Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Theresa Marie Ahlborn


The bridge inspection industry has yet to utilize a rapidly growing technology that shows promise to help improve the inspection process. This thesis investigates the abilities that 3D photogrammetry is capable of providing to the bridge inspector for a number of deterioration mechanisms. The technology can provide information about the surface condition of some bridge components, primarily focusing on the surface defects of a concrete bridge which include cracking, spalling and scaling. Testing was completed using a Canon EOS 7D camera which then processed photos using AgiSoft PhotoScan to align the photos and develop models. Further processing of the models was done using ArcMap in the ArcGIS 10 program to view the digital elevation models of the concrete surface.

Several experiments were completed to determine the ability of the technique for the detection of the different defects. The cracks that were able to be resolved in this study were a 1/8 inch crack at a distance of two feet above the surface. 3D photogrammetry was able to be detect a depression of 1 inch wide with 3/16 inch depth which would be sufficient to measure any scaling or spalling that would be required be the inspector. The percentage scaled or spalled was also able to be calculated from the digital elevation models in ArcMap. Different camera factors including the distance from the defects, number of photos and angle, were also investigated to see how each factor affected the capabilities. 3D photogrammetry showed great promise in the detection of scaling or spalling of the concrete bridge surface.