Use of photogrammetry during war: keeping evidence and cultural landmarks

In April 2022, after the de-occupation of Ukrainian towns in the Kyiv region, journalists and photographers had a task to document the aftermath of russian aggression in order to inform the whole world about it and keep it in Ukrainian national memory. It was right then when one of the photos from Borodianka depicted a kitchen cabinet that survived the bombardment. Together with all the kitchen appliances and a ceramic rooster placed on top of it, it survived and became one of the symbols of resilience in the war.

It was decided to pass the legendary cabinet and the rooster to the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity • Maidan Museum. But the building was so wrecked that the process of museumification resembled a rescue operation.

Let’s discover how was used 3D model of a kitchen cabinet and a ceramic rooster for the museumification of a historical artifact.

The task

To replicate the landmark as precisely as possible in the future, it was required to gather all the necessary materials correctly, namely, to capture all the information in very detail, even screws that attached the cabinet to the wall. It was also important to capture the general picture: surroundings, destroyed buildings and the wall with the cabinet that survived. As a result there should be a 3D Mesh that can be rotated to see each detail.


The team of DroneUA joined the expedition of Heritage Emergency Response Initiative with cultural institution Mizhvykhamy, JSC System Solutions and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. It was supported by Borodianka town council, Heritage Emergency Response Initiative – Home | Facebook and Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Though there are many ways to create 3D models, to capture, reconstruct and save the artifact, we chose the most popular one – photogrammetry. It was tested on numerous projects in the construction sphere, to create digital registers, replicas etc.  

The method is to get a number of the object’s pictures from different angles so that each dot is present on at least 6 photos. Thousands of such dots will form a surface – land, a building or an object. Based on these data the program will model the position of the structure in space and we will get a 3D Mesh. 

The model was made using special photogrammetry programs (such as МPix4D RealityCapture, ContexCapture), and respective cloud processing. Such processing normally takes 1-2 days, as it is required to select optimal parameters between the PC capabilities and the maximum detailization.

Photogrammetry is also used for

  • The method is very popular; DroneUA has already used it for a big number of cases. It is used most often in geodesy, agriculture, gaming, construction and dimensional control surveying.
  • During the war, it was used to capture initial damage to infrastructure and keep information about other cultural landmarks. 
  • Capturing with the use of drones is the opportunity to replicate an exact 3D model of the territory, buildings or other objects in every detail to keep historical memory on digital media.


DroneUA teammates that worked on the case: Serhii Andrushenko, drone operator who captured photos, and Hlib Lisovyi, GIS specialist who created 3D model, using software. 

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