I’m an archaeology PhD student based in the UK and I’m planning a project to bring together all the lovely aerial photographs of amazing and ancient places which are being taken by members of the UAV community. This is an open data project, no commercial gain is involved. A practical example is now on the blog.
The idea is pretty simple: an army of amateurs armed with UAVs and point-and-shoot cameras can cover far more ground than professional archaeologists ever could and do just as good a job. Together we could make a high-detail model of every site of historical significance in the world. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Incidentally, this also provides a perfectly noble reason to spend your kid’s trust fund on Arduino boards.
The biggest problem in doing all this is that everyone currently does things differently (different file formats, different types of GPS, lack of calibration information etc). That’s where the Guide to Conducting a Low-altitude UAV Survey comes in.
I’d like anyone who has an interest in this to feedback on the Guide (amateur or professional archaeologists, photographers, surveyors or just good old UAV-flyers) either via this forum (PDF version is attached) or by adding comments directly to the document via the link above.
A couple of things to bear in mind before you read the doc: this is the ‘full version’ we’ll produce a simpler ‘how-to’/single page version later. This first guide deals mostly with vertical photography & multirotors. Later guides will focus on techniques like oblique video and thermal imaging.
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to get involved. Stephen.