Civil and Environmental Engineering


Date of this Version



Wood, R.L.; Mohammadi, M.E. Feature-Based Point Cloud-Based Assessment of Heritage Structures for Nondestructive and Noncontact Surface Damage Detection. Heritage 2021, 4, 775–793. heritage4020043




Assessment and evaluation of damage in cultural heritage structures are conducted primarily using nondestructive and noncontact methods. One common deployment is laser scanners or ground-based lidar scanners that produce a point cloud containing information at the centimeter to the millimeter level. This type of data allows for detecting surface damage, defects, cracks, and other anomalies based only on geometric surface descriptors using a single dataset, which does not rely on a change detection approach. Moreover, geometric features are not influenced by color, which is essential for heritage structures because they are nonuniform in color due to anthropologic and environmental effects (e.g., painting or moisture). In this work, a damage detection method developed based on local geometric features is evaluated and expanded for crack detection within the example fresco walls of Sala degli Elementi in the Palazzo Vecchio. The workflow’s performance is then compared in a qualitative manner to that of manual crack mapping results identified using images.