A platform for the re-unification, re-association and re-assembly of Cultural Heritage artefacts
Martina POLIG | S.C. PHILLIPS | S. MODAFFERI | S. HERMON | L. DORST | M. SPAGNUOLO | C.E. CATALANO | D. OLDMANN | D. TANASE | A. TAL | I. SHIMSHONI
(The Cyprus Institute – CyI, Nicosia, Cyprus)
Keywords: Semantic, 3D models, similarity, reassociation, reunification, reassembly
The overall aim of GRAVITATE is to provide a digital solution to main challenges in archaeology and cultural heritage, represented by three Rs: Re-Unification, Re-Association and Re-Assembly. This means bringing together fragments of objects now stored in different museum and collections, assembling fragments and artefacts once belonging to a same object or group and virtual restoration of broken artefacts in a digital environment. This will be achieved by creating an innovative research platform integrating 3D geometry analysis with semantic descriptions, 2D/3D puzzling (shapes and colour), natural language processing and advanced visualisation methods. Such a platform will serve the archaeological research community, as well as museum curators and archaeologists in the public sector dealing with curated artefacts. Moreover, it will offer an innovative solution to search for objects of similar criteria and bring them together (digitally) for a comprehensive interpretation through their digital surrogates. Finally, while being a stand-alone platform, GRAVITATE aims to integrate its digital solutions with major large-scale research initiatives, virtual research environments and research infrastructures, such as RESEARCH SPACE, E-RIHS or ARIADNE.
In this paper the functionalities of GRAVITATE that will be offered to the end-user will be briefly introduced, followed by a discussion on issues that were encountered in the project. The structure and codification of metadata and the heterogeneity in terminology and classification within the cultural heritage sector will be addressed, as well as the quality of 3D models and the requirements they have to meet that allow a use beyond mere documentation and visualization. These issues are pertinent to the ongoing digitization of the cultural heritage in Europe and around the world and GRAVITATE aims at contributing to the discussion arising around these efforts. It is hoped that the project illustrates a novel approach for geometrically and semantically exploring, comparing and associating objects in large datasets.