Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 115–137 | Cite as

Precise photorealistic visualization for restoration of historic buildings based on tacheometry data

  • Lemonia Ragia
  • Froso Sarri
  • Katerina Mania
Original Article


This paper puts forward a 3D reconstruction methodology applied to the restoration of historic buildings taking advantage of the speed, range and accuracy of a total geodetic station. The measurements representing geo-referenced points produced an interactive and photorealistic geometric mesh of a monument named ‘Neoria.’ ‘Neoria’ is a Venetian building located by the old harbor at Chania, Crete, Greece. The integration of tacheometry acquisition and computer graphics puts forward a novel integrated software framework for the accurate 3D reconstruction of a historical building. The main technical challenge of this work was the production of a precise 3D mesh based on a sufficient number of tacheometry measurements acquired fast and at low cost, employing a combination of surface reconstruction and processing methods. A fully interactive application based on game engine technologies was developed. The user can visualize and walk through the monument and the area around it as well as photorealistically view it at different times of day and night. Advanced interactive functionalities are offered to the user in relation to identifying restoration areas and visualizing the outcome of such works. The user could visualize the coordinates of the points measured, calculate distances and navigate through the complete 3D mesh of the monument. The geographical data are stored in a database connected with the application. Features referencing and associating the database with the monument are developed. The goal was to utilize a small number of acquired data points and present a fully interactive visualization of a geo-referenced 3D model.


3D reconstruction Tacheometry Computer graphics Restoration 

JEL Classification




We would like to thank Anastasia Tzigounaki, serving as the director of the 15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Chania, Greece, for her contribution to this work. The work of Katerina Mania (Sects. 2, 3) has been supported by the THALES project (CYBERSENSORS—High Frequency Monitoring System for Integrated Water Resources Management of Rivers). The project has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)—THALES.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architectural EngineeringTechnical University of CreteKounoupidiana, ChaniaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Electronic and Computer EngineeringTechnical University of CreteKounoupidiana, ChaniaGreece

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