Space observation for generating 3D perspective views and its implications to study the archaeological site of Badami in India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Journal of Cultural Heritage, Elsevier Masson SAS, Volume 10, Number 1, p.20–26 (2009)



3D perspective views, Archaeology, Badami site, Remote sensing, Satellite image


Archaeological sites often exist as ruins. It is difficult to get an overall perspective while standing near them. The presentwork is a 3Dvisualization analysis conducted on the site of Badami, which is in the state of Karnataka in India, using space based observation. The terrain of Badami is dramatically rocky. Scattered on this landscape are many monuments that are either hewn from or built with the local rock, hence they appear camouflaged with the background or hidden because of the surface undulations. It is often difficult to spot individual structures from a distance. The peculiar topography of the site and its amenability for better understanding through 3D perspectives and synoptic coverage led us to carry out 3D visualization through virtual reconstruction of this landscape. Analyses of spatial distribution of monuments in this area together with slope, aspect and visibility analysis were conducted. Any construction around an archaeological site like roads, bridges and ropeways for access to the site or other construction in the surrounding area such as canals or factories can damage objects of historical significance and hinder the heritage value of the landscape. 3D terrain and building visualization and virtual flights can become a valuable tool for Cultural Resource Management for planning construction activities without hindering the preservation of the site. Three different methods of generating Digital Elevation Model (DEM) are discussed in this paper. The first method involves the use of ground survey information with suitable surface rendition derived from merged images from satellites, second approach uses multi-date satellite imagery of the site to create stereo pair and thus generate DEM and the third involves the use of direct stereo of Indian CARTOSAT-1 satellite which has a high resolution along track stereo capability. Outcome of these three approaches are analyzed in the context of their respective abilities to delineate different topographical features.


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