Sunday, 1 July 2012

Open Source Remote Sensing Platform

Hello all,
yesterday I gave a lecture about the state of the art in Open Source aerial archaeology, bringing Arc-Team's experience in this field. The lesson took place during the Italian Virtual Heritage School 2012, in the CNR-ITABC's headquarters in Rome and was organize by the V-MUST (Virtual Museum Transnational Network). It has been a good opportunity to share information with the CNR-ITABC team and with the students, focusing on the speed with which free and open source projects develop also in the field of hardware. For example, the first drone we build in 2008, the UAVP, is now obsolete for the "cross-flying" configuration and has been replaced by the newer NG-UAVP project (with an "x-flying" configuration). That's the reason why we build also another prototype (based on the public domain Rolf Bakke PCB), thanks to the help of Walter Gilli. Also flying techniques changed in the meantime, in fact in our last project ( we experienced the First Person View (thanks to the help of the expert pilots Walter Morelli). Moreover it looks like that currently the GPS integration in the motherboard is revolutionizing both drones and flying techniques.        
Anyway, for those who are interested, I uploaded the slides of the lesson at CNR-ITABC here.

2016-04-26 Update

Thanks to self-archiving I can now add the bibliography related with this post:

 ResearchGate: Article

Academia: Article

I hope it will be useful, even if no more up to date it can be a starting point to work in Aerial Archeology with Open Software and Hardware.


  1. I post the comment I received in G+ from Gabriele Ciccone:
    "Ciao Luca.
    Sono interessatissimo all'argomento perché spero sarà parte della mia tesi specialistica (al momento sto cercando un drone low cost per iniziare a provare la mia gopro 2 sui siti).

    Ho anche provato alcuni open software esplicitamente fatti per remote oggi ne ho provati vari e credo che i migliori siano:
    - MultiSpec (per MacOS e Win; in particolare per le immagini multispettrali) :
    - Basp (Bonn Archeological Software Package; per lavorare in generale su foto aeree e satellitari)..questo l'ho trovato molto interessante e anche semplice e diretto. Alcuni giorni fa lo volevo consigliare per inserirlo nella prox versione di ArcheOS, ma al momento è solo per Windows."

    Infine segnalo questo link in cui sono elencati una serie di software per archeologi (molti dei quali open, tra cui Basp, QGis ecc.):


    1. and here is the answer

      "Ciao Gabriele,
      If you plan to buy an open source UAV, than give a look also to the ArduCopter project (, LGPL licensed. I think you could find also "ready to fly" solution (do not understimate the time you need to build a drone and expecially the time you will need to learn how to fly).
      Regarding the software you suggest:
      MultiSpec seems very nice, but unfortunately it seems to be a freeware (like it is reported on the official website: "A Freeware Multispectral Image Data Analysis System") and not open source or free software (we could not insert it in ArcheOS...). Anyway, from what I see on the link you posted, it should be possible to do all this kind of analysis in GRASS.
      BASP is a nice software, but (untill now) I could not find the license or the source code. What it is possible to download from the official webpage is just a binary code for Windows, so it seems to be a freeware (like it was the old BASP for DOS). Also in this case we cannot insert it in ArcheOS. Another software like this is Stratify (which is also suggested in BASP website), but like it is written in the license: "This Software is owned by Irmela Herzog.
      Therefore you must not sell, rent, lease, modify,
      translate, or sublicense the Software, media or
      documentation. You acknowledge that the Software
      in source code form remains a confidential secret
      of Irmela Herzog and therefore you agree not to
      modify the Software or attempt to decipher,
      de-compile, disassemble or reverse engineer the
      Software, except to the extent applicable laws
      specifically prohibit such restriction." Unfortunately we cannot consider these applications for ArcheOS.
      The last link you reported is interesting. Also in this case we have to see which applications are FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) and which are simply freeware. I will check as soon as possible. Thank for your report!


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