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If virtual heritage is the application of virtual reality to cultural heritage, then one might assume that virtual heritage (and 3D digital heritage in general) successfully communicates the need to preserve the cultural significance of physical artefacts and intangible heritage. However, digital heritage models are seldom seen outside of conference presentations, one-off museum exhibitions, or digital reconstructions used in films and television programs. To understand why, we surveyed 1483 digital heritage papers published in 14 recent proceedings. Only 264 explicitly mentioned 3D models and related assets; 19 contained links, but none of these links worked. This is clearly not sustainable, neither for scholarly activity nor as a way to engage the public in heritage preservation. To encourage more sustainable research practices, 3D models must be actively promoted as scholarly resources. In this paper, we also recommend ways researchers could better sustain these 3D models and assets both as digital cultural artefacts and as tools to help the public explore the vital but often overlooked relationship between built heritage and the natural world.
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3D Digital Heritage Models as Sustainable
Scholarly Resources
Erik Champion * and Hafizur Rahaman
Discipline of Theatre, Screen and Digital Media, School of Media Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, Faculty of
Humanities, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia;
Received: 28 January 2019; Accepted: 18 April 2019; Published: 24 April 2019
If virtual heritage is the application of virtual reality to cultural heritage, then one might
assume that virtual heritage (and 3D digital heritage in general) successfully communicates the need
to preserve the cultural significance of physical artefacts and intangible heritage. However, digital
heritage models are seldom seen outside of conference presentations, one-omuseum exhibitions, or
digital reconstructions used in films and television programs. To understand why, we surveyed 1483
digital heritage papers published in 14 recent proceedings. Only 264 explicitly mentioned 3D models
and related assets; 19 contained links, but none of these links worked. This is clearly not sustainable,
neither for scholarly activity nor as a way to engage the public in heritage preservation. To encourage
more sustainable research practices, 3D models must be actively promoted as scholarly resources.
In this paper, we also recommend ways researchers could better sustain these 3D models and assets
both as digital cultural artefacts and as tools to help the public explore the vital but often overlooked
relationship between built heritage and the natural world.
Keywords: 3D model; virtual heritage; ecosystem; infrastructure
1. Introduction
Sustainable digital cultural heritage has been considered a serious national issue in America [
Sustaining digital libraries are also a crucial issue [
], and these two concepts share common issues,
including a problem with securing long-term funding and ensuring that users continually find the
heritage collections (and library collections) useful and worthwhile. Digital reconstructions of cultural
heritage have been deployed as showcases for cutting-edge technology and to promote tourism to
otherwise remote cultures and distant lands [3,4].
Virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality projects also provide tantalizing new ways
of engaging the public with the past [
]. As simulations, scholars might modify them to verify or
refute historical hypotheses, testing either data or methods. While the original sites may have existed
for hundreds or thousands of years, the digital models that underpin these digital projects have a
limited shelf-life, and through designed obsolescence, perceived obsolescence, or the limitations of
time, training, and resources, they are seldom successfully deployed in the classroom [6].
As with libraries, museums require both long-term funding and public engagement. However,
they have severely limited space and facilities for either exhibition or digitalization, let alone continual
funding for new technologies or the time to train staor teach the public how to best utilize new
interaction design technology [
]. The field of digital heritage, with its 3D models and 3D projects,
has an added sustainability dilemma: 3D digital heritage models can help promote tourism in remote
and endangered areas, therefore helping local businesses, but they can also potentially damage fragile
historic places and heritage sites through increased visitation [8].
Sustainability 2019,11, 2425; doi:10.3390/su11082425
Sustainability 2019,11, 2425 2 of 8
These are profound meta-issues, but a more immediate yet often overlooked problem is how
to help scholars support more appropriate, useful, and required research into both digital heritage
technologies and user experience design solutions. For example, 3D models, when used in interactive
virtual environments or when integrated into augmented and mixed reality environments, may
provide immediate and user-directed simulations communicating how even built heritage sites are
predicated on natural features, resources, and ecosystems. Archaeological sites are often prepared to
take best advantage of dynamic and seasonal natural resources. Monuments are designed to resist (but
ultimately succumb to) natural forces. Sacred buildings often frame constellations and cosmic events.
The range and nature of architecture is dependent on local or precious materials. Their remains are
palimpsests of human encounters, repeated erosion, personal habits, human-caused pollution, and
natural calamities. Game engines and interactive virtual reality technologies can show both these
relationships plus changes over time and the eects of human visitation, modulated by the decisions
of virtual visitors [
]. A more sustainable development of 3D models to promote the aims of cultural
heritage may therefore lead to increased public, institutional, and philanthropic interest, engagement,
and investment, in both built heritage and its relationship to the natural environment.
Impetus for more sustainable digital heritage models would ideally be generated by the community
of scholars dedicated to the study of digital heritage. After all, education is a major reason for the
preservation of digital heritage, according to UNESCO’s Charter on the Preservation of the Digital
Heritage [10]:
“Preservation of the digital heritage requires sustained eorts on the part of governments,
creators, publishers, relevant industries and heritage institutions. In the face of the current
digital divide, it is necessary to reinforce international cooperation and solidarity to enable all
countries to ensure creation, dissemination, preservation and continued accessibility of their
digital heritage
. . .
The stimulation of education and training programs, resource-sharing
arrangements, and dissemination of research results and best practices will democratize
access to digital preservation techniques.”
In this charter, UNESCO recommends developers, designers, and publishers to work with heritage
organizations (such as libraries, museums, and the private sector), professional associations and
institutions, and universities (as well as other research organizations) to preserve digital heritage data
and to train and share experience and knowledge in a “sustained” fashion. However, there is a critical
problem in the scholarship of 3D digital heritage projects [
]. In our initial investigations into this field
of scholarship, we did not find many reports building on, corroborating, or verifying previous digital
heritage research. In fact, we could not find many digital heritage models directly linked to research
projects and openly accessible both as interactive digital experiences and as scholarly resources.
Admittedly, there are successful portals for acquiring free or purchasable 3D heritage
models—notable exceptions include Sketchfab, Smithsonian 3D, Europeana, or the Google Arts
and Culture- CyArk Open Heritage Project websites. However, there are still far too few instances of
scholarly digital heritage projects that are easily accessible to the public or to scholars that are clearly
identifiable as scholarly investigations or carefully delineated research projects. There appear to be
even fewer scholarly projects that lend themselves to investigation, pedagogical explanation, scholarly
verification, design modification, refinement, or amalgamation into larger or newer projects.
As mentioned above, virtual heritage (VH) is commonly used to describe projects that combine
virtual reality (VR) and cultural heritage [
]. Stone and Ojika [
] defined virtual heritage as “the
use of computer-based interactive technologies to record, preserve, or recreate artefacts, sites, and
actors of historic, artistic, religious, and cultural significance and to deliver the results openly to a
global audience in such a way as to provide formative educational experiences through electronic
manipulation of time and space”. Various commentators and charters (London, Seville) have also stated
that the success of a VH (Virtual Heritage) project depends on 3D models and associated scholarly
content [
]. Given the above, our starting hypothesis is that there appears to be a dramatic increase
in the number of academic papers on 3D digital heritage (especially virtual heritage), but, conversely,
Sustainability 2019,11, 2425 3 of 8
there is a decreasing number of accessible 3D assets [
]. If true, this foretells serious problems in the
field of digital heritage as a sustainable scholarly activity, at least if 3D models are considered to be an
essential part of scholarly and pedagogical endeavors.
2. Method
We ran a literature survey of the 14 proceedings of the last three consecutive publications of
major digital heritage events and conferences (Table 1). These were: The International Society for
Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
(CAA), International Committee of Architectural Photogrammetry (CIPA), The European Mediterranean
Conferences (EuroMed), and The Digital Heritage International Congress (but not Digital Heritage 2018).
These conferences were chosen as they are arguably major international conferences in digital heritage,
and provided online access to the papers. From a total of 1483 conference papers, 264 were selected
(Table 2), and 19 were found to contain explicit links to 3D models and related assets (Table 3).
The quality of reporting of meta-analysis method (QUORUM) statement presented by Moher et al. [
was chosen to help select the papers (Figure 1), using the following steps:
Step 1: Identification and Screening
Source selection—Popular and renowned international events such as a conference and symposium
on digital heritage and allied domains were preferred as initial sources. Proceedings of the
last three consecutive publications of these events were selected. This selection, from 2012 to
2017, covered major events, journals, and conferences, such as The International Society for Virtual
Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
(CAA), International Committee of Architectural Photogrammetry (CIPA), The European Mediterranean
Conferences (EuroMed), and The Digital Heritage International Congress.
Retrieval and initial screening—1483 papers from 14 proceedings were collected from their
respective digital repositories and publication databases. Articles which contained representative
images or references to 3D digital heritage assets were selected for further study. A total of 264
articles were selected at this stage.
Step 2: Final Screening
The selected papers were then reviewed in terms of their abstract and a rapid examination of their
structure and content in order to:
1. Exclude irrelevant articles (such as review papers and short survey papers);
Eliminate duplicates (or similar papers published in other proceedings with minimum changes);
3. Exclude articles on the digitization of paintings and artworks (32 were excluded at this stage).
Step 3: Review
Final sorting—The final selection of articles included for the detailed study were: 31 (out of 173)
from VSMM, 38 (out of 240) from CAA, 79 (out of 305) from CIPA, 61 (out of 284) from EuroMed,
and 55 (out of 481) from Digital Heritage Congress (a list is attached as a Supplementary Materials).
Study process and analysis—At this phase, the selected articles were studied to find whether they
provide any references citing external links or information to:
(i) Accessible 3D assets (and the degree of their accessibility);
(ii) Accessible video content;
(iii) Visual materials (such as VR models, photographs, images of 3D reconstruction, etc.);
(iv) Other external resources (if any).
A scheme for recording the study’s detailed descriptive data into a database was created in MS
Excel. For each article reviewed, required information about the criteria mentioned above was inserted
into a spreadsheet and presented in a tabular format.
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Figure 1. QUORUM process.
Table 1. 3D heritage conference papers.
Conference Publications 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 Total Papers
VSMM 55 65 53 173
117 73 50 240
CIPA 111
82 112 305
EuroMed 105 84 95 284
Digital Heritage
270 211 481
TOTAL 166 170 522 157 373 95 1483
Table 2. Total articles containing references to 3D models and heritage assets.
Conference Publications Total Papers Mentioning 3D Assets %
VSMM 2015-2017 173 31
CAA 2013-2015 240 38
CIPA 2013, 2015, 2017 305 79
EuroMed 2012, 2014, 2016 284 61
Digital Heritage 2013, 2015 481 55
TOTAL 1483 264
Table 3. Selected papers included in our study.
Directly Accessible Content VSMM CAA CIPA EuroMed Digital Heritage Total
3D content 0 1 3 1 4 9
Videos 1 2 1 2 6 12
Other (VR models, photos, images
of 3D models, etc.) 1 4 6 5 17 33
3D assets on accessible websites 3 0 5 3 8 19
3. Results
Figure 1. QUORUM process.
Table 1. 3D heritage conference papers.
Publications 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 Total Papers
VSMM 55 65 53 173
CAA 117 73 50 240
CIPA 111 82 112 305
EuroMed 105 84 95 284
Digital Heritage 270 211 481
TOTAL 166 170 522 157 373 95 1483
Table 2. Total articles containing references to 3D models and heritage assets.
Conference Publications Total Papers Mentioning 3D Assets %
VSMM 2015–2017 173 31 17.9%
CAA 2013–2015 240 38 15.8%
CIPA 2013, 2015, 2017 305 79 25.9%
EuroMed 2012, 2014, 2016 284 61 21.5%
Digital Heritage 2013, 2015 481 55 11.4%
TOTAL 1483 264 17.8%
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Table 3. Selected papers included in our study.
Directly Accessible Content VSMM CAA CIPA EuroMed Digital
Heritage Total
3D content 0 1 3 1 4 9
Videos 1 2 1 2 6 12
Other (VR models, photos,
images of 3D models, etc.) 1 4 6 5 17 33
3D assets on accessible websites
3 0 5 3 8 19
3. Results
From a group of 1483 conference papers, we selected 264, accounting for 17.9% of the total papers
published in VSMM, CAA, CIPA, EuroMed, and Digital Heritage Congress from 2012 to 2017. The results
of the study, which have been tabulated in Tables 1and 2, reveal that a significant number of papers
(i.e., 17.9%) referred to and contained images of 3D assets or 3D digital models. Contrary to our
initial expectations, accessible 3D assets or 3D models were found in only nine papers, i.e., 3.4% of the
selected publications.
Of the 264 selected articles, 12 contained external web-links to video content (4.6%) and 33 articles
(12.5%) provided external links for other accessible visual material, including VR models, photographs,
and images of 3D models. We found 19 articles with external web-links to 3D models. However, not a
single one of the links worked at the time of writing this article (last checked: 1 September 2018).
Of the nine articles that provided external links to accessible 3D assets, they all shared four
common locations/repositories. These particular nine articles referred to only five external links
for storing their 3D assets. The five external links were to https:
//,,,, and (last accessed 7 January 2019).
4. Discussion
In an upcoming conference paper (to be presented at CAADRIA 2019) we will explore the technical
solutions to this problem of the “vanishing virtual”—that is, the dilemma of technology superseding
itself [
]. There we will propose a component-based 3D model system that is linked to current
infrastructure projects. However, in this article we wish to focus on what we propose is a fairly simple
yet barely noticed problem: digital technology has compelled us to seize the historical artefact at one
point in time (the time of recording, which is not the time of creation or time of use), and then develop
hermetically sealed interfaces and interaction mechanisms around these stillborn 3D copies of the
found object or the recorded landscape. This may not initially appear to be a problem—after all, faster
processes and bigger, high-resolution screens can exhilarate the senses—but we question whether the
accumulative, organic, uniquely situated, and highly dynamic built culture of the past is always best
served by apparent precision, speed, and scale.
High-resolution scans and photogrammetric models record one slice of historical action, but they
do not necessarily communicate how built culture has responded to natural forces, to human change, or
to the pressures of time. Secondly, high-technology demonstrations may impress but do not necessarily
engage the public (or even scholars) into exploring process and test theories. A photorealistic 3D
digital reproduction (born digital or digital surrogate) is not sucient by itself [
] for the public to
interpret and perceive its cultural significance. Thirdly, high-technology showcases necessitate very
expensive equipment, specialized resources, and highly-trained sta(who are often trained in research
rather than in public engagement).
Fourthly, such advanced equipment can exact a high price not only from the public or private
purse, but also from natural resources (in terms of both energy and materials). Merely being in the
cloud also has an energy cost: for example, in 2015 Google consumed roughly the same energy as
Sustainability 2019,11, 2425 6 of 8
the city of San Francisco [
] and in the same year the Internet was predicted to contribute roughly
the same amount to global emissions as air travel [
]. A 2018 Nature article warned that by 2030,
thanks to an explosion in data centers and increasing shared social media content, Information and
Communication Technology could consume up to 21% of total global energy [
]. Nor is moving
digital heritage content to increasingly powerful smartphones an ideal situation. By 2020, 5 billion
phones could be in circulation, and the rare earth metals they use could run out in 20 to 50 years.
Meanwhile, the extraction of iron, aluminum, and copper, not to mention gold and tin, have already
resulted in catastrophic spills, deforestation, and toxic poisoning [22].
Digital heritage has a price. While digital heritage projects are likely to contribute only a small
percentage to this energy consumption and to the depletion of rare metals and minerals, we suggest
that the environmental resources consumed should be explicitly considered in the design of any
major project. We also suggest that digital heritage as an educational medium and as a channel for
communication and collaboration among scholars across the world, with access to wildly varying
resources, be considered.
Moreover, we suggest that digital heritage needs to understand the contribution of 3D models to
the field not only as finished products but also as pedagogical and theoretical building blocks. While
the design and deployment of high-technology showcases has its place, there should also be room for
the design, sharing, and redesign of simpler objects, scripts, and related digital heritage media that
can be modified and improved on by not just a single team but also by a community. This pathway
may prove to be more sustainable for the digital models themselves, as well as more beneficial to the
aims and objectives of the research community and more eective in disseminating and promoting
cultural heritage awareness and understanding. In other words, the academic community should put
more emphasis on sharing, critiquing, reusing, and improving the elements of virtual heritage projects,
rather than relying on overall projects inside proprietary, locked frameworks.
Simple mechanisms to aid the wider sharing of models, infrastructures, scripts, and media might
be to design competitions, grants, and prizes to award to digital heritage projects and communities
based on their sharing, verification, modification, and improvement of others’ original models and data.
Secondly, contributions to open access infrastructures, repositories, and tools should be recognized
and supported by universities and related research organizations, while tools, projects, and papers
that advance these goals could also be specifically recognized. This includes new forms of publications
that emphasize collaboration and feedback around 3D models as specific scholarly resources and
as components of scholarly arguments. As far as we know, none of the surveyed digital heritage
conferences specify awards or recognition for papers and projects that share 3D models as scholarly
assets and scholarly arguments, or for projects involving not only the design but also the evaluation
and preservation of digital models. We believe this is not only feasible but also likely to increase the
direct linking of publicly accessible models.
In terms of scholarly understanding, there is surprisingly little written and debated about the 3D
digital heritage model considered as a learning tool or experimental device rather than as a finished
(if virtual) object. Simply put, 3D models are not yet fully integrated into scholarly discourse [
At an instrumental level, more uptake is required to establish file formats [
] that ‘travel’ and to
develop more tools and frameworks (such as in order to allow content to
move between dierent programs. This would help the modification and collaboration of models.
Increasing the use of metadata and Linked Open Data tools [
] and frameworks would help increase
the visibility and probably also the usage of digital heritage models. However, the single most eective
way to increase public access to 3D digital models, we argue, is to develop various levels of copyright
specifically for 3D content that allow owners to share various levels of resolution (or precision) of their
3D models and 3D data [
], along with incentives for them to share various levels of resolution and
precision of those models.
Sustainability 2019,11, 2425 7 of 8
5. Conclusions
This survey not examined how digital heritage conference papers have addressed the issue
of sustainability per se, but it also indicated that the 3D models associated with these papers are
not typically seen as worthy of preservation in their own right, which leads us to question both
the sustainability of digital heritage as a serious scholarly activity (how can the discipline evolve
if we cannot verify each other’s data?) and the pedagogical value of these 3D models. However,
the problems are so widespread that it appears to be foremost a problem of infrastructure, or more
accurately, a problem raised by not having suitable infrastructure. There have been impressive
European Union (EU) infrastructure-related projects (ARIADNE, CARARE, 3D–ICONS, Scottish Ten,
etc.) and relevant National Endowment of the Humanities projects in the United States, but accessible
and well-maintained links to the related 3D assets need to be integrated into academic publication and
dissemination systems.
We propose, following the London Charter and others, that 3D models must be recognized as a
scholarly resource [
]; however, we suggest that there is a key element missing from such charters:
a framework or set of guidelines to help create and maintain a robust infrastructure that underpins 3D
digital heritage models. There could also be tools and procedures run by digital heritage conferences to
provide a framework to view 3D models in relation to the articles (some journals have already begun
to explore this, though conferences, to our knowledge, have not).
A further aspect of this article was to suggest that the relationship of built heritage to natural
ecosystems has not been fully addressed by digital heritage models. Only when we tackle the challenge
of communicating the dynamic and environmentally situated nature of built cultural heritage will we
be able to communicate not only the visual eects but also the principles of both the scholarly research
underpinning the digital heritage simulation and the sustainability issues of the heritage site itself.
Just as the scholarly publication system needs to see itself as more of an evolving scholarly digital
ecosystem, which can be continually tested, debated, and updated, so too should the digital heritage
project be considered to be not merely a standalone object or a finished product, but a component
of process. For how can digital heritage fulfil the noble aims of cultural heritage if it cannot even
maintain, preserve, and sustain itself?
Supplementary Materials: The following are available online at
Author Contributions:
Conceptualization of the overall project was devised and managed by E.C., but the
surveying and analysis of papers and related 3D assets was conducted by H.R. E.C. wrote the initial draft and
overall paper, based on the survey study by H.R. who also provided the initial workflow illustration and table,
feedback and corrections on the paper draft and also some of the observations and recommendations.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Curtin University for support and internal funding.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... Much of the research on the pedagogical use of cultural heritage digital collections, digital-born artworks, and cultural content recognizes the outcomes of the acquisition of knowledge, especially when digital cultural heritage content can be used to create school-to-culture links (Rodríguez et al., 2020;Gruen, 2013;Ott & Pozzi, 2011). A growing body of research suggests that participatory platforms constitute ideal learning environments, in which teachers and students participate more actively, engaging more deeply with culture than they do with the contents of their textbooks (Champion & Rahaman, 2019;Machidon et al., 2018). ...
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The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions and patterns of their activities on a participatory platform for cultural heritage content creation and dissemination. Using a convenience sample of participants, eight in-service teachers enrolled in a postgraduate program were invited to the study. Qualitative research methods were used, including (a) interviews with in-service teachers, (b) focus group discussions with two randomly selected teachers, the instructor of the course and an ICT expert as a digital content evaluator, and (c) observation of teachers’ activities patterns on the participatory Culture Gate platform. The results of this study highlight, as well as encourage discussion on how teachers can learn through online collaboration and also aims to identify factors connected with teachers’ professional development within a pedagogic framework.
... Video recording simultaneously records pictures and sounds. It is the first-hand valuable material for academic research such as anthropology and ethnology and has important archival research value [13]. Secondly, the video recording of intangible cultural heritage can express the theme from multiple dimensions: through different shooting angles, it can show the changes of the scene and record and express the cultural space and cultural background of the intangible cultural heritage in a three-dimensional, vivid, and complete way. ...
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Intangible cultural heritage is the inheritance of a national traditional culture and a memory symbol of a national cultural spirit. It tells the timeless cultural journey of an ancient nation with an invisible spiritual force. Strengthening the publicity and promotion of intangible cultural heritage is of great significance to improving the national cultural atmosphere, enhancing the awareness of intangible cultural heritage protection, and increasing the inheritance of my country’s cultural heritage in culture. At present, intangible cultural heritage documentaries are of great significance. The creation of intangible cultural heritage has become the main means of inheritance. It can make intangible cultural heritage known and familiar to more people through multimedia, network, broadcasting, and other media forms and establish an excellent platform for the protection and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage. How to use the media of film and television art to inject the soul of intangible cultural heritage into it, so as to better inherit and develop it among the masses, is the focus of contemporary literature and art creators and art managers to discuss and study. Aiming at the problem that unstructured intangible cultural heritage video resources are difficult to store and manage, this paper proposes an application model of intangible cultural heritage dissemination. Semantic annotation, linked data construction and publishing, etc. make it a structured intangible cultural heritage video semantic unit, which can be better applied to the creation of film and television art.
... Indeed, some scientific papers have pointed out that the current use of 3D digital heritage is reserved for a scientific elite and does not really benefit the general public. Moreover, a recent study demonstrated that these data were not sustainable [2]. For this reason, these researchers recommend that 3D digital heritage data should also be thought of in terms of sustainable educational resources. ...
Participatory Design (PD) can help to produce sustainable and user-oriented outputs by involving end users and other stakeholders in early design stages. In heritage projects, PD is considered a democratic process for designing with communities to address local issues and to give them a central role in generating insights about the presentation and accessibility of heritage. As part of the cross-border collaborative project “Terra Mosana,” several PD workshops were planned in 2020 in different cities of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, to involve and engage residents in design activities about the investigation and communication of the shared history of the region. The outbreak of COVID-19 made it challenging to conduct face-to-face activities. Therefore, we developed a scenario to move the workshops online, facilitating both synchronous and asynchronous activities.This chapter investigates how PD in heritage projects can be effectively organized and enacted in times of crisis when people cannot meet in person. Moving the workshops online provided us with an opportunity to learn about how different communication tools and infrastructures influenced individual and collective participation during the pandemic. We open up a discussion about the potential challenges and concerns that may be encountered by those designing participatory heritage projects in the future.KeywordsOnline participatory designTerra MosanaHeritage projectsDigital storytellingEuregio Meuse-Rhine
... Indeed, some scientific papers have pointed out that the current use of 3D digital heritage is reserved for a scientific elite and does not really benefit the general public. Moreover, a recent study demonstrated that these data were not sustainable [2]. For this reason, these researchers recommend that 3D digital heritage data should also be thought of in terms of sustainable educational resources. ...
This paper will explain how the activities undertaken in the Terra Mosana project have combined the writing of new heritage narratives with the creation of digital 3D virtual experiences. The main objective of the project was to strengthen the sense of belonging to the same community for the citizens of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine by recreating their common history and heritage in 3D. This was achieved through virtual and augmented reality experiences based on cross-border and renewed historical storylines.
... Various digital products can improve our understanding of people-centred heritage and encourage the public to take part in heritage conservation (see Figure 1). Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and 3D modelling help audiences experience the heritage site more intuitively, so that they can better understand the multi-level value of cultural heritage [5][6][7]. ICT also makes it easier for residents to participate in the co-design and coproduction process and collaborate with professionals [8]. At the Bishops' House Museum, located in Sheffield, UK, digital augmentation helps engage visitors, in a codesign way, with architectural heritage [8]. ...
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The assessment of public participation is one of the most fundamental components of holistic and sustainable cultural heritage management. Since the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic became a catalyst for the transformation of participatory tools. Collaboration with stakeholders moved online due to the strict restrictions preventing on-site activities. This phenomenon provided an opportunity to formulate more comprehensive and reasonable urban heritage protection strategies. However, very few publications mentioned how social networking sites' data could support humanity-centred heritage management and participatory evaluation. Taking five World Cultural Heritage Sites as research samples, the study provides a methodology to evaluate online participatory practices in China through Weibo, a Chinese-originated social media platform. The data obtained were analysed from three perspectives: the users' information, the content of texts, and the attached images. As shown in the results section, individuals' information is described by gender, geo-location, celebrities, and Key Opinion Leaders. To a greater extent, participatory behaviour emerges at the relatively primary levels, that being "informing and consulting". According to the label detection of Google Vision, residents paid more attention to buildings, facades, and temples in the cultural heritage sites. The research concludes that using social media platforms to unveil interplays between digital and physical heritage conservation is feasible and should be widely encouraged.
... The documentation area consists of various aspects of ICH: music [71,96], tuna fishing [19], crafting [20,21] storytelling [57,60,121], visualisation of historical sites in Iran [114], Art Gallery of Shanghai Style Lacquerware [55], capturing dance [33,34,40,41,111], art [110], virtual exhibitions [62,99,100,105,145], 3D models [94,146] and settlement [147,148]. Oral interpretations and their expressions are also one of ICH type. ...
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Conservation of cultural heritage is nowadays a very important aspect of our lives. Thanks to such legacy we gain knowledge about our ancestors, methods of production and ways of their life. The rapid development of 3D technology allows for more and more faithful reflection of this area of life. The rich cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, can be preserved for future generations due to the use of advanced 3d technologies. They provide the means of documenting, recovering and presenting items of cultural heritage. Not only buildings or monuments are taken into account. An important aspect of our culture is intangible cultural heritage (ICH), including acting, crafting or storytelling, passed down from generation to generation. Due to the rapid development of civilisation and the migration of people, this type of culture is often forgotten. That is why the preservation of ICH is an important element of today world. The main aim of this study, on the basis of the gathered papers, is to identify: (1) the general state of use of 3D digital technologies in ICH; (2) the topics and themes discussed; (3) the technologies used in the study; (4) locations of research centres conducting such studies; and (5) the types of research carried out. The methodology consists of the following main steps: defining study questions, searching query development, selection of publications in Scopus, Web of Knowledge and IEEE Xplore, finally the study execution and the analysis of the obtained results. The results show that for ICH the most often used technologies are: 3D visualisation, 3D modelling, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and motion capture systems.
... Today, most 3D models used for heritage are viewed from free web repositories such as Sketchfab,, Smithsonian X3D and Google Poly [51]. Nonetheless, alternatives to such repositories also exist, such as 3DHOP (3D Heritage Online Presenter), an opensource software for creating high-resolution, interactive web presentations for 3D heritage models [52]. ...
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This paper describes an innovative, accessible, and sustainable method for enhancing cultural heritage. Documenting and disseminating the public works heritage have now come of age, digitally speaking, with the adoption of new technologies both to further research on and heighten the esteem attributed to the public works heritage. Nonetheless, academic discourse rarely describes procedures for the 3D digitisation of heritage works comprehensible to non-expert readers with limited resources. Taking that premise as a starting point, with special attention to the determinants of the public works heritage, this article aims to define the general, open-source methodology covering 3D model data capture, information processing and optimisation. The article also discusses model dissemination strategies using free platforms and low-cost tools. The general discussion is illustrated with the case study of Ariza Bridge in Spain. This Renaissance-style structure dates from the second half of the sixteenth century. Despite its listing as a cultural heritage asset, the monument was flooded by the Giribaile reservoir waters in 1998 and is now only wholly visible during droughts. The application, developed with open-source software and implemented with free platforms and low-cost tools, features geo-referencing and is designed to be accessible to non-expert users. The methodology proposed is intended as a suitable instrument for the sustainable study, valorisation and dissemination of the built heritage.
We describe the concepts, methodology, technology, and practice of a user-centric and historical space-oriented approach towards Historical and Cultural Learning (HCL). The Future Memory project pursues the unifying hypothesis that physical space can play a critical role in the authentication and education of this singular historical event, or space as a frame for memory formation and a source of authentication. We illustrate these aspects in the context of concrete Future Memory projects realized over the last ten years in collaboration with several memorial sites, museums, and archives. Based on these experiences, we subsequently analyze the lessons learned and future challenges.
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Digital technologies are now mature for producing high quality digital replicas of Cultural Heritage (CH) assets. The research results produced in the last decade ignited an impressive evolution and consolidation of the technologies for acquiring high-quality digital three-dimensional (3D) models, encompassing both geometry and color. What remains still an open problem is how to deliver those data and related knowledge to our society. The web is nowadays the main channel for the dissemination of knowledge. Emerging commercial solutions for web-publishing of 3D data are consolidating and becoming a de-facto standard for many applications (e-commerce, industrial products, education, etc.). In this framework, CH is a very specific domain, requiring highly flexible solutions. Some recent experiences are presented, aimed at providing a support to the archival of archaeological 3D data, supporting web-based publishing of very high-resolution digitization results and finally enabling the documentation of complex restoration actions. All those examples have been recently implemented on the open-source 3D Heritage Online Presenter (3DHOP) platform, developed at CNR-ISTI.
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Cultural heritage digitization and 3D modelling processes are mainly based on laser scanning and digital photogrammetry techniques to produce complete, detailed and photorealistic three-dimensional surveys: geometric as well as chromatic aspects, in turn testimony of materials, work techniques, state of preservation, etc., are documented using digitization processes. The paper explores the topic of 3D documentation for conservation purposes; it analyses how geomatics contributes in different steps of a restoration process and it presents an overview of different uses of 3D models for the conservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage. The paper reports on the project to digitize the earthenware frieze of the Ospedale del Ceppo in Pistoia (Italy) for 3D documentation, restoration work support, and digital and physical reconstruction and integration purposes. The intent to design an exhibition area suggests new ways to take advantage of 3D data originally acquired for documentation and scientific purposes.
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Thanks to the impressive research results produced in the last decade, digital technologies are now mature for producing high-quality digital replicas of Cultural Heritage (CH) artifacts. At the same time, CH practitioners and scholars have also access to a number of technologies that allow distributing and presenting those models to everybody and everywhere by means of a number of communication platforms. The goal of this chapter is to present some recent technologies for supporting the visualization of complex models, by focusing on the requirements of interactive manipulation and visualization of 3D models on the web and on mobile platforms. The section will present some recent experiences where high-quality 3D models have been used in CH research, restoration and conservation. Some open issues in this domain will also be presented and discussed.
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A 3D-recording project was introduced into practice in 2014 by Tomsk State University during investigation of Timiryazevo burial site (5th–10th centuries AD). During the excavation, three-dimensional models of the whole archaeological site were made at each stage, as well as individual records of all artifacts. 3D recording was conducted by SFM technology. The data obtained was used for research and in work on the exhibition project ‖Secrets of Timiryazevo Burial Site: The Circle of Life and Death in Siberian Shamanism‖. The exposition centers on unveiling the meaning of the rite of burying lookalike dolls of the deceased, which was practiced by many indigenous peoples of Siberia. The exposition is designed to enable the visitor to pass through the whole cycle of knowledge extraction together with archaeologists, the ―detectives of the past‖: from a bunch of strange miniscule objects found in the sand to reconstruction of the whole sophisticated rite of the ―ultimate funeral‖ including the burial of the deceased's lookalike doll. The tools used to develop the topic included a stereoscopic video created with Autodesk 3D Studio MAX 2014 and displayed in the exhibition. Stereoscopic videos displayed by specialized museum equipment create a total participation effect, enabling any visitor to watch excavations step by step, in all their detail and from all perspectives.
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Open linked data technologies pave the way towards the semantic Web of the future by a) exploiting the abundance in data availability, b) enhancing the continuing application developments in the Web and computer technologies, c) increasing the availability of game engines towards an expansion of techniques and d) bridging culture and education with gaming. In this context, we introduce an innovative and content-dynamic web-based virtual museum, which relies and exploits the rich content of distributed web cultural resources and supports the creation of custom painting virtual exhibitions for cultural and educational purposes based on gaming technologies.
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DEC 16 | 0 comments Hamish Robertson and Nick Nicholas argue that maps and mapping are increasingly central to the museum and its activities in a digital age. Maps have long been exhibits in and tools for museums. Historical maps are frequently works of art as well as science, information or even propaganda. Contemporary maps (such as those above which demonstrate the radically different distribution of people over 65 [on the left] to tourists [right] around Manchester, UK) are usually the product of digital technologies which collect and visualise data in software environments such as geographic information systems (GIS). This entire field is now commonly known as giscience because of the increasing interconnection between hardware, software and applications. Mapping and the modern museum So what do mapping technologies have to do with the modern museum? The answer is, actually quite a lot. Current spatial technologies include the types often seen on television programmes such as Time Team, with satellite imagery, civilian drones, aerial photogrammetry, ground penetrating radar (GPR), global positioning systems (GPS) and LiDAR (light detection and ranging). Recent large-scale applications of these technologies can be seen in the work being done in Cambodia at Angkor Wat, in new archaeological findings in the UK near Stonehenge or in the plans to LiDAR scan Machu Picchu in Peru. Spatial technologies have also been used for a variety of heritage activities such as cataloguing and indexing oral history materials, recording indigenous peoples' environments and histories, and increasingly to link qualitative research information to specific locations. Mapping your visitors Mapping and Museums in the Digital Age-MuseumsEtc Ltd
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The application of 3D digital technologies in the archaeological research expands more and more during the last decades. 3D recording, visualisation, representation and reconstruction of archaeological sites, monuments and artefacts become almost a common trend in the archaeological work. Moreover, CAD reconstructions, 3D simulation, computer animation and other uses of computer systems change the traditional workflow. The archaeological experience, though, recognizes these tools more for the general public in order to offer a visualisation of the target object than as a mechanism that can offer new possibilities for the research itself. The focus of this article is to explore the opportunities given to the research field of archaeology by 3D technologies. Specifically the article will look into technologies regarding the 3D recording, processing, visualisation and representation of archaeological data. Through the use of specific case studies we will investigate how applications can contribute to the understanding first and the interpretation later on of a certain archaeological object. Issues such as the types of questions and problems that can be faced and answered with these 3D technologies will be raised and discussed. The possibility to get an expansion of the archaeological research in new aspects, as it happens with other technological tools (e.g. databases), will be also examined. In addition to these, the disadvantages and limitations of the application of these 3D technologies in the archaeological field will be also looked at, in order to accomplish a more complete view of its usage.
The energy-efficiency drive at the information factories that serve us Facebook, Google and Bitcoin. The energy-efficiency drive at the information factories that serve us Facebook, Google and Bitcoin.
3D Virtual Models are the future of the representation of the existing and destroyed architectural heritage. The term reconstruction defines the re-building of a monument to its state at the time of its history chosen for that particular representation. In recent years the evolution of the technology, has contributed significantly in many aspects of the field of cultural heritage preservation and recording. Techniques like digital image processing, digital orthophoto production, terrestrial laser scanning and 3D model processing have enabled the production of such alternative products. In this paper two characteristic cases of 3D virtual reconstruction of non-existing monuments are presented: The Middle Stoa in the Athens Agora and the Church of San Prudencio’s Monastery in Spain. All data collected were evaluated and used appropriately for the final products. It is evident that the data collected do not all belong to the target periods and not all the data necessary to built up the models are available today. Therefore, one needs to carefully select the data corresponding to the period of study and complete them with suitable hypotheses. It is imperative that both tasks must be done in collaboration with archaeologists and architects. In this context a data hierarchy was developed, based on their reliability and correctness. The data were categorized for their reliability after careful evaluation their accuracy depending on the source. In this paper a 'Reliability' matrix for creation of digital models for cultural heritage research is presented. Sometimes the data appear in more than one source; in this case they must be checked for correspondence. All different sources should be evaluated and used accordingly for the final product. The procedures followed are briefly described and the results are presented and assessed for their reliability and usefulness.
Research that targets the re-presentation of culture and heritage using tools and techniques of digitization continues to develop worldwide. This chapter discusses digital heritage and what happens when we digitize everything. Society has acknowledged the urgency to capture heritage content in its various forms and the sites it is found in. At the same time, it begs the questions of what the impact of all this digitization will be and how useful or long-lived the results. A focus is placed on the audience, those who receive and experience the resulting digital output such as in a museum or gallery, website, interactive exhibit or any form of mediated digital heritage content. The concept of eternal themes is introduced along with human values related to digital heritage. The impact of digital heritage is discussed in relation to the mobilization of heritage content for diverse audiences. The vanishing virtual and considerations for the future of digital heritage are presented with some key points for conservation.