Photogrammetry of Archaeological Test Unit

Hey all,

This is not a support post, but a discussion post.

I am working on my undergrad in anthropology to go into the archaeology field. Yesterday I assisted with the excavation of a shell midden (basically a trash dump). Pottery recovered from the site suggests it a Mississippian period site, about 720 years ago. At the base of the midden was a hearth (a place where food was cooked), which we bisected to verify. Finds include lots of pottery, faunal remains including fish, deer, other small mammals. I did a little photogrammetry of the test unit I worked on.

The model was made from 40 photographs take from a GoPro Hero 9 set in time lapse mode and walked around the unit with the camera at three different angles. Just to test the differences in results, I processed the images in both WebODM and Meshroom. WebODM produced a cleaner model than Meshroom did.

Any who, I wanted to share the model with you all.


I’ve used two GoPro 10 with good results, in the right conditions that is. ISO 100 and raw is needed to get a acceptable result.

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I had ISO locked at 100, but used standard output for these. I will use raw next time around.

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At least for the GP10 there’s to much filters on the jpg straight out.


Really nice!



I love seeing ground-level applications of WebODM, and this is super neat!

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Thank you! Also, thanks for the edit. My big ole fingers messed that up.

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Sorry :rofl: Just makes it easier for folks to discover by searching.

Also, glad to hear we beat MetaShape!

Do you do this type of work often (the documentation of the sites)? If so, I’d personally love to see more!

Ooh, also, you didn’t ask for help, but if you post your Processing Options folks might be able to help you eke out more detail (possibly). It also might help get other folks started in the right direction if they’re doing similar work as you :slight_smile:


I do this when ever I can. The first site I did this with was steam ferry wreck called the S.S.Brookhill, a 19th century steam ferry that sank on the Mississippi River. She is was a 100ft long steam ferry that moved people and goods across the river before any bridges were built. Her and her sister ship sank in a storm in the early 1900s.

I processed this through Meshroom and was made from a little over 500 images. I had to decimate this model to get it uploaded to Sketchfab, so a lot of the detail was lost in that process.

For the model I posted above, I just used the default preset in WebODM. The primary goal was to get the model. A nice to have would have been the geotif. However, the scaling on the geotif was about 3x bigger than it actually is.

So i guess the question I have is, how do get correct scaling out WebODM with oblique shots like this?


Ground Control Points would be the most reliable way, especially if you have access to precision GPS equipment.


Wow, as if my ADD wasn’t bad enough, this comes along. Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Now I’m going to have to take out my GoPros and try this for myself. The why you’re doing it is very cool as well. Your post reminded me of a song. Have a listen if you haven’t heard it already. Creek Sessions: Tyler Childers - Banded Clovis - YouTube


Tyler Childers is such a great guy.


Yes he is.

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