Martin Schaich

(ArcTron GmbH, Altenthann, Germany)

The employment of digital technologies is more justifiable in the field of heritage conservation than in almost any other sector.
The main reason for this is that one of the archaeologists’ most important tasks consists of recording items which have been examined and observed as accurately as is possible. Electronic surveying instruments, digital cameras and specialist software solutions enable such tasks to be carried out much more efficiently and precisely and many times more cost-effectively than when using traditional recording methods.
The advantages are even more impressive when the most modern techniques of documentation such as 3D scanning and 3D computer tomography are employed. Three dimensional documentation of this kind can only be generated digitally on computer. As a consequence, completely new methods and approaches to documentation have been established in the fields of heritage conservation, architectural history, restoration and archaeology.
For the past few years, ArcTron GmbH has been developing a comprehensive 3D information system. It was especially conceived for the thorough analysis of archaeological constructions, excavations and finds which have been accurately recorded using these high-precision 3D scanning technologies.
The aSPECT3D program package enables archaeologists, excavation technicians and restorers to accurately and systematically analyse and edit 3D models generated from such recordings. Subsequently, the entire documentation process including the generation of drawings, plans, sections and orthophotos can be carried out using the photo-realistic 3D model. All 2D and 3D plans required or desired for further undertakings can be produced in this way in a very short period of time. The integrated database connection results in a complex 3D-GIS system which is tailor-made to meet the requirements of archaeology, construction history and restoration. During this presentation, the most important functions and the present stage of development of the program package will be demonstrated using a few appropriate data sets from archaeological and architectural heritage projects.