Press Release – UAV for 3D Mapping Application, Cotopaxi, Ecuador
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Press Release – UAV for 3D Mapping Application, Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Press Release – UAV for 3D Mapping Application, Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Ecuador is a country rich in archaeological sites, with evidence extending from Paleoindian times to the Spanish conquest of the Incas. Many of them have still not been discovered or have been ignored in archaeological investigations due to a lack of resources. Today, many of these sites are threatened by both natural disasters, human behaviors, and consequences of development.

Geospatial data collected by UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) combined with computer modeling of hi-resolution aerial photographs, captured automatically every second, allow archaeologists to measure the features of a site within an accuracy of half an inch or less. With such elevation data, they are also able to build highly accurate 3D models.

With these models, locals will be able to keep accurate representations and measurements of these threatened sites and preserve this knowledge for future generations. 3D models and accurate geospatial data can also be used in the context of a restoration project.

By empowering local archaeologists and citizen scientists, we can create a large database of endangered sites and make them available to the scientific community and to a larger audience. Beyond this experiment in Ecuador, our long-term objective is the digitalization of thousands of archaeological sites to preserve the global cultural heritage.

In order to demonstrate drone mapping technology applied to archaeology, we want to first focus our work on a small selection of threatened archaeological sites.  
With a small fleet of drones equipped with hi-resolution cameras and a variety of sensors and with the help of local and international volunteers, these sites will be mapped using photogrammetry.

These sites include those that are exposed to the eruptions of the Cotopaxi, a volcano located at 5,897 meters above sea level, at 45 kilometers SouthEast from Quito.  Since August 2015, this volcano is now active and emanation of vapors and ashes is a common phenomenon. 68 archaeological sites have been identified in this area and about 184 constructions in the provinces of the  Cotopaxi, Napo, and Pichincha, which can be impacted by a volcanic eruption. was created in 2013 by a Florida-based, independent research group, Aerial Digital Archaeology & Preservation (A.D.A.P.) as the first provider of affordable, high quality online and on-site education programs about robotics, 3D mapping & Modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning used for Cultural Heritage Management.
At our vision is to empower a cultural heritage students and professionals with robotics, remote sensing techniques and computing capabilities for producing advanced mapping and modeling materials for analysis and interpretation. Learn more at

For Immediate release

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