Photogrammetry provides a very powerful way of looking at carved rocks. For the first time they can be studied in three dimensions without having to go out and look at the real things. The technique relies on computer software that combines the data from two digital photographs to produce a 3D model that can be rotated and measured in all directions. Up until now it has only been possible to record carved rocks in the form of drawings or photographs, and nearly always from one direction. To understand their position within the landscape is just as important, but at least this new method of recording allows anyone to view the carvings from whatever angle they wish and to make any measurements they want to help try and understand their meaning.

The value of recording carved rocks in this way could have even greater significance if, as feared, the carvings are being affected by weathering and are slowly disappearing. If that turns out to be the case, then such images will become the only permanent record we have of what they once looked like. It can never be the same, but it would be better than not having any record at all.

For a more detailed explanation, Paul Bryan, Head of Geospatial Imaging, English Heritage, gave the following presentation at the initial CSI:Rombalds Moor launch.

English Heritage Presentation on Photogrammetry