties via the CyArk website and third party services such as YouTube.

Cyark project team with low-cost heritage documentation kit

Following work on the heritage documentation kit and motivated by software developments over the past several years that allow laser scan data to be used in conjunction with photogrammetric documentation, CyArk has revamped its own heritage documentation methods in order to utilize both technologies to the fullest degree. The combination of both datasets yields more realistic digital models with even higher resolution, providing the most accurate documentation to date of a site and allowing future site managers to better gauge deterioration over time.

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