Monday, 13 June 2016

St. Anthony's day

June, in Padua, is the "mese antoniano" (The month dedicated to St. Anthony) and the day 13 June is the day in which the Saint was born and that the Catholic Church chosed to celebrate him.
Exactly around this period, a couple of years ago (10 June 2014), we presented in Padua the Forensic Facial Reconstruction of the Saint [1], which was performed during the preparation of the open source exhibition "Facce. I molti volti della storia umana" ("Faces. The many aspects of human history") [2].
Today, with a big delay (sorry, too few time...) I'll go on sharing, with open source licenses, the material we produced for the exhibition and, considering the recurrence (13 June), I'll upload some media regarding the Forensic Facial Reconstruction (FFR) of St. Anthony.
First of all, here is the image of the final model, which is already available on Wikimedia Commons. 

FFR of St. Anthony (final model)

The credit for this image are (in order of work-flow): Luca Bezzi (Arc-Team) and Nicola Carrara (Museum of Anthropology of the University of Padua) for the 3D scanning of the cranial cast of the Saint; Cicero Moraes (Arc-Team) for the main work of digital Forensic Facial Reconstruction; Padre Luciano Bertazzo (Center for St. Anthoni Studies) for the historical validation of the final model. Moreover the project relies on on the previous work of the artist Roberto Cremesini, who produced in 1985 the bronze cast of the skull and the jaw of St. Anthony, used for the digital reconstruction (2014) and on the research directed by Prof. Vito Teribile Wiel Marin, who directed the anthropological study of the skeletal remains in 1981 (with particular attention to the work of Prof. Gino Fornaciari, Francesco Mallegni and Giorgio Ragagnini).

Then I report here the complete presentation we did during the "Giugno Antoniano", as until now in ATOR we just published the second half of the slides (by Cicero Moraes) and never the first one (regarding the digital scanning of the bronze cast done by Roberto Cremesini).
Here below is the presentation, which can be view interactively directly online:


Since for some people (due to the default browser) there could be some minor visualization erros, I also recorded a vdeo and uploaded it on our YouTube channel:

Have a nice day!


Since the overall presentation is pretty long, I upload separately here the 3 videos embedded in the slides:

1) The FFR of Alberto da Trento

2) The Forensic Facial Reconstruction process

3) The Forensic Facial Reconstruction of St. Anthony

ATOR: 1, 2, 3

AOTR: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


Il Volto del Santo. La ricostruzione facciale forense di Sant'Antonio di Padova (ResearchGate, Academia)

“FACCE. I molti volti della storia umana”: progettare una mostra Open Source basata sulla Computer Vision (ResearchGate, Academia); 
"Facce. I molti volti della storia umana" Una mostra Open Source (ResearchGate, Academia);
"Facce. I molti volti della storia umana". Una mostra che racconta (ResearchGate, Academia)

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

WW1: High Alpine Survey Data - Work in Progress

Last summer we've had the possibility to survey along the first Italian front-line of WW1 on the ridge between the the two strategically important summits of Mt. Quaternà (2.503m) an Col Rosson (2.305m).
(Commissioned by the Algudnei-Mueseum in Dosoledo) 
They are situated in the north of the Italian region of Veneto, near to the Austrian and Tyrolean border.

The project area. Pay attention to the trenches in the middleground.
It took several weeks to document an unexpected amount of military remains built between May 1915 and November 1917.
Trenches at the foot of Col Rosson

The central part of our approach was an intensive and very accurate DGPS-survey of every visible structure on the surface, attended by sfm-documentation of objects of special interest. Also underground structures, first of all caverns of different typology, were recorded with 3d-pointclouds.
Commemorative inscription of a machine-gun detachment.

Furthermore we've made several thousands of pictures with recorded position of the photographer and viewing direction.
Overview of the survey results

At this moment we've competed the postprocessing of the approx. 80.000 GPS points, prising out 4.194 features with an individual ID number and a description in English, Italian and German language.

High density of remains around of Mt. Rosson.
The next step will be the archaeological interpretation of the results, incorporating documents and maps of different military archives.
First and second Italian line.

The fieldwork was crucially supported by our colleagues Michele Mazzurana and Gianluca Fondriest.
The whole project would not have been possible without the direction of Daniela Zambelli and the confidence of Algudnei's director Arrigo De Martin Mattiò.
All images in this article are free, following the terms of CC-BY-4.0 Creator: Arc-Team Archaeology

OpenJUMP GIS: from a local (cartesyan) system to a projeced coordinate system

Sometimes we are asked why (after 11 years) we still keep OpenJUMP in ArcheOS, since QGIS became such a functional GIS  and could cover all the feature of the other similar software. The main reason for such a choice are two:

1. QGIS developed very fast and can happen that some tools are still buggy when released (like for the newest georeferencer version)

2. the software (Polygontool) our friend +Szabolcs Köllö (aka Keulemaster) developed for us, in order to handle big data in archaeological surveys, is strictly connected with OpenJUMP


Today I just finished to package for (ArcheOS Hypatia) the last version of this GIS (OpenJUMP 1.9.1) and to upload it in our experimental repository (soon we share it), so I prepared a new videotutorial to illustrate one of the operation in which OpenJUMP is still useful, since the similar tool of QGIS are sometimes buggy: the recovering of old excavation data from a local (cartesian) coordinate system to a projected coordinate system (e.g. in the videotutorial, ETRS89 / UTM zone 32 N).

I hope this can be useful. Have a nice day!

Friday, 27 May 2016

ArcheOS Hypatia, a new tool for 3D documentation: opnMVG-GUI

In these days we are working very hard to package new software for ArcheOS v. 6 (codename Hypatia). This time we just finished to work on the new GUI +Martin Greca developed for +Pierre Moulon software, openMVG, setting up all the requested dependencies. The result is a new tool for 3D photogrammetry in +ArcheOS: openMVG-GUI. This software can be considered as the evolution of the old Python Photogrammetry ToolBox, but we are currently working to fix some bugs of this application to keep providing it in ArcheOS, since it gave the best results in underground environment documentation.
Here below you an see a fast videotutorial I did for our brand new YouTube channel:

To speed up ArcheOS Hypatia development, we set up an unofficial new repository, which we will use (by now) just internally our society, to be sure that everything works fine before to release it publicly to all the users. Anyway we will share this repository also during the university courses in which we should teach this years, like the one in Evora (Portugal) or the one in Venice, since in this conditions it is possible to work under strict control, avoiding problems in unresolved package dependencies. As soon as the new repository will be hardly tested, we will open it, adding the coordinates to the ArcheOS main branch.

The new GUI (by +Martin Greca) for openMVG (by +Pierre Moulon)


If you are interested, there are still available places for the course in Evora (regarding open source technologies and cultural heritage). Here more infos.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

ComEasy, a new tool for the total station

Since ArcheOS 4 we added to the distro the open source software Total Open Station (in order to handle the process of downloading and converting raw data from our instruments) and I have to say that I still use the tool very often to turn Trimble .are file into .csv format, even if sometimes I experienced difficulties in connecting the hardware to my PC. For this reason I tried some alternatives and today I want to write about one of these software.
Its name is ComEasy and it is developed by Dr. Zoltàn Siki (aka zsiki) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE). To test the software I simply downloaded the source code from the repository, but I had to modify the file "maincom_easy.tcl" in order to make it work under a Debian derived distribution like ArcheOS 6 Hypathia (as you see in the image below).

The small modification of the source code
Once I changed the Tcl interpreter (from Prowish to Wish), the software worked perfectly and I tested it with a Spectra Precision Focus 10 instrument. Until now I never experienced connection problems, so I recorded I short videotutorial to illustrate how the software work and I plan to add it to ArcheOS Hypatia suite to work with total stations, (together with Total Open Station, of course).
Here below is the short videotutorial I did.

I hope it is useful. Have a nice day!


ArcheOS 4 Caesar: ATOR post 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

ArcheOS 6 Hypathia: ATOR post 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

ComEasy: GitHub repo

Total Open Station: official site; GitHub repo; ATOR post;


ArcheOS 4: "ArcheOS 4.0 - "Caesar": novità e aspetti della distribuzione GNU/Linux dedicata all'archeologia" (here in ResearchGate, here in Academia)

Monday, 18 April 2016

Glacial Archaeology: About the challange to work in extreme conditions

The logistic challenges and alpine terrain make any archaeological research performed in the mountains more difficult than in the valley.
In the central Alps we can find human vestiges from prehistory until the 20th century.

The archaeological remains along the Austro-Italian front of WW1are among the best preserved of the whole conflict, reaching altitudes up to 3900 m.asl.
The glaciers of the Ortler and Adamello Alps have facilitated the creation of a number of time capsules, containing an unmodified material situation since the first days of November 1918. 
The Austro-Hungarian Positions on Punta Linke (3632 m by courtesy of the Department of Archaeology of the Autonomous Province of Trento)

For example the Austro-Hungarian positions on Punta Linke (Video in Italian language) or those on Corno di Cavento (Video in Italian language).
The northern face of the Königspitze / Gran Zebrù (3,851 m / 12,635 ft)

Since several years, the Department of Archaeology of the Autonomous Province of South-Tyrol is documenting and rescuing various archaeological remains in high alpine environment.
The highlight of 2015 was the documentation of the highest and best preserved wooden barrack of the whole frontline on top of the Königspitze/Gran Zebrù (3,851 m / 12,635 ft)
The summit of the Königspitze /Gran Zebrù seen from west. The black dot on the left of the highest point is the snow-covered barrack.

Some technical considerations:

  • Logistics: 
    • Due to erosion and rockfall caused by climate change, the summit of the Königspitze is not longer reachable by foot during the summer months. That implies the continuous employment of helicopters for material and passenger transportation. Beyond that, the altitude causes a reduced helicopter performance and increases the total amount of needed flights.
      Removal of the equipment by Helicopter
    • The Ortler Alps are forming a weather divide with very changeable conditions and the permanent danger of strong winds, clouds or thunderstorms which can suddenly impede the use of the helicopter. For that reason an emergency bivouac on site is indispensable.
      Luca Bezzi interviewed by Thomas Hainz and Werner Laner. In the backgound the Königspitze / Gran Zebrù covered by clouds.

The helicopter is trying to carry the equipment on the summit. Without success: Clouds and fall winds are thwarting the action.

    • High altitude reduces the performance of every combustion engine (like generators, gas burners,...) and makes them easier prone to failure.
      Moving on the crest.
    • The topographic situation of the summit of the Königspitze, with it's narrow crest, affects on the work-flow of all operations, due to permanent space problems.
      Working in the north face
  • Working Safety:
    • The northern face of the Königspitze is about 1.200m high and the WW1 barrack is situated on top of this precipice. For that reason one needs effective and permanent security measures (Fixed ropes, ice screws,...).
      Working fixed by two ropes. In the background Mt. Ortler (3.905 m)
  • Surveying:
    • We are using DGPS for the positioning of the site. Like in many other regions, South-Tyrol disposes of a public positioning service (STPOS "South Tyrolean Position Service") substituting the usage of own base stations.
      Alessandro Bezzi mounting the GPS base station on a known point on 2.800 m. Communication with the rover by radio signal.
      But in our case we are still applying our own base, build above a known fix point and in continuous radio contact with the rover on the summit. This guarantees independent surveying without regarding to the quality and stability of the cell reception.
      DGPS survey on the summit while weather is becoming bad.
  • Documentation:
    • The topographic situation and reduced mobility on site conditions also the speed and completeness of data acquisition. Methods like structure from motion would ideally need a total photographic coverage of the object of interest and constant light conditions.
      Structure from motion without the possibility to regard for people, equipment or shadows on the pictures
      Both requirements are not guaranteed and this may affect on the quality of documentation.
  •  Conservation:
    •  The glacier ice inside and outside of the barrack has conserved different organic materials like paper, leather, faeces, textiles,...
      Recovering organic material
      Once uncovered, that materials need to be handled instantly in a appropriate way, preparing them for the transport to the conservation laboratories.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

ArcheoFOSS 2016 in Cagliari!

Hi all,
this post is to notify that next ArcheoFOSS workshop (the eleventh edition) will be held in Cagliari, at the local university, by the Department of History, Cultural Heritage and Landscape (it: Dipartimento di storia, beni culturali e territorio). The meeting will take place from the 7th to the 9th October 2016 and the main topic will be: "Knowledges for communication. Tools and open technologies for the analysis and the sharing of our cultural and territorial heritage".

Pictures of Cagliari (by various users from flickr; CC-SA)

This year there will be some novelties and, among others, the fact that the workshop will be associated with the GFOSS Day, the annual meeting of the Italian Association of the Geographic Free Software (GFOSS). 
The conference will be organized with three main sessions: the first day (7th October) will be dedicated to different workshop about Free and Open Source software used for geographical or cultural (and archaeological) aims; during the second day (8th October) some key-note speakers will present general topics (e.g. legislation about the use of open data and public data), while parallel sessions will host more specific arguments; the last day (9th October) will be focused on operative activities, like mapping parties and similar happenings (thanks to the association Sardegna Open Data).
If you are interested in proposing a contribution, here are the thematic guidelines:
  • FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) applied to research (main topic: archeology, cultural heritage and landscape)
  • FLOSS for protection, management and development of archaeological, cultural or territorial heritage
  • FLOSS for visualization, analysis and web-publication of data realted with archeology, cultural heritage and landscape
  • Projects oriented in opening and sharing data (related with archeology, cultural heritage or landscape studies
  • Case studies of using FLOSS in order to develop and share territorial data
  • Experiences in opening and sharing geographic data (cultural, technological and legal aspsects
  • Experiences of institution (schools, universities, public administrations, etc...) in using free geographic software or migrating form closed software to FLOSS or hybrid systems
If you plan to join one of the two workshops, you need to send your proposal, using this module, to this address:
Here you can download the call for papers.
For more informations, please visit the site of GFOSS Day and ArcheoFOSS.

See you there!

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