When in Rome... support your 3D web standards

I came across these two examples on how Humanities, Art, and Natural Sciences are adopting 3D web open standard technology for preserving and sharing cultural heritage in Rome.

1. Rome Reborn - Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550).

Starting on June 11, 2007, when the model of ancient Rome was first shown publicly at a ceremony in Rome, a number of video fly-thru and static images of the model were posted for free public viewing online. In August, 2008, the alpha version of Rome Reborn 2.0 was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In November, 2008, the latest version of Rome Reborn 1.0 was published to the Internet in Google Earth.

On 12 November 2008, Michael Jones (CTO of Google Earth) in partnership with Joel Myers (CEO of Past Perfect Productions) and Gianni Alemanno (the Mayor of the City of Rome) presented a Google Earth – Ancient Rome service, that provides the over 400 million users of GE with the possibility to fly through ancient Rome (as a layer) and get access to information on over 200 of ancient Rome’s most famous monuments.

Bitmanagement announced its partnership with Past Perfect Productions and the launch of their first product, “Virtual Colosseum 1.0”, an important second step to the Google Earth – Ancient Rome service by offering users a walk-through feature through the Bitmanagement's open standard 3D web player, BS Contact.

2. Domitilla Catacomb in Rome - These are interesting papers that cover how laser scanning and web3D open standards were used in documenting and digitally recreating ancient catacombs among the most impressive in Rome.

Showing the Invisible – Documentation and research on the Roman Domitilla catacomb based on Image-Laser-Scanning and 3D-Modelling - pdf

"The Roman catacomb of Domitilla, nearby the via Ardeatina, is the largest catacomb of Rome. It represents all phenomena and degrees of catacomb development, from isolated pagan tombs and the earliest community burials to the huge 4th-century necropolis and the later pilgrimage sanctuary with its subterranean basilica. Furnished with about 80 painted tombs, it is one of the most important and interesting catacombs in terms of the development of early Christian painting. Even after 400 years of research, it is still not studied nor published in its entirety, but with its abundant bibliography about some special aspects, using the various methods of research developed until now, it represents a typical case of today’s status questions for the catacombs. What is mostly lacking is a complete documentation offering full access to all kinds of scientific debate on these monuments.

Here, the new method of 3D-laserscanning opens up a new dimension of documentation and perception.
In 2006, the Domitilla project was installed at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where it is based at the Institute for Studies of Ancient Cultures. It is financed by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Sciences and Infrastructure, and administered by the Austrian science fund FWF. The work is done in a national cooperation with the Institute of History of Art, Building Archaeology and Restoration of the Vienna University of Technology. The interdisciplinary team consists of two archaeologists and three architects, and is supported by geodesists and mathematicians. The main goal of the Domitilla project is to produce a complete, high quality documentation of the architecture and the paintings of the catacomb, based on 3D-Laser-scanner data, and to combine all kinds of methodological approaches to a synthetic, equilibrate use of them for the archaeological debate." - Norbert Zimmermann – Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Studies of Ancient Cultures and Gerold Eßer - Vienna University of Technology, Institute for History of Art, Building Archaeology and Restoration

3D-geometry and 3D-texture. Documenting early-Christian wall paintings at the Domitilla Catacomb in Rome. - pdf

"Our paper is intended to refer what is to become the new standard in catacomb documentation, being evolved as one of the major research strategies of the Austrian START-Project 'The Domitilla Catacomb in Rome. Archaeology,Architecture and Art History of a Late Roman Cemetery'. The approach is based on image laser scanning and mapping of separately taken photographs, creating photorealistic 3d models, which are to serve as a new kind of data-base for further studies.

The here described method enables the calculation of textures of partial models while maintaining the high resolution of geometry and images. Once the texture of all partial models are calculated, the photorealistic textured 3d models are to be transformed into standard VRML files. An easy and fast way of assembling partial models without losing their textures can be performed in RapidForm 15. The VRMLs of all partial models are then to be imported with their texture, are marked and are exported as VRML again. We have, that way, created a photorealistic textured 3d model of the Cubiculum of King David, a highly accurate and informative documentation product, which can not only be used for geometric analysis but also provides the unique opportunity of viewing and examining all of the paintings of one cubiculum under lighting conditions that - neither in reality nor virtually - have been achieved before." - Gerold EßER and Irmengard MAYER - Vienna University of Technology, Institute for History of Architecture and Art, Building Archaeology and Restoration

Another great example of how the 3D web standards, old and new, are preserving and sharing the history of this great civilization today.


stev4n said…
3d scanning from Surfdev, a specialist scanning service performed by a reverse engineering company.
Rome is a real testament to a once glorious empire. A number of edifices that were built in the city are considered by many as icons that are still followed by contemporary designers. The interest in simulating the framework through 3d designs is a good way to educate our generation about the wonders of the roman era.

Today, a lot of services come in the form of 3d. Laser scanning services are seen as vital steps in product development. True enough, the laser scanning equipment gives precise measurements that aid in prototyping and other production related processes.

Hope to read more 3d usages on your blog. Thanks!

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