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Automatic localization of tombs in aerial imagery: Application to the digital archiving of cemetery heritage

Marc Chaumont 1 Louis Tribouillard 1 Gérard Subsol 1 Florian Courtade 1 Jérôme Pasquet 1 Mustapha Derras 2
1 ICAR - Image & Interaction
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : This paper deals with digital archiving of cemetery heritage. A built cemetery is a tangible evidence of historical and cultural periods through the style and the shape of tombs. It gives quantitative information on the local population, about its history (by reading birth and death dates), its culture (by analysing name typology) and its temporal evolution (by using the family names written on the tombs). There is thus a crucial need to archive cemetery data for heritage purposes. The first step for digital archiving is to locate the tombs. A practical way is to use aerial images. We propose to automate this process by using image processing algorithms. This is a challenging problem, as in aerial images, tombs have very variable appearance, size and disposition, and many artefacts can occur such as occluding vegetation, shadows or walking people. We focused our study specifically on French cemeteries in Haute-Marne department, all located in villages close to the Langres city. We compare three automated localization methods. All the preliminary results are commented and we discuss other image-processing applications which could be used to enrich cemetery archiving such as writing recognition on headstones.
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Marc Chaumont, Louis Tribouillard, Gérard Subsol, Florian Courtade, Jérôme Pasquet, et al.. Automatic localization of tombs in aerial imagery: Application to the digital archiving of cemetery heritage. DigitalHeritage, Oct 2013, Marseille, France. pp.657-660, ⟨10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2013.6743811⟩. ⟨lirmm-01234256⟩

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