Digital Technologies for Cultural Heritage: 3D Representation of Complex Wooden Structures

  • Caterina GottardiEmail author
  • Caterina Balletti
  • Simone Florian
  • Francesco Guerra
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 24)


In line with the growing demand of digital documentation in the field of Cultural Heritage, nowadays survey technologies allow an immediate reading of a whole system directly in a 3D environment. The Photogrammetry Laboratory at the Iuav University of Venice had often dealt with surveying and documenting complex wooden structures. In this work, we will present the methodology used to acquire two different types of structures with an in-depth analysis of two Venetian study cases: the SS. Giovanni e Paolo’s wooden dome and the Magazzini del Sale’s trusses, starting from a previous work in the Ducal Palace. The purpose of this research was to analyse the shape and the geometry of these structures: because of their complexity, a laser scanning survey, with the support of more traditional methods, seemed to be the best way to analyse them and to obtain the information directly in a 3D environment. The final aim was not only the creation of 3D models, useful for studying the spatial complexity, but also the identification of an operational procedure for such particular constructive techniques. This paper analyses the issues concerning the survey processes and it illustrates the solutions chosen to overcome them.


3D modelling Complex architecture Survey Laser scanning Cultural heritage 



The authors would like to thank Francesco Gerbaudi and Matteo Berto for their co-operation in the researches, respectively, of the wooden trusses of Ducal Palace and of SS. Giovanni e Paolo’s dome.


  1. Balletti C, Guerra F, Gottardi C, Scocca V (2015) 3D integrated methodologies for the documentation and the virtual reconstruction of an archaeological site. ISPRS Arch 40:215–222. Scholar
  2. Balletti C, Berto M, Gottardi C, Guerra F (2014a) 3D technologies for the digital documentation of an ancient wooden structure. IJHDE 3(1):19–32Google Scholar
  3. Balletti C, Brussa N, Gottardi C, Guerra F (2014b) The documentation and reintegration of a lost past. ISPRS Ann II(5):49–55Google Scholar
  4. Balletti C, Berto M, Gottardi C, Guerra F (2013) Ancient structures and new technologies: survey and digital representation of the wooden dome of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. ISPRS Annals II-5/W1:25–30Google Scholar
  5. Balletti C, Guerra F, Gerbaudi F (2003) The survey of the wooden structure of the roof of Palazzo Ducale in Venice. ISPRS Archives XXXIV-5/W12:49–53Google Scholar
  6. Barazzetti L, Scaioni M (2008) SIFT e Geometria multi-immagine per la modellazione tridimensionale automatica da sequenze di immagini. In: Proceedings of 12th ASITA National Conference, L’Aquila, pp 269–274, 21–24 oct 2008Google Scholar
  7. Berlucchi N, Mazzetto M (2006) L’intervento di restauro delle coperture lignee. In: Cattani M, Berlucchi N (eds) I magazzini del sale a Venezia. Indagini storiche e diagnostiche per un intervento di restauro conservativo, Marsilio, Venezia, pp 124–143Google Scholar
  8. Bertolini Cestari C, Chiabrando F, Invernizzi S, Marzi T, Spanò A (2013) Terrestrial laser scanning and settled techniques: a support to detect pathologies and safety conditions of timber structures. Adv Mater Res 778:350–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bezoari G, Monti C, Selvini A (1999) La fotogrammetria per l’architettura. Officine Grafiche Liguori, NapoliGoogle Scholar
  10. Dell’Aquila G (2006) I magazzini del sale detti “saloni”. In: Cattani M, Berlucchi N (eds) I magazzini del sale a Venezia. Indagini storiche e diagnostiche per un intervento di restauro conservativo, Marsilio, Venezia, pp 41–54Google Scholar
  11. Fangi G (1997) Note di fotogrammetria. CLUA, AnconaGoogle Scholar
  12. Fassi F, Achille C, Fregonese L (2011a) Surveying and modelling the main spire of Milan cathedral using multiple data sources. Photogram Rec 26(136):462–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fassi F, Achille C, Gaudio F, Fregonese L (2011b) Integrated Strategies for the modeling of very large, complex architecture. ISPRS Arch XXXVIII-5/W16:105–112Google Scholar
  14. Fazzini G (2006) Il sale di Venezia. In: ArcheoVenezia, anno XVI, n. 1–2, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  15. Fregonese L, Scaioni M, Taffurelli L (2009) Generation of a spatial information system for architecture with laser scanning data. ISPRS Arch XXXVIII-3/W8:87–92Google Scholar
  16. Fregonese L, Taffurelli L (2009) 3D model for the documentation of cultural heritage: the wooden domes of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. ISPRS Arch XXXVIII-5/W1:1–6Google Scholar
  17. Guidi G, Russo M (2011) Diachronic 3D reconstruction for lost Cultural Heritage. ISPRS Arch XXXVIII-5/W16:371–376Google Scholar
  18. Guidi G, Russo M, Beraldin JA (2010) Acquisizione 3D e modellazione poligonale. McGraw-Hill Companies, MilanoGoogle Scholar
  19. Hocquet JC (1991) Chioggia capitale del sale nel Medioevo. Il Leggio Libreria Editrice, Sottomarina (VE)Google Scholar
  20. Hocquet JC (1990) Il sale e la fortuna di Venezia. Jouvence Società Editoriale, RomaGoogle Scholar
  21. Merotto Ghedini M (2000) Santi Giovanni e Paolo. In: Veneto Istituto, Valcanover F, Wolters W (eds) L’architettura gotica veneziana. Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice, pp 115–122Google Scholar
  22. Nex F, Remondino F (2014) UAV for 3D mapping applications: a review. Appl Geomat 6:1. Scholar
  23. Piana M (2009) San Giorgio e le cupole lignee lagunari. Annali di Architettura 21:79–90Google Scholar
  24. Tucci G, Bonora V, Fiorini L, Conti A (2016) The Florence baptistery: 3-D survey as a knowledge tool for historical and structural investigations. ISPRS Arch 41:977–984. Scholar
  25. Tucci G, Nobile A, Riemma M (2011) The Basilica della Madonna dell’Umiltà in Pistoia: survey, analysis and documentation. In: Proceedings of XXIII International CIPA Symposium, Prague, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  26. Vacca G, Deidda M, Dessi A, Marras M (2012) Laser scanner survey to cultural heritage conservation and restoration. ISPRS Arch XXXIX-B5:589–594Google Scholar
  27. Vitale d’Alberton R (2006) Dalle saline alle salere. Una storia di sale e non solo. In: I magazzini del sale a Venezia. Indagini storiche e diagnostiche per un intervento di restauro conservativo, Cattani M and Berlucchi N eds., Marsilio, Venezia, pp 17–40Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Gottardi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Caterina Balletti
    • 1
  • Simone Florian
    • 1
  • Francesco Guerra
    • 1
  1. 1.Photogrammetric Laboratory, Laboratory SystemIuav University of VeniceVeniceItaly

Personalised recommendations