The Great Wall of China winds for more than 13,000 miles across the country. That’s a lot of wall. So much wall, in fact, that some sections of it are falling into disrepair simply because the locations are remote and hard to reach.
Technology is providing a solution, though. Intel has begun working with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation to deploy commercial-grade Intel Falcon 8+ drones over Jiankou, a rapidly decaying 12-mile portion of the wall situated in the steep and rugged hills north of Beijing.
The drones will capture over 10,000 aerial images to create a 3D model of the wall. This model and additional data can then help conservation teams figure out which parts need to be prioritized for restoration. Whereas the old way of surveying the wall is a month-long process done via a tape measure or visual inspection, the new drone approach can help teams devise a repair plan within days.
This isn’t the first project to use digital conservation techniques to capture and preserve the world’s most iconic heritage sites. Organizations like CyArk have long been using high-res scans to build digital recreations of sites of cultural importance. Drones are just another tool in the toolbox.
Via: MIT Tech Review