Herbert MASCHNER | Victor Manuel LOPEZ-MENCHERO BENDICHO | Jeffrey P. Du VERNAY | J. Bart MCLEOD | Miguel Ángel HERVÁS HERRERA | Aurelia LUREAU | Myriam van WALSUM
(Global Digital Heritage, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA)

Keywords: global heritage, virtual repository, democratization of science, digital heritage

Global Digital Heritage (GDH) is a not-for-profit, private research and education organization dedicated to documenting, monitoring, and preserving our global cultural and natural heritage. We use digital visualization, 3D virtualization, geospatial informatics, and open access solutions to provide digital data and 3D models to governments, regional institutions, museums, local scholars, and the public. A key element of our mission is the democratization of science-we make all data freely available to the world in support of cultural heritage, heritage management, education, public access, scientific research, and to enhance the digital humanities.
We believe that many nations, local and regional museums, and universities have specific and spectacular places, monuments, and museum collections that are critical to the global scientific agenda. While these are often recognized for their heritage value, they are underutilized in science and research because of distance or because the scientific community does not know they exist.
We use virtualization technology to digitize entire collections, entire museums, and entire archaeological and paleontological landscapes. We make virtual repositories available to any student, any child, any scientist or any enthusiast anywhere in the world at any time. We create online analytical tools to democratize education and research through global analyses and exploration. Our virtual repository approach allows for the scientific analyses of places, monuments, and collections on a global scale, and provides a means to highlight the importance of those collections to their communities.
In the face of an increasingly hostile world, a global landscape where conflict and natural disaster are destroying our shared heritage at an accelerating rate, we provide 3D digital services to document and preserve places and specimens critical to our global heritage. We do this for free. We then return all of the data and results to the host institution or regional/local authorities.

Relevance for the conference: Global Digital Heritage and its projects are a model for the integration of data acquisition, public outreach, scientific validation, and global access to digital and visual data.
Relevance for the session: This is the lead paper in the session and outlines the methods, background, and justification for the various GH projects.
Innovation: The innovation is in the democratization of science – making all digital data freely available to the world.
• MASCHNER, Herbert (2013). Democracy in 3D. Museum. Pp. 26-31.
• MASCHNER, Herbert and Corey Schou (2013). Virtualization and the democratization of science: 3D technologies revolutionize museum research and access. Proceedings of the 2013 World Digital Heritage Conference. -1-4799-3169-9/13©2013 IEEE