Research

The two digital projects that I am creating as part of my dissertation are:

A GIS mapping project featuring the fortresses, monasteries and churches that were occupied by military-religious orders in Medieval Iberia. I began this project by creating ADIMO, the Architectural Database of Iberian Military Orders. The second portion of the project involves viewshed analysis. The best way to explain this technology is it chooses an viewer location – in my case the top of a fortress – then asks each pixel of a digital elevation model (DEM) if that space can be seen by a person standing at the viewer location. The maps you see in the viewshed analysis section were taken from a paper I gave at the 5th International Congress on Remote Sensing at Duke University on October 13th, 2014.

The second digital project takes a much closer view of two fortress-monastery headquarters for the order of Montesa. This project digitally reconstructs this partially ruined military-monastic complex using photogrammetry to obtain a detailed mesh of 3D data from a collection of more than ten thousand 2D photographs. I captured this data in March 2013 using a handheld DSLR mounted on a 15 ft. pole, as well as a small point and click camera attached to the line of a kite that I flew over the site. Having captured the extant wall fabric, I was later able to raise the walls to hypothetical heights so that I could run volumetric viewshed experiments through the partitions that separated monastic and fortified spaces. In the end, I hope to make the case that these two structures reveal a great deal about how the Christian military orders expressed their identities through the construction of large military-monastic complexes on the Christian-Muslim frontier.