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LBI Project

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (LBI ArchPro) is an institute of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft.

LBI ArchPro

The LBI ArchPro is dedicated to the development of new techniques and methodological concepts for landscape archaeology. Its research programme combines geophysics, aerial imaging, computer science and geomatics in order to provied efficient and universally applicable approaches for the non-destructive detection, documentation, visualisation, analysis and interpretation of archaeological landscapes.

The institute objectives concentrate among others on improvement of the DTMs (Digital Terrain Model) and DSMs (Digital Surface Models) quality as a significant source of archaeological information. The uniformity and high resolution of the ALS driven digital terrain models proved to be very useful, especially in the cases of the landscape interpretation, where investigated area might reach 15-20 km2.  However also for large scale projects the DTMs are rich sources of information concerning various terrain structures and relations between them, preserved in small reliefs.

The usage of each model depends on its resolution and the quality of filtering. Optimal resolution of DTMs for archaeological interpretation falls within the range of 20cm and 1 meter. In order to get such a cell size the original point cloud needs to be dense (exceeding 8 points/m2). The quality of DTMs depends not only on the data itself but it is influenced by the filtering process as well. For archaeologist the correct classification of the point cloud is crucial, particularly in the case of small objects, which can be easily confused with archaeological structures. Therefore precise filtering algorithms are necessary.

Well prepared DTM helps to understand the archaeological landscape, to better document already known sites and to detect new sites (especially in the forested regions, where the destruction of earth structures caused by field labors is not as drastic as on open grounds).

Due to the fact that the DTMs are essential products for the archaeological interpretation, an internal LBI ArchPro project has been undertaken. The project called: Advanced DTM generation for archaeological interpretation is a part of the LBI research program and focuses on the enhancement of the DTM generation process in order to get the best possible result. To find the space for improvement, the state-of-the art of contemporary filtering algorithms and software packages that use them were analyzed within the project: Evaluation of different software packages for ALS filtering. The goal was to find the best filtering parameters for each software package by testing the filtering algorithm on a study area. At the same times the problems that occurred were observed.

More detailed description of the project is presented on this webpage, which is divided into following sections:

  1. Introduction - presents the aim of the project, the test areas and used workflow.
  2. Reference data set - describes how the reference data set has been prepared and how the manual filtering was performed. It also gives information about the field control.
  3. Results - provides an overview of software testing strategy, the verification of chosen parameters and user guidelines for each tested software package.

This webpage is dedicated mostly to the ALS beginners, which can improve their knowledge of ALS filtering. The experienced ALS users can contribute as well by adding valuable comments.