[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents our research to develop a gesture-based 3D GIS system to engage the public in cultural heritage. It compares two types of interaction—device-based vs. natural interaction— and summarizes the beta-testing results of a 3D GIS tool for archaeology, called QueryArch3D, in which participants used device-based interaction (i.e. mouse and keyboard). It follows with a description of the gesture-based system—that we developed in response to these beta-tests. The system uses QueryArch3D and Microsoft's Kinect to enable people use body movements (in lieu of keyboard or mouse) to navigate a virtual reality landscape, query 3D objects, and call up photos, videos, and text. The case study is the ancient Maya city of Copan—today an UNESCO World Heritage site in Honduras. The low cost and portable system is ideal for museum exhibitions even in developing countries and can be adapted for archaeological content throughout the world.
Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Southampton, United Kingdom; 03/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper explores the potential of using Microsoft’s Kinect to create a low-cost and portable system to virtually navigate, through a prototype 3D GIS, the digitally reconstructed ancient Maya city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copan in Honduras. The 3D GIS, named QueryArch3D, was developed as part of the MayaArch3D project (http://mayaarch3d.unm.edu), which explores the possibilities of integrating databases and 3D
digital tools for research and teaching on ancient architectures and landscapes. The developed system, based on the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), controls in a
remote and touchless mode the movements in the 3D environment in order to create a sense of spatial awareness and embodiment. A user can thus use gestures to interact with
information stored in the spatial database, calling up photos, videos, textual descriptions as he/she moves through the virtual space of the ancient Maya city.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1 ABSTRACT The project i-Tour delivers a personal travel assistant, developed for smartphones, capable of routing users through a multimodal transport network. Additionally public transportation companies can interact with their customers through the access to ICT platforms. On top of multimodal routing features we have developed a system to deliver a full Web 2.0 communication tools that allows transportation providers and their partners to promote incentive schemes through the offer of ancillary services, when people are on the move and according to their location, in order to better serve them (providing a services that is useful to a given person, within a given place, at a given time) and to reduce CO 2 emissions. An incentives scheme would be also based on rewarding mechanisms and/or mileage-like campaigns, directly provided through the use of the such system as check-in check-out procedures for all the users. The solution developed is a cross-technology platform (available for both fixed and mobile devices), which works as a gateway for all the information related to public transportation. This information can be updated also by the end-users that work as prosumers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents a non-invasive technique that can extract an accurate geometrical description of growth layer surfaces in wood. The method has been validated for sawn spruce elements (Picea Abies Karst.). The aim is to implement a procedure to model domain geometry in the numerical analysis of wooden elements, taking into account the intrinsic variability of the material. The approach presented by the authors avoids internal imaging and achieves a digital D model of growth layers, using, as input data, images of the ring pattern, which represents the growth surface boundary curves, visible on all the cut faces of the wooden element.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The widespread adoption of IT technologies by cultural heritage (CH) has transformed how cultural heritage is presented both to experts and the broad public. In the last few years a large number of multimedia applications, including virtual and augmented reality simulations, have been proposed by researchers and industry alike. However some of these technologies struggle to achieve mass diffusion, most probably due to limitations of their interfaces. Conversely, the recent widespread success of both serious games and mobile applications are laying the foundations for true extensive access to digital information on cultural heritage, creating new possibilities. This chapter illustrates this technological trend, highlighting their potential effects on the public and discussing a number of emerging scenarios of interest for the cultural heritage domain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past years the adoption of computer graphics to improve learning experience has seen a rising success. The wide availability of dedicated graphics hardware at low cost, mostly fostered by the increasing popularity of videogames, has contributed to the widespread adoption of 3D graphics technologies specifically developed for the general public in the context of cultural heritage. This chapter illustrates the role that 3D graphics has played and still plays today in improving the learning experience and it does so from different perspectives through the results from three projects. The first project illustrates the use of high-tech virtual reality facilities as means to improve the learning experience in the context of an archaeological site. The second project describes the use of standard desktop as well as Webbased 3D game-based technologies to provide interactive access to cultural heritage content. Finally, the third project shows how the use of technologies borrowed from other domains, such as in the case of 3D Geobrowsers, can bring significant benefit if adopted in the context of cultural heritage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New Game technologies can support the learning process of user within a Cultural Heritage site. The level of realism is ideal to visualize cultural heritage if a strong focus on the environment's atmosphere and immersion is required. Moreover this is not achievable through "static" 3D rendering. The use of the most appropriate navigation metaphors, according to the different categories of users, can help them highlight and ease their understanding. Similarly navigation metaphors can amplify the role played by the discovery process, which is extremely important in the context of learning. Additionally video games are the perfect means to bring cultural heritage closer to children, pupils, who are traditionally familiar with the concept to walking and navigating into virtual worlds. This work will present an application, using game engine technology, whereby the virtual environment and its interactions are used to promote the learning history. The work presented is the result of NETConnect, a 36 month project funded by the EC through the Culture2000 Programme. The seven partners of the consortium have worked together, sharing interdisciplinary competences and different cultural experiences, with the following goals: • To gather common cultural heritage of European significance. • To use state-of-the-art technology to make European heritage more visible and to improve accessibility to European heritage with major benefits for the general public. • To improve participation in cultural activities through new technologies. • To promote cooperation between cultural operators and technology experts, leading to an International Network on new Technologies in Europe for Cultural Heritage. The project encompasses three archeological sites that share common cultural traits, specifically: Lokroi (Magna Graecia, today South of Italy), Glauberg (Germany), Biskupin (Poland). The virtual environment developed has been designed to be used by non expert and suitable for use by a wide and heterogeneous public such as families, elderly people, students. The 3D reconstructions followed a graphics style similar to visual language adopted by video games, emphasising environmental effects such as fog, sky, water, particles. When interacting with the environment the user perceives it as if they were playing a video game. The challenge of finding relevant pieces of information organized through a set of hotspots became the means to learn the history of the site. These relevant Points Of Interest (POI) contain additional multimedia material (e.g. video, images, 3D model, text) becomes accessible to the user. Moreover we have paid specific attention to the creation of a user-friendly and universal (i.e. suitable for all type of users) interface which can be used during the visit at the museum premises. Since it was requested to make a VR application as immersive and interactive as possible we have decided to introduce the feature to handle new navigation metaphors. Indeed, through scripting, it become possible to configure and use the new Nintendo controller. This functionality, allowing the user to move in the virtual world using the Nunchuck, to look around his/her position using the Wiimote and to interact with the virtual scene using these two controllers. The game engine chosen for the project is Unity3D (www.unity3d.com) which allows the creation of both web-based (through a free plug-in) and standalone interactive environments which can be available at the premises of a museum or archeological site. This choice was made for several reasons: first, it features a simple authoring interface to create and edit the 3D scene with the possibility to enjoy real time lights and shadows. Secondly it exploits the latest graphical hardware by making extensive use of shaders to deliver high quality graphics. The system has been already tested by more than a hundred users with very diverse cultural backgrounds and it has received a positive feedback.
Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2009, Athens, Greece, October 29-31, 2009; 01/2009
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper illustrates the result of an extensive project which has brought to the creation of a vast repository of information of historical interest related to the evolution across history of the town of Trento, in the Italian Alps. The project has brought to the creation of a single point of access to a large set of data such as 3D models, documents, pictures and videos related to the evolution of the town and it has made them available in an interactive form through the use of a popular Geobrowser. Users can navigate the territory across space and time and interact with the system to explore a very large set of documents and information that help them understand how the city has evolved. The resulting application has been accessed by more than two thousand people during an exposition which has lasted for a month and it has been regarded as an essential didactical tool. The work represents a relevant example of how applications originally designed to access geographical information can be adopted, with a different perspective, as effective educational media. Besides being a gateway to information available on a territorial scale the system in fact allowed the superimposition of ancient and modern urban context helping to reduce the gap between ancient and modern urban context whose evolution represents the historical identity of a city.
Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts, DIMEA 2008, 10-12 September 2008, Athens, Greece; 01/2008
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper illustrates the results of the DentroTrento project which promotes historical, artistic and cultural heritage in the area of Trentino through the use of Virtual Reality technologies. The project's goal was to implement an user friendly system which could be used by visitors of an archeological site thus fostering a process of cultural enrichment. The importance of the project, commissioned by the authority for Cultural Heritage, partially resides in the peculiarity of the site's premises, located below a square in Trento among the theatre's foundations. The interface developed allows users speaking different languages to share simultaneously the experience of virtual tour across time.
Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced visual interfaces, AVI 2006, Venezia, Italy, May 23-26, 2006; 01/2006
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Constant improvements in the field of surveying, computing and distribution of digital-content are reshaping the way Cultural Heritage can be digitised and virtually accessed, even remotely via web. A traditional 2D approach for data access, exploration, retrieval and exploration may generally suffice, however more complex analyses concerning spatial and temporal features require 3D tools, which, in some cases, have not yet been implemented or are not yet generally commercially available. Efficient organisation and integration strategies applicable to the wide array of heterogeneous data in the field of Cultural Heritage represent a hot research topic nowadays. This article presents a visualisation and query tool (QueryArch3D) conceived to deal with multi-resolution 3D models. Geometric data are organised in successive levels of detail (LoD), provided with geometric and semantic hierarchies and enriched with attributes coming from external data sources. The visualisation and query front-end enables the 3D navigation of the models in a virtual environment, as well as the interaction with the objects by means of queries based on attributes or on geometries. The tool can be used as a standalone application, or served through the web. The characteristics of the research work, along with some implementation issues and the developed QueryArch3D tool will be discussed and presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Continuous technological advances in surveying, computing and digital-content delivery are strongly contributing to a change in the way Cultural Heritage is "perceived": new tools and methodologies for documentation, reconstruction and research are being created to assist not only scholars, but also to reach more potential users (e.g. students and tourists) willing to access more detailed information about art history and archaeology. 3D computer-simulated models, sometimes set in virtual landscapes, offer for example the chance to explore possible hypothetical reconstructions, while on-line GIS resources can help interactive analyses of relationships and change over space and time. While for some research purposes a traditional 2D approach may suffice, this is not the case for more complex analyses concerning spatial and temporal features of architecture, like for example the relationship of architecture and landscape, visibility studies etc. The project aims therefore at creating a tool, called "QueryArch3D" tool, which enables the web-based visualisation and queries of an interactive, multi-resolution 3D model in the framework of Cultural Heritage. More specifically, a complete Maya archaeological site, located in Copan (Honduras), has been chosen as case study to test and demonstrate the platform's capabilities. Much of the site has been surveyed and modelled at different levels of detail (LoD) and the geometric model has been semantically segmented and integrated with attribute data gathered from several external data sources. The paper describes the characteristics of the research work, along with its implementation issues and the initial results of the developed prototype. a) b) c) d) Figure 1: Different reality-based 3D models of the Maya archaeological finds and structures at Copan (a,b,c) and the web-based visualisation of the landscape and archaeological area for virtual interaction, archaeological analyses and e-learning applications.