Friday 26 August 2016 4:13pm
The second fieldwork campaign of the LiDARRAS project has now been completed. After spending nearly 4 weeks underground surveying the quarries and tunnels dug by New Zealand soldiers during WW1, School of Surveying student Chris Page and fellow ESGT student Damien Houvet have carried out the giant scanning task with a high degree of commitment and expertise. Following a 2 week debriefing with our French partners of the ESGT, Chris returned to New Zealand earlier this month.
«Damien and I are very happy with what the team has achieved (...) We were able to complete the Wellington, Nelson, and Blenheim quarries. Combining the datasets from Fieldwork One and Two, there are close to 1000 scans and 10,000 individual photos to be used to colourise the point cloud data.» Chris Page
Of the nearly 1000 scans Chris came back with, most (~850) have been collected with the Trimble TX8. The remaining scans, mostly in confined spaces, were acquired with the Trimble TX5 due to its ability to record points at shorter distances. This represents a staggering point cloud of 100 billion points!! In addition to the TX8 scans, the 10,000 high resolution photos are to be used to make the panoramas from which the colour of each point in the point cloud will be derived.
As planned, the Wellington, Blenheim, and Nelson quarries, as well as all tunnels connecting them were all captured making this final fieldwork meet all expectations.
«The lasting impression about the underground network of quarries and tunnels is the volume of inscriptions in the limestone walls. It is possible to spends days looking and reading the different names and military numbers. This is what made the project truly unique and special, a real once in a lifetime opportunity to survey a significant part of not only New Zealand's history but for all the countries involved. The memories of the project will remain long after the final deliverables are complete.» Chris Page
Now, the next challenge is to register and geo-reference the 1000 scans together. This task is well underway with about half of the scans already assembled since Chris returned. This was the level of progress that we needed to now have certainty that this project will be completed within the project timeline.
All photo panoramas have also been processed, allowing us to start putting together new photo-realistic animations of the point cloud. Below is an animation of the newly collected and processed data that illustrates an area of the Blenheim quarry that was dedicated to the NZETC and, engraved in the chalk, features a welcoming "Kia Ora" surrounded by New Zealand silver ferns.
«I would like to thank all members of the project who took part with me in this incredible experience. I think it allowed a strong bridge to be created between both our schools, as well as our skills and technology to be used at the service of History.» Damien Houvet