WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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line up with one another. More importantly, the pictures can be used in a process called photo- grammetry, which allows us to make 3D models of the site and its features." Tynes has become adept at the complex requirements of the photogrammetric process. "We produce a 3D model at the end of each day of excavation," he explains. "Once the trenches are clear of personnel, the drone is flown in a grid pattern above the entire portion of the dig site to be documented. The camera angle is nearly straight down for this process, but additional images are needed of any complex architecture. This requires circular flights around the dig site with the camera angle more parallel with the terrain. With about 150 images of a 750 square meter area, processed for about two hours, we can reliably produce very high-resolution 3D models." The models are invaluable to students and researchers in preserving an accurate record of fragile remains before removal, and in replicating significant artifacts such as drinking vessels and cultic figurines for study anywhere in the world. "They also provide information as to how the site changes during excavations," adds Cox. "When capstones must be removed in order to open a grave, or if part of a wall gets washed out during the year and is consequently destroyed, having a model of the site preserves a digital copy of what was originally there, and future above & right: Drone analysis of a biodiverse college garden shows areas of potential high (green/blue) vs. low (yellow/brown) photosynthesis. background: One of Wellesley College's three aerial camera drones purchased for class instruction. B A C K G R O U N D P H O T O B Y D I A N E S P E A R E T R I A N T archaeologists will be able to reference that data if needed. Without the drones, these models would be much harder, if not nearly impossible, to create." Back on Wellesley's campus, Tynes can be easily spotted, his eyes searching skyward and his fingers dancing at the remote con- trols as drone use extends to other academic departments. "I've used drones in my science course to bring down to earth some of the observa- tions made by satellites," says Alden Griffith, assistant professor of environmental studies. "We've flown an instrument over Wellesley's campus that measures the potential photo- synthesis of vegetation, but at a much differ- ent scale [from satellites]." Griffith's data is taken from aerial analysis of a biodiverse garden of edible plants, fruits, and nuts on the Route 135 side of Wellesley's 54 Drones Over Wellesley W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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