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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

M. Ioannides“, E. Stylianidis b , S. Stylianou 0
a Higher Technical Institute, P.O. Box 20423 CY-1521, Nicosia, Cyprus - gammat@cytanet.com.cy
b The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Cadastre, Photogrammetry & Cartography - stratos@geoimaging.com.cy
c Dept, of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 537 CY-1678, Nicosia, Cyprus - ssotos@ucy.ac.cy
Commission V, WG V/4
KEY WORDS: Photogrammetry, Triangulation, Visualization, Reconstruction, Matching, Automation, Graphics,
This paper presents a modular software and hardware independent system for the 3D reconstruction in the area of culture heritage.
This system can be used for the digitalization of 3D cultural objects, monuments and sites. The clouds of 2D or 3D scanned points
(matrix oriented or scattered) even the 3D wireframe model are acquired by photogrammetric techniques (for example digital
cameras or laser scanners) using different digitizing strategies in various topics of culture heritage. This input can be processed using
an efficient algorithm for the reconstruction of the digitized object. If the digitalization delivers a complete set of scanned 2D or 3D
data from all sides of the object, then the volume or so-called solid structure can be calculated. In addition to this, using special
objects such as mummies, jewels or in general metal or ceramic artefacts that have interior structures (holes), the internal geometry
can also be measured through the use of X-ray scanners and in this way the complete 3D reconstruction of the object can be
achieved. Furthermore the developed system can generate the exchange of the processed data with other systems (CAD/CAM, e-
libraries, e-museums) into 3D data sets in standard data exchange formats (IGES, STEP, VDAFS) as well as to VRML format for
the visualization by a standard browser on the web. A variety of visualization techniques can be used for different multimedia and
virtual reality applications. A case study of using this system in the area of culture heritage under a virtual reality environment will
be discussed and demonstrated.
1.1 Review
The 3D reconstruction, visualization and animation in the area
of culture heritage comprise an issue that has engaged the
scientific community for the last few years. The cooperation
between different disciplines such as Photogrammetry and
Computer Science (Computer Graphics) provided the
opportunity to develop new tools and techniques, useful for the
documentation and archiving of cultural heritage. Recently
significant work has been done in the area of scanning and
reconstructing the past in 3D format (Boehler and Patias, 2002).
The paper is a contribution to these efforts and thus it discusses
a newly developed software functionality which receives as
input digitized data (images, 2D, 3D points and contours). This
data is processed and the end result is presented in the form of
volume, solid oriented structures. Furthermore, the output can
be directly used through standard interfaces by the majority of
visualizing systems, CAD and FEM. In addition to this the
software functionality can produce data sets not only directly
for the reproduction of the object using milling machines or
methods from the latest Rapid Prototyping technology, but also
for animation and virtual reality systems.
A case study of using this system in the area of culture heritage
documentation and depiction under a virtual reality
environment will be discussed and demonstrated.
1.2 Digital documentation for cultural heritage
In cultural heritage a lot of work has been done in the last
decades. Through international organizations such as ISPRS,
CIPA and ICOMOS, the documentation and conservation of
monuments and sites in 3D form has begun. On the one hand,
more and more companies are developing more efficient,
flexible and accurate digitizers (cameras, lasers, mechanical
scanners). On the other hand, Information Technology (IT) is
developing intelligent software for the further processing of
large amounts of scanned data. This enables the scientist to use
this data in CAD systems and in some cases directly in the
production line for restoration purposes and/or the production
of replicas.
However, these new developments lead to the problem of
compatibility and standardization. Due to the great number of
scanners available today and the different software accessible to
the public the machinery and software often do not work
together efficiently. This is exactly why there is a need today
to provide standardization in the fields of cultural heritage and
A universal and unique solution will be presented from
digitization to reproduction in order to overcome the difficulties
now facing the documentation of cultural heritage in 3D form.