Matt Bainbridge (Bridgeport), Rick Celender (Pittsburgh), and Rob Sinclair (Pittsburgh), were part of a team of scanning, drone, and software experts, including Tristan Randall, Autodesk, Inc., Mark Dietrick and Touf Hassoun of Case Technologies, Inc., Paul Aubin of Paul F. Aubin Consulting Services, Silviu Stoian of The Beck Group, and Marc Dubrule of CanFly Drones, to help digitally preserve the ancient City of Volterra, Italy. The City of Volterra has been continuously inhabited since the 8th century and has often been cited in literature, including the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.
CEC decided to participate in this project because of its historic importance and because it provided an opportunity for CEC’s UAV and scanning experts to not only apply their expertise, but increase it by working closely with industry experts and cutting edge technologies on the project. CEC was not paid for those efforts; it was a voluntary service opportunity.
The project consisted of three phases; digitally recreating historical and archaeological artifacts, creating Building Information Models (BIM) of historic buildings and architectural features, and creating 3D interactive models of ancient historical sites. The project team used 3DR drones equipped with cameras using 3DR’s Site Scan software and Faro laser scanners to scan the significant historical structures inside the city walls, including the ruins of the Roman Theatre. The data captured was then processed in point clouds and 3D models using the photogrammetry and laser scanning technology in Autodesk ReCap 360.
The mayor of Volterra, Marco Buselli, hopes the models help the city make UNESCO's world heritage list. "I think that this type of image reproduction of the City of Volterra is unique and innovative and that it could serve to preserve it and become part of the UNESCO world heritage list."