Rapid Documentation for Emergency Assessment

In August 2016 a 6.8 earthquake shook the iconic Bagan valley. Of the over 3000 temples in the region nearly 400 were seriously damaged. A team from CyArk had been documenting some of those temples just 8 weeks before. In the first week of September, with funding from the National Geographic Society, I was on a plane bound for Myanmar.


Reality capture technology provides a feasible method of documenting a large number of sites in a very short period of time. In the two weeks I was in Bagan, with the help of a graduate student from the University of Carleton and the Department of Archaeology Bagan, we were able to document 6 temples fully with terrestrial LiDAR and photogrammetry and another 15 temples with photogrammetry alone. The outputs from the documentation allowed structural engineers to remotely assess the damage to the buildings and guide teams on the ground through recovery and stabilization efforts.

Ross Davison