A 4D information system for the exploration of multitemporal images and maps using photogrammetry, web technologies and VR/AR





historical photographs and maps, photogrammetry, orientation, documentation, GIS, Augmented Reality


This contribution shows the comparison, investigation, and implementation of different access strategies on multimodal data. The first part of the research is structured as a theoretical part opposing and explaining the terms of conventional access, virtual archival access, and virtual museums while additionally referencing related work. Especially, issues that still persist in repositories like the ambiguity or missing of metadata is pointed out. The second part explains the practical implementation of a workflow from a large image repository to various four-dimensional applications. Mainly, the filtering of images and in the following, the orientation of images is explained. Selection of the relevant images is partly done manually but also with the use of deep convolutional neural networks for image classification. In the following, photogrammetric methods are used for finding the relative orientation between image pairs in a projective frame. For this purpose, an adapted Structure from Motion (SfM) workflow is presented, in which the step of feature detection and matching is replaced by the Radiant-Invariant Feature Transform (RIFT) and Matching On Demand with View Synthesis (MODS). Both methods have been evaluated on a benchmark dataset and performed superior than other approaches. Subsequently, the oriented images are placed interactively and in the future automatically in a 4D browser application showing images, maps, and building models Further usage scenarios are presented in several Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications. The new representation of the archival data enables spatial and temporal browsing of repositories allowing the research of innovative perspectives and the uncovering of historical details.


  • Strategies for a completely automated workflow from image repositories to four-dimensional (4D) access approaches.
  • The orientation of historical images using adapted and evaluated feature matching methods.
  • 4D access methods for historical images and 3D models using web technologies and Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR).



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Author Biographies

Ferdinand Maiwald, Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing TU Dresden

Ph.D. student at the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing in the project UrbanHistory4D

Jonas Bruschke, Universität Würzbur

Ph.D. student at the chair of Human-Computer Interaction at Julian-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Christoph Lehmann, TU Dresden

Postdoctoral research fellow at theCentre for Information Services and High Performance Computing

Florian Niebling, Universität Würzburg

Professor at the chair of Human-Computer Interaction at Julian-Maximilian-Universität Würzburg

Head of Media Informatics


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How to Cite

Maiwald, F., Bruschke, J., Lehmann, C., & Niebling, F. (2019). A 4D information system for the exploration of multitemporal images and maps using photogrammetry, web technologies and VR/AR. Virtual Archaeology Review, 10(21), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.4995/var.2019.11867



Special Issue: Informative Models and Systems for Virtual Museums