In order to digitally reconstruct two partially ruined military-monastic complexes, I am using photogrammetry to obtain a detailed “cloud” of 3D data from a series of regimented 2D photographs. I captured this data in March 2013 using a handheld DSLR, sometimes 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 began reconstruction of the sites using 3D graphics programs so that I can enter the sites virtually, asking questions about how different members of the military orders might have moved through the sites in different ways. 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.

Point cloud of the fortress-monastery of Montesa in Valencia. This cloud was processed from more than 10 thousand images using ChangChang Wu’s VisualSFM and registered/compiled using Cloud Compare. The cloud is composed of more than 91 million points.

A Photogrammetric point cloud of Calatrava la Nueva. This cloud was processed from more than 16 thousand photos using ChangChang Wu’s VisualSFM software and registered using Cloud Compare. The cloud is composed of more than 205 million points.

Merton Spire, carved for Oxford’s Merton College Chapel in 1451. Given to the University of Virginia In 1928. Photogrammetry experiment processed using Agisoft “Photoscan.”

Varsity Hall at UVa.  Built in 1858 as an infirmary. Photogrammetry experiment processed in Autodesk’s “123D Catch.”

Westover Estate. Circa 1915 Greek revival house now owned by the University of Virginia. Photogrammetry experiment processed in Autodesk’s “123D Catch.”


Dense surface model of Lord Botetourt statue at the College of William and Mary. Photogrammetry experiment processed in Agisoft “Photoscan.”