This presentation is part of the 2017 3D Digital Documentation Summit.

Spherical Imaging and Virtual Environments for Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites

Documentation is pivotal for conservation, monitoring, and preventative maintenance of historic buildings and sites of cultural heritage. In the past 20 years, the technology associated with documenting historic sites has not only catalyzed the number of structures presented in 3D and virtual reality environments, but it has also vastly altered the way conservation of invaluable cultural heritage sites is carried out by archaeologists, conservationists, structural engineers, and all others involved in the work. Included in this technological revolution are advancements in digital photogrammetry, laser scanning, and LIDAR; however, a 3D model or virtual-reality environment on its own is not able to fully capture or convey pertinent information concerning a site of cultural heritage. It is imperative that a viewer of either a 3D model or virtual-reality environment be able to interact and gain a deeper understanding of a cultural heritage sites through appropriate connections to conservation or structural health monitoring results and data. The research presented here reflects a methodology and digital workflow which utilizes technologies in 360 degree spherical imaging as well as innovative tools for virtually experiencing the built-environment. The environment was captured utilizing the Ricoh Theta spherical imaging camera and processed utilizing the Kolor Panotour virtual environment software. The virtual environment was made interactive by adding responsive points of interest which allow for certain types of damage to be highlighted and explored for future conservation work. Exploration of the damages in these types of environments can include additional 2D images which accentuate aspects of structural damage, hyperlinks to papers associated with this work, videos illustrating other aspects of the site or area in question, as well as additional forms of metadata. The results of this research will be recommendations for how archaeologists, conservationists, structural engineers, and others associated with cultural heritage sites can document their sites and meaningfully convey metadata to appropriate audiences.

Speaker Bios
Rebecca Napolitano received her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College where she majored in Latin and Physics and researched the digital reconstruction of ancient Roman architecture. She has since continued these studies in the Heritage Structures Program at Princeton University which is a joint program between the departments of Civil and
Environmental Engineering and Art and Archaeology. Her main areas of interest as she pursues her Master’s and PhD at Princeton are historic structures, archaeological sites, photogrammetry, virtual reality experiences, 3D reconstructions, structural analysis, and conservation.

Branko Glišić received his degrees in Civil Engineering and Theoretical Mathematics at University of Belgrade, Serbia, and Ph.D. at the EPFL, Switzerland. After eight-year long experience at SMARTEC SA, Switzerland, where he was involved in numerous research, development, and implementation engineering projects, he has been employed, first as an Assistant Professor, and currently as an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Princeton University. His main areas of interest are heritage structures, monitoring methods, advanced sensors, data management and analysis, and smart structures. Prof. Glišić is member of several professional associations and recipient of several awards.

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