Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Cultural Heritage Sites in Danger—Towards Automatic Damage Detection from Space

  1. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Earth Observation Center (EOC), 82234 Wessling, Germany
  2. Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Section, Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Version 1 : Received: 16 September 2016 / Approved: 18 September 2016 / Online: 18 September 2016 (08:38:10 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Cerra, D.; Plank, S.; Lysandrou, V.; Tian, J. Cultural Heritage Sites in Danger—Towards Automatic Damage Detection from Space. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 781. Cerra, D.; Plank, S.; Lysandrou, V.; Tian, J. Cultural Heritage Sites in Danger—Towards Automatic Damage Detection from Space. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 781.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 781
DOI: 10.3390/rs8090781

Abstract

The intentional damages to local Cultural Heritage sites carried out in recent months by the Islamic State have received wide coverage from the media worldwide. Earth Observation data provide important information to assess these damages in such non-accessible areas, and automated image processing techniques would be needed to speed up the analysis if a fast response is desired. This paper shows the first results of applying fast and robust change detection techniques to sensitive areas, based on the extraction of textural information and robust differences of brightness values related to pre- and post-disaster satellite images. A map highlighting potentially damaged buildings is derived, which could help experts at timely assessing the damages to the Cultural Heritage sites of interest. Encouraging results are obtained for two archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq.

Subject Areas

change detection; Cultural Heritage; texture analysis

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