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The VR Museum for Dunhuang Cultural Heritage Digitization Research

Lijun MA | Xiaobo LU, Tsinghua University , Beijing , China Keywords: Virtual Reality, Cultural Heritage Digitalization, Dunhuang, Buddhist grottoes This research project was conducted in conjunction with the National Basic Research Program of the People’s Republic of China. It is a multimodal platform for the presentation of digitized cultural heritage. This presentation combines Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, lives up even the most demanding artistic criteria and offers both the general public and Dunhuang specialists an immersive experience that complies with both scientific and artistic standards. The VR Museum is for the presentation of the digitized cultural heritage of Dunhuang, a Buddhist center on the ancient Silk Road famous for its cave temple. It is based on a high-definition virtual reconstruction of the current state of Cave 159 of the Buddhist Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang. This work employs VR methods to put the presentation visitor right into a virtual museum. The visitor can move about freely and, in an impressively immersive experience, get close-up looks at the details of the sculptures and murals inside. It brings together visual and auditory elements and shows murals from the Buddhist grottoes of Dunhuang from various...

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Archiving by Analogization !?

Reiner GÖLDNER(Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony, Germany ) Keywords: digitalization, analogization, archaeological documentation, archiving We love digitization because we live in a digital world. Information technologies (IT) help us to tackle complex affairs like never before. Bookshelves, photo albums, worldwide maps, excavation documentation available at about 100 grams of IT, as is intelligent interpretation of handwriting as well as voice and face recognition. No problem. Archaeology too benefits greatly from such digital methods.But contemplating sustainability, preservation and things that remain, the chances for digitized objects are not that good. Digital life is short and it takes much effort to archive digital content and especially digital functionality. Often it is too expensive. Often there is no spare capacity for the preparation and curation of archive material. So mountains of digital data grow and grow, waiting to be excavated by future digital archaeologists.But contemplating cognition, creativity and our real world interaction, bits and bytes are usually not helpful, we need analogue Information. We read analogue texts, study analogue images and listen to analogue sounds. Scientific reasoning will continue to be a non-digital method (even though artificial intelligence seems to expand into refrigerators and washing machines). So digitization needs analogization (Fig. 1). Fig. 1. Digitization needs Analogization (© R. Goeldner) Archaeologists, especially, are familiar with lots of analogue things that survived thousands of years (without any curation effort). Some archivists also try to preserve digital information in an analogue form (hardcopy), maybe on/in LE paper, PET microfilm or ceramic tiles. The major advantage is, these archive materials are directly readable (recognizable), without any help of IT.So one may hit on the idea of omitting all the IT. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to draw excavation plans on paper than digitize it first and print it out last? Wouldn’t it be more authentic to draw a plan directly by hand then to trust hidden data exchange of bits and bytes? This short presentation will offer some provocative ideas on digital archiving that are well suitable to be discussed by interested participants. ReferencesR. Göldner: Archivierungsmethoden. In: Ratgeber zur Archivierung digitaler Daten, pp. 11-14. (online)MOM – Memory of...

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Developing Tachy2GIS – Result and Perspective

Christian TRAPP1 | Reiner GÖLDNER2 (1Software Developer, Germany | 2Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony, Germany) Keywords: excavation, survey, total station, GIS The Hamburg Archaeological Museum maintains the development of basic components of “Tachy2GIS” (which is a real implementation of the “TachyGIS” idea). The existing prototype now is consolidated and extended due to basic requirements. By providing direct communication between a total station and the open source geographic information system QGIS, Tachy2GIS connects the well understood tool of the hand drawn map with the abilities of modern measuring equipment and geographic information systems. Drawing an excavation plan on a computer screen with a total station as stylus allows survey results to be reviewed and corrected in situ and immediately. Fig. 1. Digitization needs Analogization (© R. Goeldner) Geographic information systems are first and foremost map making software and Tachy2GIS is aimed at the archaeological community, which has special requirements towards said systems: Archaeological data is inherently very three-dimensional. There are almost always features on top of each other and also such that are much more vertical than flat. Both cannot be satisfactorily represented in a 2D top down view. Thus the next step is to add 3D interactive capabilities beyond the scope provided by QGIS in its current state.Right now we are researching how to achieve this, while keeping in mind that the typical laptop in the field will lack powerful graphics hardware. Progress is being made and we are looking forward to show off some implementation details. With this on the way, our eyes are set on extending the data acquisition side of Tachy2GIS to support a wider base of input hardware, which poses a new set of technological and financial challenges, as we need access to a variety of expensive devices which may use undocumented proprietary protocols.So the development is highly oriented on requirements of real archaeological excavations. It also follows principles of Free and Open Source Software to reduce overall expenses of the archaeological community. The short presentation will show results and perspectives of the Tachy2GIS developing project. ReferencesWorkshop „Digitale Grabungsdokumentation – objektiv und nachhaltig“, Dresden 2018-02J. Räther, C. Schubert: Werkstatt-Resümee TachyGISC. Trapp: Tachy2GIS – mit der Totalstation...

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Virtual Meridian Augustus

John FILLWALK, IDIA Lab: Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts. Ball State University, Muncie, USABernard FRISCHER, Department of Informatics, Indiana University, USA Keywords: virtual reality, augmented reality, celestial alignment, ancient Rome Abstract:Pontifical Academy of ArcheologyWith generous support from the National Science Foundation (grant # IIS-1014956), we have recently been developing a digital simulation of the northern Campus Martius in the period 9 BCE to 40 CE. [1] Our motivation is to create a tool that makes it possible instantly to see the correct positions of the sun and its shadow at any time of day in this period of time so that the various controversies associated with the work of Edmund Buchner on the so-called “Horologium Augusti” can be approached in a new way. Of course, precision and valid results always depend on the reliability of the data represented in a simulation. For the all-important apparent size[2] and position of the sun in the sky dome of the simulation, we have relied on NASA’s Horizons System. Among other things, this database takes into account the changes in the sun’s apparent course through the sky that arise from the earth’s wobble as it rotates, providing correct azimuthal information for any point on earth in any historical period, including the Augustan age. IDIA Lab virtual celestial simulator and 3D interpretation of the Meridian of August in ancient Rome. Project commissioned by the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory at Indiana University, directed by Bernard Frischer.Findings presented at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Archeology in Rome. A Digital Simulation of the Northern Campus Martius in the Age of Augustus. Preliminary Results of New Studies of the Relationship of the Obelisk, Meridian, and Ara Pacis of Augustus by Bernard Frischer, Department of Informatics, Indiana University and John Fillwalk, Director, Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, Ball State...

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