Pattern recognition and archaeology – Semi-automated detection of ground monuments in airborne laser scan data (LiDAR)

In recent years, LiDAR scanning has become a widely used tool for understanding both the cultural and natural landscape surrounding us. The result of this is, that new 3-dimensional point based LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data is consistently being generated in a more precise and detailed version of raw point cloud form.

Airborne laser scan data includes information about the ground surface as well as the existing vegetation allowing to virtually remove for instance forests to reveal hidden structures. Even ground monuments which are heavily eroded and/or very flat can be detected by this approach. (Interpolated) surface models are often used to visualize the findings.

Available LiDAR scans of the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation for the district of Lower Franconia with its 8531 km2 as our test area accumulates to 2.8 TB of data. An editor familiar with the data can process approximately 30 km2 per day, resulting in 1.2 years for a one-time analysis of Lower Franconia and already ten years for the state Bavaria. Continuous and iterative explorations increase the amount of data to be handled and lead to time frames not feasible for research.

In order to cope with the increasing amount of spatial and radiometric information, a systematic and semi-automated process needs to be defined in order to control and handle these accumulated amounts of otherwise unrestrained information. Thus the collaborate project intends to focus on the development of technologies and methodologies for the creation of an interactive research data gateway.

The utilization of LiDAR data provides a novel approach for locating and monitoring cultural heritage in the landscape, especially in areas of logistical complications, e.g. forest, rough terrain, and remote areas. However, the utilisation of LiDAR presently lacks standardised approaches for proper handling, developing, and processing within the field of cultural heritage management. Further, a majority of stakeholders within the field of archaeology and cultural heritage management encounters various problems regarding macro- and micromanagement when handling and processing LiDAR data, often resolving in quantitative assessment being impractical or impossible. Thus, in order for LiDAR data to become a truly competent method for heritage management, a large scale quantitative approach for handling, developing, and processing needs to be formed and defined. Such is the background, premise and resolve for this project.


Figure 1: On the left no archaeological ground monuments can be seen in the aerial image of the forest nearby Urphar (at River Main, District Unterfranken in Germany). With the point signature finds of ceramic shards of the late Bronze Age are marked in Geographic Information System (GIS). The sits information is taken from the databases of the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, which is a partner of our project. The right picture shows the LIDAR scan of the so called DGM1 ground surface of the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation in the same area without any disturbing vegetation. It uncovers a group of prehistoric grave hills. These were previously unknown because they are heavily eroded and very flat. The funnel in the center of each burial mounds gives information about illegal grave robberies.



The sub-project, LiDAR based semi-automatic pattern recognition within an archaeological landscape, is focused on adapting and creating semi-automatic procedures for handling and processing LiDAR data within cultural heritage monument detection and large scale cultural heritage management.

Particular emphasis is on the implementation of pattern recognition algorithms for semi-automatic detection within 3dimensional vector and 2dimensional raster data.

In doing so, the effort of this project will be focused on pattern recognition algorithms in order to define quantitative methods of handling and processing 3dimensional LiDAR data and subsequent 2dimensional raster by implementing standardised and state of the art systematic and semi-automated approaches for cultural heritage detection and management.

Besides state of the art algorithms for automatic procedures of cultural heritage detection and management, the result of the project will also be focused on key technologies regarding data life cycle in joint collaboration with the Software Methods Group (SWM) and the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). The joint collaboration will be focused on data sustainability, and optimizing visualisation procedures for differentiated fields of focus.



In addition to the Bavarian State Offices for Sites and Monuments (Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege) and the Environment (Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt), we would particularly like to thank the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation (Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation) for providing access to unpublished data like the DTM1s. Without the cooperation of these authorities this project and associated project, Transformation of Settlement Sites from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages in Lower Franconia, would not have been possible.

Expert Forum on “The future of archaeological knowledge curation 2021-2026”, 16-17 June 2016 in Athens

The ARIADNE Expert Forum “The future of archaeological knowledge curation 2021-2026” on 16-17 June 2016 in Athens, Greece is organized by the Digital Curation Unit, IMIS-Athena Research Centre. It is co-organized with the Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto and the Department of Informatics, Athens University of Economics and Business as part of the activities of ARIADNE – Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe.

The Expert Forum aims to unite an international community of researchers in a constructive debate on the use of digital technology to ensure the future value of pre-existing archaeological knowledge through further curation, access and reuse. In tandem with organized archaeological databases, corpora and repositories it will reflect on the future of past excavation data and archives, commercial archaeology reports, archaeological museum collections, corpora and gazetteers, historical and ethnographic testimonies, grey literature, and visualizations of archaeological entities. It will seek to synthesize the experiences, know-how and insights of participants on how to address the growing curation crisis in archaeology in an increasingly pervasive networked digital environment, and on the challenges faced and opportunities offered by digital infrastructures in the next 5-10 years. The viewpoints invited are multi-disciplinary and diverse, ranging from academic researchers to practitioners, and from archaeologists to specialists in information, archival science, computer science, and science and technology studies. ARIADNE is looking for informed and thoughtful contributions to an interactive process, rather than for a pre-prepared formal talk or conference paper.

ARIADNE Summer School on archaeological digital curation-

PDF-Text ARIADNE Summer School on archaeological digital curation

This Expert Forum is an initiative of the ARIADNE Special Interest Group on Archaeological Research Methods and Practices, and seeks to take forward the work of a highly successful Expert Forum on Digital Futures of Archaeological Practice 2020-2025 organized in 2015. It is part of a Summer School on the Digital curation of archaeological knowledge: New approaches to digital research, information management and communication in archaeology, planned to take place in Athens between 12–17 June 2016 in Athens, Greece, as an ARIADNE (WP8 – Data and Dataset Design) Trans-National Access (TNA) activity. The Summer School is structured in two parts: a Workshop from 12-16 June, and the Expert Forum on 16-17 June.

A limited number of bursaries, covering the cost of participation, travel and accommodation to a maximum of 1000 Euros, are available to prospective participants who are employed by or are registered as students in an institution located in one of the EU Member States and Associated States. All levels of applicants, from experienced scholars to graduate students, will be considered. Applicants should specify if they wish to attend the Workshop, the Expert Forum, or both. A selection panel will be evaluating bursary applications on a rolling basis until 5 June 2016.

You will find the draft programme and further details on the Expert Forum and Summer School at
Information on the selection process, eligibility criteria, priorities and application forms can be found on the ARIADNE website, Finally, information on the ARIADNE infrastructure is available at , and on the Digital Curation Unit at

MSc-Studiengang “Digital Archaeology” an der Universität Leiden

Im September 2016 startet der neue Masterstudiengang Digital Archaeology an der Fakultät für Archäologie der Universität Leiden (NL). Der Studiengang ist eine Spezialisierung innerhalb des einjährigen, englischsprachigen MSc-Programms Archaeology (60 ECTS). Er richtet sich an Studierende mit einem BA/BSc-Abschluss in einer archäologischen oder verwandten Disziplin und Interesse an den folgenden Themen der Digitalen Archäologie:

  • Vermessung, Prospektion und Geophysik,
  • Fernerkundung und digitale Bildverarbeitung,
  • 3D-Modellierung und virtuelle Rekonstruktion,
  • Räumliche Analyse und Statistik,
  • Modellierung und Simulation,
  • Datenmanagement

Die Bewerbung um einen Masterstudienplatz ist ab sofort möglich (siehe Archaeology Master programme).

Georeferenzierung des Lorscher Codex

Innerhalb des HGIS-Clubs, einer interdisziplinären Lehrveranstaltung der Geschichte, Geo-Informatik und der Digital Humanities an der Universität Heidelberg, ist im Verlauf der letzten Semester ein Projekt zur Georeferenzierung der Ortsnamennennungen aus dem Loscher Codex entstanden. Der Lorscher Codex aus dem späten 8. Jahrhundert ist ein sehr bedeutendes Manuskript für viele Regionen, da in diesem mehr als 1000 Ortsnamen Zentraleuropas erstmals im Zusammenhang des weit verstreuten Eigentums des ehemaligen Lorscher Klosters schriftlich erwähnt werden. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg können nun erste Ergebnisse zur Ortsnamenkartierung online präsentiert werden:


Kartierung der insgesamt 6511 Ortsnamennennungen von über 1000 Orten mit Besitzungen des Kloster Lorsch im und um das Rheinland in QGIS (Kartierung A. Volkmann auf LANDSAT Satellitenbild).

umap-Kartierung der Ortsnamennennungen aus dem Lorscher Codex auf der OpenStreetMap

Project RetroDig is launched at Heidelberg University

As a case study in the field of digital cultural heritage the project RetroDig develops infrastructure and workflows for retro-digitalisation and academic analysis of paper-based documents. The Project RetroDig concentrates on retro-digitalisation and academic analysis of analog records focused on preserving information. Retro-digitalisation also signifies standardised   digitalisation of analog media and transformation of information to machine-readable data for large scale computation and analysis.

The present and so far unpublished documentation of the Roman fort excavation in Heidelberg-Neuenheim in the 1970s were reprocessed. Data from area of interest was all analog so far. Due to the course of the excavations, where researched records are mostly irrecoverable going to be destroyed, only the documentation of records is the only way for ongoing studies. Production methods, storage conditions, environmental influences and also the simple touching of paper documents are reducing the span of life and threaten the recorded data upon it.

Ziziphus - Screenshot

Fig. 1: Retro-digitalisation of the excavation diary; editors draft for annotation of text and image section with person name markings; source: excavation dairy “Heukemes” of the excavation “Kastellweg 1975” Kurpfälzische Museum Stadt Heidelberg ©.

The goal of Digital Cultural Heritage project RetroDig is the extraction of a best possible digital copy. Thereby the analysis and extraction of the contained information shall be proceeded at very little effort. The information will be stored as future secured interoperable data for prospective usage in the field of Digital Humanities. In order to do so, already developed digital tools will be used, modified and provided as a cheap and lasting open-source solution (see figure above). The results of the case study can be used disciplinary in research and teaching – the developed infrastructure, however, can also be used interdisciplinary in other academic fields.

Within the project work flow, the first task was scanning the archive inventory containing hundreds of separate drawn excavation plans and handwritten field notes as well as revised and verified photographs. After that, standardised scanning of archival footage with calibrated settings and meta-data enrichment of scanned data in the Tamboti Ecosystem began. The archival footage is now to be fully digitalised by transcribing the scanned handwritten notes. The digitalised data is based upon the Extensible Markup Language-Standard (XML), which is the base for further textual data analysis (see figure below). In the last step, all data will be added to the Tamboti Ecosytem, where they will be permanently available for further evaluation, presentation and publication of the results of the excavations. RetroDig is a cooperation of the Junior Research Group Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage, and the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) at the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, in joint collaboration with the Kurpfälzische Museum of the City of Heidelberg.


Fig. 2: XML file from transcribed text out of the scanned handwritten notes, JRG DH/ HRA ©.

Within our next steps, we are developing a digital edition of the so far unpublished excavations of the Roman fort in Heidelberg-Neuenheim. And we co-operate with the project HyperImage [7] in order to generate powerful image-text-multimedia annotations within exhibitions in a context of museal presentations with interactive applications via touch screens.







[7 ]

Neues Online-Seminar: „Archäologie – Eine Reise durch die Menschheitsgeschichte“

In der Reihe der „Zeit-Akademie“ ist ein neues Seminar „Archäologie – Eine Reise durch die Menschheitsgeschichte“ erschienen. Mit dem Dozenten Prof. Hermann Parzinger (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz und Freie Universität Berlin) konnte dafür einer der bedeutendsten Prähistoriker im deutschsprachigen Raum gewonnen werden, der einen fundierten Überblick zur Menschheitsgeschichte seit dem Paläolithikum vor 2,5 Millionen Jahren in Eurasien gibt. Moderiert wird das Seminar des Weiteren von Urs Willmann (Wissenschaftsredakteur der Zeit). Die 12 Lektionen à 20 Minuten sind modular aufgebaut – sie können aber durchaus als in sich geschlossene Einheiten in der Abfolge frei gewählt werden. Der größte didaktische Lehreffekt ist jedoch wohlweislich in der durchdachten Reihenfolge begründet. Beispielsweise wird in der ersten Lektion grundlegend in die Methoden, Theorien und Konzepte der archäologischen Wissenschaften einführt. Dabei wird auch auf die kontroverse Forschungsgeschichte eingegangen, wobei die Archäologie viel zu oft politisch instrumentalisiert wurde und ihr daher als Disziplin eine besondere Verantwortung zukommt. In den folgenden Lektionen werden in chronologischer Abfolge die wichtigsten Themen von der Steinzeit, über die Bronzezeit und Eisenzeit, dem Mittelalter bis hin zur Neuzeit behandelt. Das Seminar ist in vier Themenblöcke mit jeweils drei Lektionen, zur Entstehung der Menschheit, der Seßhaftwerdung, der sogenannten metallurgischen Revolutionen und letztlich zu den Ursprüngen der Staatengenese, untergliedert. Die aneinander anknüpfenden Module werden mit einer Broschüre zur Vor- und Nachbereitung des Seminars begleitet. In dieser werden die wichtigsten Kernaussagen zusammengefasst. Und darüber hinaus werden zahlreiche Literaturhinweise für eine vertiefende Weiterbildung gegeben. Die Zusammenstellung der basalen „Key Learnings“ am Ende eines jeweiligen Moduls in der Broschüre ermöglicht zum einen die Rekapitulation des bisher gelernten und zum andern einen schnellen Wiedereinstieg in das behandelte Thema. Das Seminar richtet sich als Zielgruppe primär an interessierte Laien, sodass keine speziellen Vorkenntnisse vorausgesetzt werden. Jedoch ist das Seminar durchaus auch für Fachstudierende geeignet, die ihre Kenntnisse vertiefen oder auffrischen möchten. Das Seminar besticht durch die durchgehend professionelle Qualität und den hohen didaktischen Lehrwert. Es empfiehlt sich besonders als Übersicht und zielgerichteten Einstieg in die prähistorische Archäologie, und eröffnet damit eine tiefgründige Wissensbasis über unsere Menschheitsgeschichte.

ZEIT Akademie Archäologie - Armin Volkmann

Herman Parzinger referiert in der Lektion „Die Kelten in Europa: Migrantentum und wirtschaftlicher Aufstieg“ zu den drastischen Gesellschaftsveränderungen in der frühen Eisenzeit der La-Tène-Kultur um 400 BC im Landesmuseum Bonn (aus: Zeit-Akademie [Hrsg.], Archäologie – Eine Reise durch die Menschheitsgeschichte, 2015, 36).

LiDAR group, Open presentation day.

You are cordially invited to attend an open presentation day regarding cultural heritage detection and landscape analysis.


Di. 20.1.2015, 14.30 h – 17.00 h

Raum: Hörsaal, Berliner Str. 48, Geog. Institut

Veranstaltung: “LIDAR Group Open Presentations”

The agenda includes several presentations, future collaboration, and time for comprehensive discussions (see below).


Open Presentations, topics (2.30 pm):

 – Template-matching Approach Combining Morphometric Variables for Automated Mapping of Charcoal Kiln Sites (A.Schneider, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg)(20-30 min)

– Two different approaches of automatic cultural heritage detection (H.Raun)(10-15 min)

– Landscape archaeology and LiDAR analysis among the river Main (A.Volkmann)(10-15 min)

– Using DEM visualization techniques for large area archaeological prospection (R.Hesse)(10-15 min)

– Object detection of hidden cultural heritage in the undergrowth based on airborne and terrestrial laser scanning – a case study at the Königstuhl hillside (M.Pfeiffer)(10-15 min)

– Overview of LRG activities (B.Höfle)(10-15 min)


Thereafter: closed meeting for LiDAR group and guest speaker: Dr. Anna Schneider & Dr. Ralf Hesse

 Topics for general discussion (approx. 4 pm):

– automatic detection : collaboration and improving possibilities

– Digital archaeological data infrastructure ; hosting ; (openATLAS)

– Work coordination

– Requesting additional data

– The open position at the SWM KIT

Feel free to bring further spontaneous topics for discussion.

2 postdoctoral full time positions in Geometric Modeling, Computing/ Mathematics and in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

The “Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Information et des Systèmes” and the “Histoire et archéologie de la Méditerranée et de l’Afrique du Nord” in France would  like  to  recruit  two  Postdoctoral  Researchers  (one  in  Geometric Modeling,  Computing  & Mathematics and one in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History) to join research on the development of innovative methodologies for the semantic interpretation of digitized forms of heritage artefacts, their classification and analysis. Obviously, even if clearly distinct in their academic profile and planned work, these two post-doctoral  fellows will interact throughout the duration of the project. By combining, evaluating and comparing the languages of the archaeologist, the mathematician, the chemist and the architect, the aim is the definition of a new common language to these four disciplines, with an epistemological perspective and heritage shared – the 3D virtual restitution of major world heritage monuments, including their surface treatment (plating, colors). To this end, the project is focused on the study of two ancient monuments selected for their historical importance, the quality of available remains to study and the scientific and economic issues they raise: the Tholos in Delphi (Greece); the Attis Temple in Zama Regia (Tunisia).

Postdoctoral position 1 (f/m) in Geometric Modeling, Computing & Mathematics

Institute: Laboratoire LSIS (Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Information et des Systèmes,  UMR 7296 – CNRS/ AMU / ), Marseille, France.

Supervisor: Pr. Marc Daniel ( marc.daniel[at] )

In  collaboration  with  the  Laboratoire  MAP  (Livio de  Luca,  Dr.  CNRS,  Modèles  et  simulations  pour l’Architecture et le Patrimoine, UMR 3495 – CNRS/MCC / ), Marseille, France.

Partner: Centre Camille Jullian (Histoire et archéologie de la Méditerranée et de l’Afrique du Nord, de la protohistoire à la fin de l’Antiquité, UMR 7299 – AMU/CNRS/MCC), Aix-en-Provence, France.

The LSIS laboratory currently oers a Postdoctoral position (f/m) for a researcher specialized in Geometric Modeling, Computing & Mathematics. This postdoctoral  position is located in LSIS, a National Scientific Research Center located in Marseille within the G-Mod team ( ).

Your profile: Under the responsibility of LSIS and in collaboration with the MAP, you will address the problem of digitizing sculpture, the search for relevant shape analysis descriptors and the automatic extraction of relevant semantic features from the calculation of these descriptors. You will have good skills in mathematics and computing and more specifically in geometric modeling. Being open in multi-disciplinarily work dealing with cultural heritage and documentation will be highly appreciated.

Please submit your enquiries and application to Pr. Marc Daniel ( marc.daniel[at] ), with copy to Pr. Philippe Jockey ( philippe.jockey[at] ) and Dr. Livio de Luca ( livio.deluca[at] ).

Postdoctoral position 2 (f/m) in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

Institute: Centre Camille Jullian (Histoire et archéologie de la Méditerranée et de l’Afrique du Nord, de la protohistoire à la fin de l’Antiquité, CCJ, UMR 7299, AMU/CNRS/MCC), Aix-en-Provence, France / http:// ).

Supervisor: Pr. Philippe Jockey, philippe.jockey[at]

In collaboration with the Laboratoire MAP (Livio de Luca, Dr. CNRS, Modèles et simulations pour l’Architecture et le Patrimoine, UMR 3495 – CNRS/MCC 3495), Marseille, France.

Partner: Laboratoire LSIS (Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Information et des Systèmes, UMR 7296 – CNRS/ AMU), Marseille, France.

The Centre Camille Jullian currently oers a Postdoctoral position (f/m) for a researcher specialized in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (CAAH), coupled  with 3D Digital heritage competence.  This postdoctoral  position is located in the Centre Camille Jullian, a National Scientific Research Center located in Aix-en-Provence and dedicated to the study of Mediterranean and North Africa Antiquity.

Your profile: The ideal postdoc candidate, specialized in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (CAAH) and showing a particular interest in Ancient Greek and Roman polychromy, especially on sculpture and architecture, should  have also a high sensitivity  to  digital  technologies  and  possibly  skills in these latter  areas. Basic knowledge of them is advantageous. He / her will contribute both to the elaboration of a common scientific language between the different partners and to the 3D digital restitution of the monuments selected, including  their original polychromy.

Offer for both 2 postdoctoral full time positions

Submission deadline: November 15th 2014

Starting date: The project Eloquenzior has been funded and it is possible to recruit quickly the postdoctoral assuming the overhead due to the administration procedures.


            Postdoc 1: Marseille, Luminy, France.

Postdoc 2: Aix-en-Provence, France.

Duration: each contract  will be signed for one year, but with the possibility to extend it another year in continuity.

Salary: the net salary is monthly 1960 € for a postdoctoral having a professional experience less than 3 years. It might be higher otherwise and the second year in case of a longer contract. The salary will be also higher the second year in case of an extended contract.

Language: Good communication skills in English are a requirement. Candidates from outside France are highly encouraged to apply.


•   a detailed CV with a list of publications;

•   a certified copy of the PhD diploma. A certified translation of the PhD diploma could be required depending of the country where it was obtained;

•   a motivation letter.

Names (and contacts) of referees who, upon request, can provide recommendation letters are welcome.

Eloquenzior in brief

The Project Eloquenzior, supported and funded by the University of Aix-Marseille Foundation AMIDEX aims at  promoting  an  interdisciplinary thinking,  insofar  extracting  and  analyzing  the  information  contained  in digitized forms can let emerge new analysis mechanisms of heritage artefacts from the exploration of new methods  of  measuring  geometric  properties,  and  then  translating  these  properties  into  morphological « signatures ». Furthermore, detailed analysis of the forms can afford to go up to the analysis of how they have been produced, and thus classify them according to the different schools, which have made them. It could also help  to  enable  the  recognition  of  many  unidentified  fragments,  which  could  be  matched  through  their morphological and technological signatures. Moreover, the physico-chemical markers highlighted during the conducted analysis on the material studied, both in Delphi and Zama, Tunisia, will be added.

Indeed, in order to constrain, at least initially, the boundaries of this study, observations and descriptions whose interpretation  can benefit from  a significant  accumulation  of theories (controlled vocabulary), the team will conduct experiments on two historical forefront objects, rich in information, with a strong symbolic heritage and particularly appropriate for virtual 3D reconstructions, outstanding for scientists as to the general public.

The Tholos in Delphi (Greece)

Emblematic icon of the classical language of architecture, the building, rotunda Doric dated years 380-370 BC. AD, is located on the terrace of Athena Pronaia in Delphi. Its outer order, climbed from three columns in 1938, has a well-preserved elevation. Due to its state of conservation and considering the possibility of a joint study of its architectural and artistic forms, analyzing the Tholos is particularly relevant. On the patrimonial point of view, Eloquenzior will  provide  the  Greek and  international  community  a  complete  virtual  3D  restitution  of  the monument and its carved decoration, today broken into hundreds of fragments whose shape analysis shapes achieved in this project will match and merge.

The Attis temple in Zama Regia (Tunisia)

At only a few tens of km away from Tunis, discovered in the 2000s by a team led by Ahmed Ferjaoui (National Heritage Institute  of  Tunis), the ancient temple of  Attis  in Zama Regia is still unreleased but  about  to  be published by A. Ferjaoui. Dedicated to god Attis, it offers its exceptional remains of its architecture and gilded and polychrome sculptures dedicated to the god in its sanctuary. The latter – also novel – retain the vestiges with an exceptional state of preservation of their initial surface treatment and appearance (gilding, assorted colors), offering  to  measurement  and  3D  digital  recording  an  almost  unique  stratigraphy  for  the  antique  marble sculpture. 3D modeling of surface treatments sculptures Zama, which offers a wide stratigraphy of only a few microns, is a challenge in itself. It is one of the major objectives of the project “Eloquenzior”. Partnership with the Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology (UMR 8220, dir. Dr. CNRS Philippe Walter) is a very important asset for obtaining relevant results.

For further information do not hesitate to contact :

Pr. Marc Daniel ( marc.daniel[at] ), Pr. Philippe Jockey ( philippe.jockey[at] ), Dr. Livio de Luca ( livio.deluca[at] ).

INSPIRE-Konferenz innerhalb der INTERGEO-Fachmesse vom 7.-9. Oktober 2014 in Berlin

Die diesjährige INSPIRE Konferenz wurde im Rahmen der Fachmesse INTERGEO[1] am 7.10.2014 in Berlin durchgeführt. Sie war unter Federführung des Bundesinnenministeriums und des Bundesumweltministeriums organisiert worden und richtete sich besonders an Entscheidungsträger der Landesverwaltungen, die zahlreich im Publikum vertreten waren. Es zeigte sich, dass Geoinformationen zunehmend in gesellschaftlich relevanten Bereichen, wie E-Government, digitale Verwaltung, Sicherheit und Katastrophenschutz, aber auch in der universitären Forschung in den letzten Jahren Einzug gehalten haben. Bundesumweltministerin Dr. Barbara Hendricks positionierte sich in ihrer Keynote deutlich für Open Data. So sei es eine klare Leitlinie der Bundesregierung, „öffentlich erhobene Daten in die Wertschöpfungskette zu geben“. Und „Bürger dürfen nicht zweimal für dasselbe bezahlen“, so die Bundesministerin.

Die INSPIRE-Richtlinien[2] der EU dienen der Entwicklung einer digitalen “Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe“, die der Allgemeinheit frei zugänglich sein solle. Seit 2007 wird diese Richtlinie in den Bundesländern Deutschlands verschieden intensiv umgesetzt. Es bestehen aber in der Praxis immer noch zahlreiche Probleme in der Angleichung an internationale Datenstandards, wie beispielsweise bei noch immer unterschiedlich gebräuchlichen Koordinatensystemen oder nicht einheitlichen thematischen Kartenwerken (topografischen Karten oder Bodenkarten etc.), die so keine überregionalen Kartenanalysen erlauben. Besonders deutlich wurde die teils schwierige Bundesländer übergreifende Zusammenarbeit der Behörden aufgezeigt, da die Budgets der jeweiligen Behörden streng genommen nur für das jeweilige Bundesland ausgegeben werden dürfen und nicht in „fremde Infrastrukturen“ investiert werden dürfen. Dieses föderale Problem der einzelnen, weitgehend unabhängigen Bundesländer-Behörden besteht nicht in allen Ländern gleichermaßen stark. Im Land Berlin konnten bis jetzt fast alle Geodaten nach der INSPIRE-Richtlinie der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung gestellt werden – wenn auch nicht ausnahmslos kostenfrei. Einige hochspezifische Daten, wie hochauflösende Laserscandaten, unterliegen weiterhin einer Gebührenpflicht. Weniger hochauflösende Laserscandaten können dahingegen kostenfrei bezogen werden. Dieses Geschäftsmodell steht somit nicht im Widerspruch mit der INSPIRE-Richtlinie, da an sich die Grund-Geodaten frei verfügbar sind. „Premiumdienste“ gehen jedoch mit einem erhöhten Arbeitsaufwand der Behörde einher und sind somit auch gebührenpflichtig. Ein weiterer bisher fraglicher Punkt ist die Datenpflege der kostenfreien Dienste durch die Landesbehörden. Hier ist nicht geregelt, wer den Mehraufwand der Landesdienste, wie z.B. die Pflege (der Updates etc.) und Bestandserhaltung vom WMS (World Map Service) Diensten, finanziert. Hier ist die Politik gefragt, um nachhaltige Lösungen zu schaffen, die auch in Personalstellen in den Fachbehörden ihren Niederschlag finden müssen.

LiDAR based semi-automatic pattern recognition within an archaeological landscape

A PhD-project in association with Dr. Armin Volkmann (Junior Research Group Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing and Cluster of Excellence Asia & Europe in Global Context), Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf and Jun.-Prof. Bernhard Höfle (Geoinformatics), Prof. Dr. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos (Institute of Archaeology), and funded by the HGS MathComp Graduate School at Heidelberg University. In further collaboration with Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung (BLV) und Denkmalpflege (BLD), and Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT).

The project is focused on adapting and creating semi-automatic procedures for handling and processing LiDAR data within cultural heritage monument detection and large scale cultural heritage management. Particular emphasis is on the implementation of pattern recognition algorithms for semi-automatic detection within 3D, 2½D, and 2D LiDAR derived data.

The utilization of LiDAR provides several novel approaches for locating and monitoring cultural heritage, especially in areas of logistical complications, e.g. forest, rough terrain, and remote areas (cf. figure 1 & 2). In order to cope with the huge amount of generated 3D LiDAR point clouds, systematic and semi-automated procedures needs to be defined to control and handle these accumulated amounts of otherwise unrestrained information.

In doing so, the effort of this project will be focused on pattern recognition algorithms to define quantitative methods of handling and processing 3D LiDAR data and subsequent 2D raster by implementing standardised and state of the art systematic and semi-automated approaches for cultural heritage detection and management.

Further, a research data gateway will be created within a WebGIS for extended parameterization of 2D and 3D LiDAR data with added databases of archaeological site information.

Figure 1.  Multiple layers on reality. Combining laser scanning for optimal scaling possibilities together with other sources, often reveal new features yet unknown. Figure 1 displays airborne and terrestrial laser scanning combined with street map at the Königstuhl, Heidelberg. New features detected; a house, two cellar structures, and several pathway and terrace systems dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Source: ALS Landesamt für Geoinformation und Landentwicklung Baden-Württemberg. TLS: Höfle, Pfeiffer and Raun. Map: OpenStreetMap.

Figure 1.
Multiple layers on reality. Combining laser scanning for optimal scaling possibilities together with other sources, often reveal new features yet unknown. Figure 1 displays airborne and terrestrial laser scanning combined with street map at the Königstuhl, Heidelberg. New features detected; a house, two cellar structures, and several pathway and terrace systems dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Source: ALS Landesamt für Geoinformation und Landentwicklung Baden-Württemberg. TLS: Höfle, Pfeiffer and Raun. Map: OpenStreetMap.

Figure 2. Revealing landscape. Underneath the underwood on Reussenberg near Karsbach, several new details arise in the interpolated landscape around the 13th century Reussenburg ruin. Source: ALS and historical maps: Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung.

Figure 2.
Revealing landscape. Underneath the underwood on Reussenberg near Karsbach, several new details arise in the interpolated landscape around the 13th century Reussenburg ruin. Source: ALS and historical maps: Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung.



Full Time Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher Positions in the fields of Geometrically enriched computer vision algorithms for 3D/4D reconstruction

Initial Training Network on Digital Heritage

Call for a full time fellowship

Applications are invited from candidates who possess the necessary qualifications in order to fill one (1) full time Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Fellow Position within the Department of Electrical Engineering – ESAT – PSI, Processing Speech and Images Laboratory, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium in the fields of computer vision in Cultural Heritage. The selected Marie Curie ESR will work for 24 months within the ITN-Digital Cultural Heritage (ITN-DCH: ) Marie Curie ITN Programme which, is the only EU funded programme bringing together fourteen (14) leading European Institutions as full partners and nine (9) other as associated partners in a transnational network, aiming at implementing a multidisciplinary and intersectorial research and training programme between the academic and the industrial partners. In order to allow the candidate to complete a PhD thesis, the ESAT-PSI group will extend the duration of the contract up to 4 years, if the candidate shows enough progress.


Cultural Heritage (CH) is an integral element of Europe and vital for the creation of a common European identity and one of the greatest assets for steering Europe’s social, economic development and job creation. However, the current research training activities in Cultural Heritage are fragmented and mostly design to be of a single-discipline, failing to cover the whole lifecycle of Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) research, which is by nature a multi- disciplinary and intersectorial research agenda. ITN-DCH aims for the first time worldwide that top universities, research centers, industries and CH stakeholders, end-users and standardized bodies will collaborate to train the next generation of researchers in DCH. The project aims to analyze, design, research, develop and validate an innovative multi-disciplinary and intersectorial research training framework that covers the whole lifecycle of digital CH research for a cost–effective preservation, documentation, protection and presentation of CH. ITN-DCH targets innovations that covers all aspects of CH ranging from tangible (books, newspapers, images, drawings, manuscripts, uniforms, maps, artifacts, archaeological sites, monuments) to intangible content (e.g., music, performing arts, folklore, theatrical performances) and their inter-relationships. The project aims to boost the added value of CH assets by re-using them in real application environments (protection of CH, education, tourism industry, advertising, fashion, films, music, publishing, video games and TV) through research on (i) new personalized, interactive, mixed and augmented reality enabled e-services, (ii) new recommendations in data acquisition, (iii) new forms of representations (3D/4D) of both tangible /intangible assets and (iv) interoperable metadata forms that allow easy data exchange and archiving. One ESR will be recruited by the host organization at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium at the Department of Electrical Engineering ESAT, Lab. for the Processing Speech and Images PSI, Research Team on VISion for Industry, Communcations, and Services VISICS.

Position ESR5:

One ESR to be recruited by the host organization of the Department of Electrical Engineering – ESAT at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium for the duration of 24 months under full employment contract. The selected candidate’s contract will be extended up to a full PhD duration (4 years) when desired and if performing well.

The fellow will perform research along the following lines:

As a result of the 3D documentation of CH objects or scenes, the resulting 3D scans tend to be incomplete, i.e. they contain holes. This happens with different types of scanning devices, be it on the basis of structured light, Lidar, or image-based structure-from-motion. There are graphics techniques to fill up such holes, but better results can probably be achieved in case one is aware of the type of object that has been scanned. The theme of this research training is to exploit visual object class recognition for shape completion. A strongly related topic is to consider a series of 3D models for similar objects (e.g. all horse statues) and to jointly combine such information in order to ensure the completeness of each individual model. The methodology/algorithms will take into account the appearance of traditional (historic) materials (such as wood, clay products, stone and mineral plasters), as well as the visible traces of ageing due to impact from the environment.

The ESR is expected to present his/her research results on project meetings, international conferences and in scientific publications and to contribute to patents applications.

Research Fields

Computer Science, Computer Vision, Computer Graphics,

Digital Libraries, Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies

Geodetic Engineering – Photogrammetry supporting Cultural Heritage documentation

Architecture – Programming in the field of Database Management Systems of Cultural Heritage (CH-BIM Systems)

Career Stage

Applicants are requested to submit the following:

1.           Detailed Curriculum Vitae with all the certified copies of their awards translated in English.

2.           Motivation Letter

3.           Official transcripts of grades from all academic institutions of higher education listed in his/her application, certified copies of degrees, or/and certifications of fulfillment of the required obligations for entering a graduate PhD programme

4.           Official certified copies of titles and documents in English

5.           Names of three referees who, upon request, can provide recommendation letters

6.           Copies of any related research papers or other significant work by the applicant

Applications must be submitted in a closed express courier envelope marked as “Application for Marie Curie ITN-DCH Research Fellow Position” – Prof. Luc Van Gool, ESAT – PSI, Processing Speech and Images Kasteelpark Arenberg 10, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) , B-3001 Leuven, Belgium. Otherwise it must be sent via regular registered post with a clearly visible post office stamp of a date not later than 3rd of August 2014, 24:00 that is the deadline for the submission of the applications.

Applicants are also requested to send their applications electronically to these email addresses  luc.vangool[at] . and marinos.ioannides[at]  before the deadline of 3rd of August 2014, 24:00, however, please note that the electronic submission alone will not be considered as a formal application unless the printed application is received as requested in the previous paragraph.

For enquiries: luc.vangool[at]

Start of the fellowship: 1st of September 2014

Comment/web site for additional job details

The Applicant should have:

•             Master of Science Degree from a recognized university in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Physics.

•             Excellent knowledge of the English language at a proficiency level (spoken and written) is required.

•             Capacity to program their own algorithms (C++, Matlab as most important tools).


–             The ESR candidate, at the time of recruitment, must not have resided (or carried out his/her main activity e.g. work, studies, etc.) in Belgium (host country), for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to the reference recruitment date!

Doctoral Scholarship “Feature Extraction from High Resolution Spatial Data Sets” in the domain of forensic sciences related to archaeology, palaeography and geography

The Junior Research Group “Forensic Computational Geometry Laboratory” (FCGL) at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) in cooperation with the
Heidelberg Graduate School for Mathematical and Computational Methods in the
Sciences (HGS MathComp) offers one doctoral scholarship to improve the
understanding of complex material, cultural and social topics by analyzing tangible
objects. This vision is aligned with institutional strategy of the Heidelberg University in the framework of the 2nd German Excellency Initiative.
As the FCGL bridges the Computational Science with the Forensic Sciences its main task
is the collaborative development of new methods to gather and examine information of the
past. This is performed on objects of different size from coins and ceramics to landscapes altered by ancient civilizations. The core tool of the FCGL is the GigaMesh software framework consisting of a modular extensible mesh processing pipeline to achieve the examination on high resolution measurement data provided by different types of 3D-scanners and exploration of contained information.

Full text and contact:

New Junior Research Group “Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage” at Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg

The aim of the JRG Digital Humanities is the establishment of knowledge for digital methods and standards in the humanities and the arts. The spectrum of the young discipline of digital humanities ranges from the corpus linguistics through computer philology to applied computer sciences. The JRG thus complements the ongoing projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) in the field of digital cultural heritage, which involve issues revolving around the standardization of workflows and the digitization and treatment of heterogeneous data sets (text, sound, images, and data). In addition, the JRG supports the HRA with the conceptual development of the teaching of innovative methods of digital humanities at Heidelberg University and are planning to jointly organize workshops, training sessions, and seminars at different levels of knowledge for specific target groups.

Within the framework of this research group we examines discourses linked to new possibilities in the use of digital methods in archeology and evaluates opportunities and risks associated with big research datasets. This will results in standardized workflows for further archaeological investigations. We are also part of a team which works with GIS and LIDAR laser scanning data (2D and 3D modelling) in cooperation with a network of various research institutions within a digital research infrastructure. Furthermore, we  are developing VREs (virtual research environments) for specific workflows such as the digitization of sub-projects in the humanities and arts.

2 Doctoral Scholarships in “Archaeological Information Systems” and “GIScience/Geoinformatics”

The Junior Research Group “Digital Humanities/Digital Cultural heritage” of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context,” in cooperation with the “Heidelberg Graduate School for Mathematical and Computational Methods in the Sciences”, offers two doctoral scholarships with focus on “Archaeological Information Systems” and “Digital Cultural heritage”.

Within the framework of the research group we will look at discourses linked to changes of new possibilities in the use of digital methods in archeology. Opportunities and risks associated with big research data sets will be ascertained. This results in standardized workflows that serve further investigations. We work on a team with GIS and laser scan data (2D and 3D modeling) in cooperation with a research network of various institutions within a digital research infrastructure. And we also develop VREs (Virtual Research Environments) for specific digitalization workflows of sub-projects in archaeology.

The successful applicants’ primary task will be to complete a PhD degree, but active participation in relevant graduate courses offered at the Cluster of Excellence or other institutes at Heidelberg University is recommended. The stipends are rated at € 1200 to 1468/month. Access to travel and publication funding is available.

Candidates must hold an M.A. or equivalent in a relevant discipline of Pre- and Early History (“Ur- und Frühgeschichte”), Historical Sciences, GIScience /Geoinformatics, Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics or Archaeological Information Systems (“Archäoinformatik”) etc. and experience in archaeological fieldwork methods in Europe and/or Asian contexts. Proficiency in English is mandatory. German and French language skills are desirable. An interest in interdisciplinary collaboration is essential.

To apply, send curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, an outline of a dissertation project (2-3 pages) related to the research group, names and contact details of two referees, and one written sample (altogether in one PDF) via email to Dr. Armin Volkmann (armin.volkmann[at] Stipend start should be in 2013, review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.

Heidelberg University is an equal opportunity/affirmative-action employer. In case of equality of qualification and suitability of applicants, the applications made by female researchers will be given preferential consideration. We also encourage and welcome applications from disabled persons.

For additional information see: