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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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México Alternativo/Alternative Mexico

Sandra L. LÓPEZ VARELA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico Keywords: Heritage Preservation, Economic Growth, Community Engagement, Social Media Mexico has invested in infrastructure building to combat poverty levels, creating a modern built environment that has been appropriated by its citizens and that are now part of their heritage. Since Mexico still preserves heritage in terms of its monumentality and relevance to its history, modern heritage resources oppose the national definition of heritage and are the main the main source of conflict during infrastructure planning and building, sending people to the streets demanding their preservation. Analyzing the economic context in which digital technologies have developed, Alternative Mexico considers not everyone in developing countries has access to its benefits. Therefore, “Alternative Mexico” is a project that has developed a free native mobile application for iOS and Android platforms and available on their app stores, in addition to a web site ( The application takes you to a menu listing the areas where heritage resources have been recorded. Clicking into the selected item takes you to an active or an offline Google map, pinpointing each heritage resource, displaying a simple and engaging text in Spanish and English, and a photograph or one can head to that point and visit the resource directly. The followed methodology compensates the digital divide by consolidating a strategic alliance with Mexico’s citizens through a value chain teaching-research transfer, in which students enrolled in heritage preservation courses recover the silenced voices of what heritage means to society and to be incorporated into the digital world. This is what makes us different from other projects. Drawing from its recent assessment, which will be discussed here, it is possible to state that considering people’s heritage is the best heritage management practice to promote social sustainability and...

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Walk the Wall Athens

Aspasia TSATSOULI, Dipylon Society For the Study of Ancient Topography, Athens, Greece Keywords: ancient walls, Athens, archaeology, history Walk the Wall Athens is a bilingual innovative application available for free that allows the user to wander, literally and metaphorically, through the streets of Athens in order to discover the traces of the ancient city wall and recover the monument from oblivion.The Themistoklean wall surrounds Athens like a historical chain. The areas it runs through are often associated with references in ancient written sources, whereas at each step one has the opportunity to see the exact boundary of the city that existed from Classical times (5th century BC) to the Early Byzantine period (6th century AD), that is, a course of approximately 1000 years. From a total of 180 sites, the interactive map will guide you step by step to the 35 Points of Interest (POIs): it will take you to squares and narrow streets, lead you down the basements of buildings, will have you look through glass floors and shop windows, all the while providing you with a beautifully narrated audio tour and additional specialized information in the form of texts, images, drawings and accurate coordinates; a glossary and a timeline are also included. Walk the Wall Athens has been created by archaeologists specializing in ancient topography. The Dipylon team that designed it had the vision of using digital technologies to enhance a mostly non-visible, fragmented and forgotten monument, a project which constitutes a long-term contribution to the preservation and presentation of European archaeological heritage in the everyday urban context. The app was awarded the SILVER award in the category of Tourism/Culture at the Mobile Excellence Awards (2018); it was also nominated as the best national digital solution for Greece at the 2018 World Summit Awards and made it to the shortlist. For Android through Google Play apps/details?id=gr.fluidmedia. walkthewallathens For iPhone through App Store

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Introduction to the session

Lighting, as a topic of theoretical, methodological, and practical endeavors crosses multiple fields and disciplines. Although it has been a neglected element in the interpretation of built environments, and consequently of humans’ experience and perception, a renewed interest, especially in the last decade, has made light a key component in heritage discussions. This session focuses on the cross-section between these two broad fields, namely heritage and lighting, in theoretical, methodological and technical applications, such museum designs, heritage sites’ development and archaeological interpretations. The aim of this session is to discuss how illumination affects our perception and appreciation of heritage and plays a major role in our understanding of its past and current spatial, temporal, aesthetic and cultural aspects. The theme of lighting in archaeology and cultural heritage has several different aspects that are of central interest: Simulation and reconstruction of lighting conditions of different time periods of heritage sitesCurrent research and practices on the state-of-the-art of digital tools and methods to simulate lighting situations of the different time periods of heritage sites through industry-academia collaboration is directly related to how we visualize and represent heritage to the broad public. The advancement of hardware and software, especially in the fields of photorealistic rendering, physical realism and supercomputing, has enabled in the last two decades the digital simulation and analysis of natural and artificial lighting in archaeological and heritage sites. A main challenge in the field of lighting simulation is that computer applications have not been developed to take into account variables that existed in the past, thus experts have to face several challenges that hinder research in the field. For example, the reflectance properties of materials used in building construction are unknown, while lighting fuel properties, i.e. intensity, color, distribution, cannot be simulated using western standards and modern values. Or light sources that were used in the past like gas lamps or torches do not have available photometries in lighting software and experimental lab work for the creation of a dataset with such information are necessary to enable the computational simulation of past environments.Mapping of current state-of-the-arts contemporary lighting techniques and strategies for heritage Another important aspect that influences our...

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