DATA OPTIMIZATION FOR 3D MODELING AND ANALYSIS OF A FORTRESS ARCHITECTURE
Thanks to the recent worldwide spread of drones and to the development of structure from motion photogrammetric software, UAV photogrammetry is becoming a convenient and reliable way for the 3D documentation of built heritage. Hence, nowadays, UAV photogrammetric surveying is a common and quite standard tool for producing 3D models of relatively large areas. However, when such areas are large, then a significant part of the generated point cloud is often of minor interest. Given the necessity of efficiently dealing with storing, processing and analyzing the produced point cloud, some optimization step should be considered in order to reduce the amount of redundancy, in particular in the parts of the model that are of minor interest. Despite this can be done by means of a manual selection of such parts, an automatic selection is clearly much more viable way to speed up the final model generation. Motivated by the recent development of many semantic classification techniques, the aim of this work is investigating the use of point cloud optimization based on semantic recognition of different components in the photogrammetric 3D model. The Girifalco Fortress (Cortona, Italy) is used as case study for such investigation. The rationale of the proposed methodology is clearly that of preserving high point density in the model in the areas that describe the fortress, whereas point cloud density is dramatically reduced in vegetated and soil areas. Thanks to the implemented automatic procedure, in the considered case study, the size of the point cloud has been reduced by a factor five, approximately. It is worth to notice that such result has been obtained preserving the original point density on the fortress surfaces, hence ensuring the same capabilities of geometric analysis of the original photogrammetric model.