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FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL CLOSE-RANGE PHOTOGRAMMETRY

Jrg Albertz and Albert Wiedemann Department for Photogrammetry and Cartography, TU Berlin The paper outlines the development in close-range photogrammetry during one and a half century. The advancements in digital close-range photogrammetry are especially emphasized. Recent research projects of the Department for Photogrammetry and Cartography at the Technical University of Berlin concerning close-range photogrammetry are presented. 1. INTRODUCTION

Close-range photogrammetry has its origin in the activities of Albrecht Meydenbauer, who was the first German photogrammetrist at all. Since his days close-range photogrammetry conquered the full range of scales from architectural photogrammetry down to electron microscope imagery. It was already in 1882 that Meydenbauer gave a course on photogrammetry and close-range photogrammetry became for the first time a matter of education and research at the Technical University of Berlin [Albertz 1981]. 2. DEVELOPMENT OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC TECHNIQUES

The past development of photogrammetry can be subdivided in four phases (Fig. 1). Each one is characterized by technological and methodological innovations which made photogrammetry more flexible and more effective.

Digital Photogrammetry Analytical Photogrammetry Analogue Photogrammetry Graphical Photogrammetry


1850 1900 1950 2000

Figure 1: Stages in the development of photogrammetry 2.1 Graphical Photogrammetry

In the beginning photogrammetric restitution was achieved by graphical constructions on a drawing board following the principles of descriptive geometry. The camera served as a photographic theodolite. Large image formats provided higher accuracy. This technique was widely used in architectural photogrammetry by the Royal Prussian Photogrammetric Institution in Berlin, founded in 1885 in order to preserve cultural monuments.

2.2

Analogue Photogrammetry

In analogue photogrammetry the imaging geometry is reconstructed through optical or mechanical devices. Two images can be oriented in such a way, that a three-dimensional model of the object is formed. A human operator can move a floating mark in this model and control this movement under stereoscopic vision. This enables to map directly structural lines of the object as well as contour lines. Through progress in optics and mechanics analogue photogrammetric instruments have been improved step by step in the course of many decades, and thus reached very high accuracy. During this stages of development photogrammetry has been a technique to avoid calculations. The stereophotogrammetric plot of the bust of Queen Nofretete at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin is a typical example for the application of analogue techniques in close-range photogrammetry [Wlpert 1969]. 2.3 Analytical Photogrammetry

Through the evolution of computers it became possible to develop the so-called analytical plotters. In such photogrammetric systems the relations between image points and object points are described through numerical calculations based on the collinearity equations. This offers high accuracy, great flexibility and efficieny, in particular since the systems support the operator during the orientation and restitution processes. Furthermore the results may be directly transferred into CAD systems [Albertz and Wiedemann 1995]. It is evident, that because of these advantages the analytical plotter replaced the analogue instruments more and more. An example for the application of analytical plotters in close-range photogrammetry is the restitution of the skeleton of Brachiosaurus brancai at the Museum for Natural Sciences in Berlin in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Photogrammetric plot of the skeleton of Brachiosaurus brancai During the last decade the point determination by bundle adjustment became a generally used technique for close-range applications. This is a multi-image approach, not restricted to the stereophotogrammetric configuration for data acquisition, so that convergent images can be applied in very flexible arrangements. Furthermore it is possible to consider additional observations and also to combine calibration and restitution in an overall adjustment process.

The measurement of image coordinates is usually carried out monoscopically, either in comparators, on digitizers or even on the screen if the imagery is scanned. For simpler tasks, where relatively low accuracy is sufficient, no expensive hardware is required. This opens the application of photogrammetry to many new users. 2.4 Digital Photogrammetry

The measurement of image coordinates in scanned images on the screen is the first step towards digital photogrammetry. Through the application of digital image data photogrammetry becomes a special field of digital image processing, providing still more flexibility and an enormous potential for automation. Digital stereophotogrammetric systems are already on the market or under development [Ebner et al., 1991]. Research activities at many institutions are devoted to the automation of orientation and photogrammetric restitution. However, the already operational stereoscopic systems are well suited for aerial photogrammetry but not for close range applications. 2.5 The Future

The future will offer new techniques to photogrammetrists for close-range applications. An example is the laser scanner system under development at the University of Stuttgart [Wehr 1994]. A laser beam scans the surface of an object in a regular pattern. Besides the two polar angles of the scanning system the distance to the object point as well as the intensity of the reflected light is recorded. This provides the full information of a three-dimensional object in one set of four-dimensional data. The impact of such an approach on future development of photogrammetry can hardly be foreseen. 3. DIGITAL CLOSE-RANGE PHOTOGRAMMETRY

The applications of digital image processing in photogrammetry may be related to three different tasks: The first one, and also the easiest to achieve, is the enhancement of the image quality (e.g. contrast stretching, filtering techniques) in order to provide a better image to the human operator. In general this means that well-known image processing tools are applied to photogrammetric image data. The second task is to relieve the human operator from tedious work, for example the identification of homologous points in two images. This requires higher level techniques, but great success has already been achieved. High-end techniques tend to automate the interpretation of digital images, i.e. to derive semantic information by computational operations. This is subject to concentrated research activities. A lot of research and development has already been done. Most photogrammetric work deals with the standard configuration, i.e. aerial images in near-vertical configuration. But the results of such studies can not simply be transferred to close-range applications without particular adaptation. Severe problems arise from discontinuities of the object's surfaces, occluded areas, convergent orientation of images, inhomogenous image bundles, low contrasts, differences in the illumination and similarity of features. Therefore close range photogrammetry is a research field for its own [Albertz 1986 and Li 1993]. 3.1 Data Acquisition and Calibration of Imaging Systems

There are two different ways to produce digital image data. The first one is to scan analogue photographs taken with metric, semi-metric or amateur cameras. The second way is to acquire digital image data directly by means of digital CCD cameras. The problem is that today large CCD arrays are difficult to produce and very expensive. To reach sufficient

accuracy using low cost arrays precise calibration data of the digital cameras are required. These can be provided by bundle adjustment with self-calibration approaches. Further on, in close-range applications the cameras have to be focused, an operation which has an impact on the parameters of the interior orientation. This is why configurations have to be developed which are well suited for the calibration at the object, i.e after the focus is set. The special geometric properties of CCD cameras require expanded approaches for the determination of the interior orientation. Besides focal length, the position of the principle point and distortion parameters a factor has to be considered, that describes different scales in the image coordinates. 3.2 Semi-automatic and Automatic Measurement of Points

For matching points in digital images two different approaches are available. The area based matching approach uses similarities between grey value distributions in rectangular image matrices. With sufficient approximate values the image based matching techniques yield excellent results. The initial values may be provided by an approximated Digital Surface Model (DSM), by an image pyramid or interactively.

Figure 3: The semi-automatic measurement and identification of points with circular targets The feature based matching technique requires the application of feature extraction algorithms and also the identification of related features in two or more images. This identification may be achieved based on the topology or by using the surrounding grey value information. But both types of information may have much larger differences in close-range imagery than in the case of aerial imagery. Figure 3 shows the semi-automatic measurement of circular point targets using its shape for feature extraction and its position on the epipolar lines for the identification process. 3.3 Extraction and Semantic Interpretation of Linear Elements

In close-range photogrammetry most object structures are defined by sharp edges in the images. The first step for a semantic interpretation is to extract linear features from the image data. A great variety of operators is available for for this purpose. Figure 4 shows an image taken with the digital CCD camera Sony XC-77CE, and the result of an edge extraction operation searching for the local gradient maximum. Linear segments shorter than 20 pixels have been deleted. Additional approaches like the Hough-Transformation for straight lines are available.

Figure 4: Result of edge extraction operations from digital imagery To define the meaning of this extracted linear elements requires higher level image analysis techniques. They are subject to concentrated research efforts in computer vision. First experiments related to architectural objects will be a matter of research at the TU Berlin in the near future. 3.4 Rectification and Generation of Orthoimages

The non-parametric rectification of digital imagery using the projective transformation is one of the mostly used techniques in digital photogrammetry. It yields excellent results in case of plane surfaces. Depending on the surface structure of an object the approach may be modified in so far, as several plane layers can be handled separately and the segments can be combined to full image. This however requires a lot of interactive work.

Figure 5: Input image with restituted data, grey value coded DSM and orthoimage To create orthoimages of more complicated or irregulr surfaces a parametric rectification must be applied using the orientation parameters of the image and a Digital Surface Model (DSM). In many cases occlusions of areas will result in a lack of information in the ortho-

images. Figure 5 shows the input image with an overlay of restituted data, the grey value coded DSM and the orthoimage of a part of the Nicolai-Church in Jterbog, Germany. The white regions in the orthoimge result from occlusions in the input image. 4. 4.1 CLOSE-RANGE RESEARCH PROJECTS IN BERLIN Evaluation of Electron Microscope Imagery for Microtopography Purposes

The TU Berlin has a long tradition in the photogrammetric evaluation of electron microscope imagery. Due to the geometrical properties of such images, standard photogrammetric techniques are not suitable. In the past the Department developed own analogue equipment for the restitution of electron microscope stereo imagery. Digital image processing, however, offers new approaches and the flexibility which is necessary for electron microphotogrammetry. Through computer controlled raster electron microscopes image data can be acquired directly in digital form for subsequent photogrammetric restitution. The aim of the photogrammetric restitution is to determine the surface geometry of the objects. The result of this process is in most cases a digital surface model (DSM), which can e.g. serve for the qualitative assessment of natural or technical materials. Figure 6 shows a photorealistic visualization of a DSM of the surface of a motor catalyst.

Figure 6: Photorealistic visualization of the surface of a motor catalyst The quantitative assessment of microelectronics and micro-mechanical structures and components, for quality control and technical developments, is the aim of a joint research project in cooperation with the Institute for Physical High Technology (IPHT) in Jena. This research project is sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Photogrammetry is primarily concerned with the development of software for calibration and restitution, taking into consideration the particular properties of electron microscope images (approximately parallel projection) and of the related objects (poor texture and/or discontinuities of the surface). 4.2 Survey of Changes on the Length and Shape of the Human Vertebral Column

For physiological studies it is important to record the dynamic changes of the human vertebral column due to burden or relief, e.g. during space flights. For this purpose, a system is under development which allows the digital image acquisition by CCD cameras and the direct digital restitution in a workstation. For data acquisition, vertebrae locations are targetted on the skin. Changes of the spinal axis in shape and size over time can be measured and documented through the evaluation of image sequences. The entirely digital photogrammetric system contents software for the data acquisition with CCD cameras, a tool for interactive,

semi-automatic and automatic measurement of targetted points and bundle adjustment for the calibration and restitution purposes. The project is a joint research project with the Institute for Physiology of the Free University of Berlin and was sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). 4.3 Documentation of Historical Sites and Monuments

Since more than 100 years the documentation of cultural monuments in photogrammetric images is a proven technique. Since that time this purpose became more and more practicable importance. By using modern technology new methods can be developed which are more flexible and effective than conventional techniques. Furthermore it is possible to feed the results of photogrammetric restitution work directly into CAD systems for further use. Studies in this context are carried out within an Interdisciplinary Research Project Documentation of Historical Sites and Monuments at the Technical University of Berlin. The project is managed by the data processing group in the Department for Architecture. For this studies, historical buildings in the state of Brandenburg are selected as test objects. Figure 7 shows a plot of the Nicolai-Church in Jterbog, derived from restitutions using Rolleimetric MR2.

Figure 7: Plot of the Nicolai-Church in Brandenburg

Within this project effective approaches for photogrammetric data acquisition and restitution are to be implemented and tested. One of the objectives is, to document and to archive historically important objects in such a way, that the actual situation can be reconstructed at any time. For this purpose, different data acquisition methods are tested and compared to each other. An important aspect is the usefulness of the semi-calibrated camera system Rolleiflex 6006 metric for such tasks. In a similar way photogrammetric restitution is also a subject to comparative studies. The purpose is to find out the limitations of the Rollei system, which is in principle very flexible, for the documentation of cultural monuments. 4.4 Reconstruction of the Interior Orientation of Historical Images from the Meydenbauer Archive through Bundle Adjustment

As already mentioned in the introduction, the Royal Prussian Photogrammetric Institution in Berlin was founded in 1885 as one of the first photogrammetric institutions in the world. This was the result of the endeavours of Albrecht Meydenbauer over more than 20 years [Schwidefsky 1971]. The photogrammetric cameras have been built under the supervision of Meydenbauer himself. Thousands of objects, mostly in Germany, have been documented in some ten thousands of images. Among them are 186 images of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, taken on glass plates with a format of 40 40 cm2 and smaller [Staatliche Bildstelle 1926]. During and after the World War II not only the cameras but also most of its documentation, its inner orientation and the surveys at the objects have been lost. Now, with the support from the Berlin government, we are going to calibrate the cameras used about one hundred years ago. For this purpose we select still existing buildings photographed with the old cameras, we survey a new net of control points on it and apply bundle adjustment with self-calibration to determine the orientation parameters of the lost cameras. 4.5 Digital Image Analysis in Architectural Images

The interactive restitution of architectural photogrammetric images is a tedious task. The human operator fulfills different typs of work in this process. He is partly doing interpretation, making use of his comprehensive experience in visual perception and also applying specific background knowledge. On the other hand he carries out a great deal of routine work, where his capabilities are by far not appropriately mobilized. It must be the aim of future development, to automate the simple routine work, so that the operator can concentrate on what he does best, i.e. the difficult interpretation. In order to relief the operator from the simple operations the images have to be analyzed. First interesting points and edges must be found. There are techniques available to achieve this with sufficient accuracy and reliability. But the next step is the automatic interpretation of this extracted elements. Even this is an easy routine task for the operator, there are no sufficient techniques available today to achieve this by computation. A research project, sponsored by the German Science Foundation (DFG), will start at the TU Berlin in this autumn. Our approach will be to study the criteria which the human eyebrain system uses for the image interpretation process and also which techniques are already available in the computer vision community. 5. CONCLUSION

Close-range applications of photogrammetry have a long tradition. In the past the evolution of the techniques was handicapped by the need of very expensive equipment and also the necessity of long and tedious work of well skilled personnel. The combination of low-cost hardware and the digital image processing techniques supporting the operator will make photogrammetry much more effective, so that new applications can be envisaged.

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