Applied Geomatics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 53–68 | Cite as

SEH-SDB: a semantically enriched historical spatial database for documentation and preservation of monumental heritage based on CityGML

  • Reda YaagoubiEmail author
  • Abdulkader Al-Gilani
  • Ahmad Baik
  • Ebraheem Alhomodi
  • Yehia MikyEmail author
Original Paper


Cultural heritage has a great and inestimable value for communities. Unfortunately, several historical monuments are under deteriorating conditions mainly due to the lack of knowledge about their historical importance. Hence, it is necessary to provide efficient solutions to preserve these monuments. An effective approach for the preservation of cultural heritage should address two main aspects: documentation and information. The first aspect is related to methods that are used to document and digitally archive historic buildings by using appropriate materials and techniques for acquiring 3D spatial data. The second aspect aims to inform the population and policy makers about the importance of the historical heritage in a simple, effective, and interactive manner. In this paper, we propose an original approach to design a semantically enriched historical spatial database (SEH-SDB) for documentation and information of monumental heritage. First of all, a LiDAR acquisition of the historical heritage should be undertaken to capture its current condition. Then, the SEH-SDB database will be designed according to four semantic packages related to historical buildings that are (1) Components package, (2) Material package, (3) Historical package, and (4) Social package. The component package is based on the CityGML standard, which ensures a high interoperability for 3D models. The material package represents the material used in the construction of the building (wood, stone …). The historical package informs about historical elements that characterize the building and its temporal evolution. The social package aims to inform about the main social activities that may take place in the historical building. Based on the SEH-SDB, a 3D historical GIS is developed to provide rich semantic information about historical sites. At the end of this paper, a case study of a historical monument named “Ribat Banajah” in Jeddah Historical City in Saudi Arabia is presented. A digital archiving of the current state of this building is performed by using terrestrial LiDAR in combination with other classical surveying techniques (traversing, leveling, and GPS). Then, a building information model of this building is created and exported to the 3D HGIS designed for the documentation of historical buildings.


Semantics Historical building 3D Historical GIS BIM Terrestrial LiDAR 


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fotogrammetria e Topografia (SIFET) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Geomatics and Surveying EngineeringIAV Hassan IIRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environmental DesignKAU UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Geomatics, Faculty of Environmental DesignKAU UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringAswan UniversityAswanEgypt

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