Image-Based Delineation and Classification of Built Heritage Masonry
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Remote Sensing 6(3) : 1863-1889 (2014)
Fundacion Zain is developing new built heritage assessment protocols. The goal is to objectivize and standardize the analysis and decision process that leads to determining the degree of protection of built heritage in the Basque Country. The ultimate step in this objectivization and standardization effort will be the development of an information and communication technology (ICT) tool for the assessment of built heritage. This paper presents the ground work carried out to make this tool possible: the automatic, image-based delineation of stone masonry. This is a necessary first step in the development of the tool, as the built heritage that will be assessed consists of stone masonry construction, and many of the features analyzed can be characterized according to the geometry and arrangement of the stones. Much of the assessment is carried out through visual inspection. Thus, this process will be automated by applying image processing on digital images of the elements under inspection. The principal contribution of this paper is the automatic delineation the framework proposed. The other contribution is the performance evaluation of this delineation as the input to a classifier for a geometrically characterized feature of a built heritage object. The element chosen to perform this evaluation is the stone arrangement of masonry walls. The validity of the proposed framework is assessed on real images of masonry walls.