Shipwreck archeologists use 3D mapping

Shipwreck archeologists use 3D mapping


Adelaide: ShipShapeSearchers, a non-profit organisation of shipwreck archeologists is trying to find long sunken ships using 3D mapping.

The team starts with data sourced from industry, government and research organisations. They focus on data primarily gathered from remote sensing techniques such as Sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging), satellite surveys and LiDAR. GIS technology enables the researchers to combine and process all the information into a 3D model of the ocean floor. The 3D model shows all the different elements such as rocks and sand, vegetation etc. These different layers can be “peeled back” to reveal any ships that may lie beneath. The technology also helps the researchers to determine the types of materials the ships are made of. They get to know the condition and the age of the vessel too. This makes it easier to identify the wreck.

Currently, the ShipShapeSearchers is testing the technology in the shipwreck graveyard at North Arm, near Port Adelaide. Esri Australia is helping them with the technology. They now have access to more than 20 shipwrecks from different eras. Esri Australia remote sensing and imagery expert Dr. Dipak Paudyal said ShipShapeSearchers’ use of GIS and 3D would have ramifications beyond archeology. “As an island nation with a strong nautical history, it’s important that researchers, historians and archeologists use modern technology to gain a clearer view of where we’ve come from,” said Paudyal.

Source: Esri Australia