Immersive Visualization and Curation of Archaeological Heritage Data: Çatalhöyük and the Dig@IT App
Advanced data capture techniques, cost-effective data processing, and visualization technologies provide viable solutions for the documentation of archaeological heritage and material culture. Work at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Çatalhöyük has demonstrated that new digital approaches for capturing, processing, analyzing, and curating stratigraphic data in 3D are now feasible. Real-time visualization engines allow us to simulate the stratigraphy of a site, the three-dimensional surfaces of ancient buildings, as well as the ever-changing morphology of cultural landscapes. Nonetheless, more work needs to be done to address methodological questions such as follows: can three-dimensional models and stratigraphic relationships, based on 3D surfaces and volumes, be used to perform archaeological interpretation? How can a 3D virtual scenario become the interface to cultural data and metadata stored in external online databases? How can we foster a sense of presence and user embodiment in the simulation of ancient cities and archaeological sites? This article aims to provide viable solutions to the methodological challenge of designing a comprehensive digital archaeological workflow from the data acquisition and interpretation in the field to a three-dimensional digital data curation based on interactive visualization, searchable 3D data, and virtual environments. This work describes the results we achieved developing the application Dig@IT, a multi-platform, scalable virtual reality tool able to foster archaeological data analysis, interpretation, and curation in a realistic and highly interactive virtual environment.
Lercari, N; Shiferaw, E; Forte, M; Kopper, R
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