75452 - Geomatic Engineering for Cultural Heritage M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities Climate Action

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, student has knowledge of the modern methods and technologies of Geomatics for survey and monitoring of Cultural Heritage, mainly for buildings and complex structures. In particular, at the end of the course he/she is able to integrate conventional surveying techniques in a digital environment,to provide 3D and image data useful for documentation, representation, monitoring, diagnosis and safeguard of Cultural Heritage in a multidisciplinary approach.

Course contents

The course addresses, with numerous case studies, the main aspects related to the survey, documentation, representation and monitoring of moveable and immoveable Cultural Heritage with the latest digital technologies of Geomatics.

The principal aim is the integration of modern techniques for multi-scale surveys, from the landscape up to individual objects.

A first part of the course is dedicated to the review of the main aspects of surveying and mapping, reference systems and basic data analysis procedures for topographic works.

For structures and single objects are discussed the most recent surveying technologies using geomatic methods and especially Digital Photogrammetry and different 3D scanning systems (t.o.f. Terrestrial Laser Scanners, triangulation scanners, light projection devices), to realize 3D models with high detail and high accuracy standards.

Main topics: Computer Vision approaches in image-based 3D modeling, algorithms and practical solutions for the generation of a mesh from (textured) point clouds, use of point clouds obtained by terrestrial laser scannng or digital photogrammetry in support of structural analysis, HBIM establishment and restoration activities.

Introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality methods for Cultural Heritage, based on 3D models obtained with geomatic techniques.

Geometrical monitoring of ancient structures when subject to static problems and when in deterioration state.

Integration of geometrical surveys with different kinds of data, in particular thermal and multispectral.

UAV (drones): survey organization and examples of 3D surveying and orthophoto production for archaeological areas or urban historical centers are presented, by the combined use of UAV and terrestrial GNSS surveys, with the aim of GIS establishment.

At a territorial scale, a module of the course is mainly devoted to digital processing of historical cartography, starting from the acquisition and georeferencing phases to digital enhancement and finally to the generation of new products useful in the development of Historical Geographical Information Systems (HGIS) for comprehensive Cultural Heritage data management and analysis.

All the topics are discussed with reference to real case studies in archaeology and in the monitoring, conservation and protection of ancient structures (also from natural and man-made disasters). They will be coupled by experimental activities on the field, including a one-day didactic visit to an important site.


Bibliographic references for home study and further reading materials will be provided or suggested, together with slides and notes from the lessons.

IOL didactic platform will be used.

Teaching methods

The lectures (in English) will be complemented by hands-on and computer exercises, with commercial and open source software, structured to provide practical solutions to the problems outlined during the lessons.

A final one-day field experience, on a site of high historical and cultural interest, will help to experience in a real situation the integration of the techniques learned during the course.

Assessment methods

The examination at the end of the course is in written form (open and closed questions) with eventual oral integration, and aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives related to the main characteristics of the geomatic techniques for Cultural Heritage, and solutions to be applied in specific cases.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be conducted in the classroom with multimedia support.

A part of the course will be pursued through practical field experiences. Computer exercises will be realized also by using specific software provided to the students for use in their own laptops.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Bitelli

See the website of Giorgia Gatta

See the website of Alessandro Lambertini