ACL Project List
Photography proved to be the most useful documentation tool given the complex design of the ceiling. A rectified photographic montage of the ceiling was created from large format photographs, using surveying points with a Leica Total Station to establish accurate dimensions of the overall space and ceiling plane. Laser levels were set at spaced dimensions to create a grid on the surface of the ceiling, providing a scale for the photographs taken, as well as a reference point for overlays in the montage.  
Conditions survey of the Whitney Studio, made using AutoCAD and ArcGIS, 2009.  Click on thumbnail to enlarge.
  For ease of use in the field, the photomontaged image of the ceiling was divided into smaller, manageable sections, which were then printed in black and white on 11’’ by 17’’ paper and placed into individual mylar sheets.  Through close inspection of the ceiling on a free-standing scaffolding, a conditions survey of the ceiling was performed in June, 2009.  The survey included the mapping of conditions, relevant notations and sampling.
Joe Elliott photographing Whitney Studio ceiling, 2009.
  Once the hand-drawn surveys were individually scanned and re-stitched together as one montage, they were digitized in AutoCAD and brought in ArcGIS for analysis and visualization. Within this software, each condition can be considered its own data layer within a database, and can be analyzed with respect to other conditions, associated features (e.g. distance to joists) and historical data. This process facilitated the analysis of conditions and allowed researchers to develop hypotheses as to the active decay mechanisms and patterns of deterioration.
Click on the thumbnail to zoom and pan the high-resolution image of the Whitney Studio ceiling, taken in 2009.
Conditions Survey