(Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Marburg, Germany)

Keywords: Digital hypothetical 3D reconstruction, semantic data modelling, virtual research environment, e-research technologies, 3D visualisation, documentation of the cultural heritage

Since the 1990s the application of the digital 3D reconstruction and computer-based visualisation of cultural heritage increased. The virtual reconstruction and 3D visualisation revealed a new “glittering” research space for object-oriented disciplines such as archaeology, art history and architecture. Nevertheless the academics concerned with the uprising technology recognised early the lack of documentation standards in the 3D projects leading to the loss of information, findings and the fusion of knowledge behind the digital 3D representation. In the last decade guidelines on the scholarly approved computer-based visualisation and thoughts on 3D documentation (e.g. metadata) where introduced. The recent academic commitment to the design and application of so called Virtual Research Environments (VRE) for 3D research projects is promising. The investigation of the experiences with the VRE under construction and the establishment of the sustainable digital research infrastructure has still to be forced.
Based on the methodological fundamentals of the digital 3D reconstruction the potentials and challenges in the light of emerging Semantic Web and Web3D technologies will be introduced. The presentation subscribes a scientific methodology and a collaborative web-based research environment followed by crucial features for this kind of projects. As the groundwork a human- and machine-readable “language of objects” and the implementation of this semantic patterns for spatial research purposes on destroyed and/or never realised tangible cultural heritage (art&architecture) will be discussed. Using examples from the practice the presentation explains the requirements of the Semantic Web (Linked Data), the role of controlled vocabularies, the architecture of the VRE and the impact of a customised integration of interactive 3D models within the WebGL technology.
The presentation intends to showcase the state-of-the-art on the way to a digital research infrastructure. The focus lies on the introduction of scholarly approved and sustainable digital 3D reconstruction, complaint with recognised documentation standards and following the Linked Data requirements.

Relevance conference | Relevance session:
Analytical presentation of issues to be considered on the way to virtual research environments and digital research infrastructures for digital 3D reconstructions.

Structured overview of the complex issue combining the methodology, data process, data model, file formats and features. Subsequent analyse of the thresholds and potentials based on practical experience.