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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

CIPA 2003 XIX 11 ' International Symposium, 30 September - 04 October, 2003, Antalya, Turkey
86 Sole practitioners and SMEs, as well as all
conservator-restorers in a given jurisdiction may use the
HerlTage system as a Trusted Third Party for project
documentation repository purposes. It is expected that this will
increasingly become a legal requirement in many jurisdictions.
As long as it is easily accessible “anytime, anywhere” (like
some other forms of data eg airline or banking), many countries
will possibly not really bother as to where the data resides
(especially if the country does not have to pay the outlay for the
infrastructure itself).
4.5 Enhanced access to databases through language
4.5.1 The fifth phase of the e-heritage project is the
development of the databases established within IKONOS into
multi-language enabled databases.
4.5.2 In IKONOS, the current project language is English.
E-heritage would seek to make the databases more accessible
by first providing multi-language versions of the variable fields
and then keyword abstracts of French, Dutch and German
language database holdings.
4.6 Portable Integrated Project Management &
Knowledge-Based Systems
4.6.1 The sixth phase of the project would attempt to make
even more portable those database technologies developed
further in the different phases above. The emphasis here would
be on quick and easy integration of digital images and project
management software with specially designed databases in
laptop and hand-held computers to be used on-location in the
conservation workshop, archaeological or historical site.
4.6.2 The second part of the sixth phase of e-heritage will
tackle the design and development of knowledge-based system
extensions to the various portable database systems. Thus, for
example, knowledge-based systems would be developed for
paintings conservation and would reside on the same portable
computer used by the paintings conservator on site or in the
workshop, enabling consultation of a decision-support system
as the need may arise. The same system would also have great
potential for self-paced learning in a pedagogic application.
5.1 Birth of a concept: from 3D to integration
5.1.1 E-heritage was actually born out of in-depth
experimentation with 3D imaging techniques such as laser
scanning and photogrammetry in a cultural heritage
environment. It was the post-processing rather than the data
acquisition stage that led to the realisation that having to master
six different types of expensive software to create a 3D model
of a Neolithic temple was only a tiny part of the overall effort
required to document heritage. When all the tasks in a
conservation project were taken into account it became clear
that unless a concerted effort is made to achieve a certain level
of integration between different applications the true potential
of ICT in cultural heritage would not be realised in a timely or
cost-effective manner.
5.1.2 Whereas the advent of the CHDS as a member of the
conservation multi-disciplinary team allows for more
specialisation, it is clear that to the conservator-restorer (not to
mention the client) the documentation of the project is simply a
means to an end and not an end in itself. Thus, the conservator
on-site is interested in 2D and 3D images insofar as he or she
can link these to the texts pertaining to the condition or nature
of the intervention on the site or artefact. The main concern is
documenting as quickly and as cheaply as possible without
compromising quality and shunting the data to some faraway
safe place, again as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Except
in those cases where he or she wishes to check something in a
project effected by somebody else or when the time comes for
making an invoice or showing off a project to sell one’s
services, the conservator-restorer will rarely have recourse to
much archived documentation.
5.1.3 Thus, while 3D imaging may continue to exist as a
stand-alone area of interest and specialisation one may
reasonably also look forward to a growing level of integration
between 3D imaging and many other parts of the heritage
documentation scenario.
5.1.4 Through a design and development effort concerted
between a dozen institutions, a number of de facto standards
can quickly be established, thus ensuring that different
applications, both new and existing, in the cultural heritage
sector, will achieve a high level of integration. This concerted
design and development effort will enable the inter-operability
of different software applications while preserving user-
friendliness to an unprecedented degree.
5.2 Funding & other challenges for e-heritage
5.2.1 Establishing objectives and deliverables for e-heritage
is relatively easy if one seeks inspiration from other e-sectors
such as e-banking , e-commerce and e-government. This is
evident in the objectives outlined above while the technical
challenges are varied but are largely close to being resolved.
5.2.2 Forging an international agreement on the standards for
e-heritage and then project managing the realisation of the
concept does not have the same imperatives as e-banking and
therefore risks to be very much a matter of one percent
inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
5.2.3 The fact that over 20 organisations have already
responded positively to MCR’s published expression of
interest for the e-heritage project augurs well for the creation of
a substantial consortium. The consortium is expected to tap EU
and other funding sources for the establishment of a network
which could actually in time move considerably towards a self
financing status.
R. Cantoni, G. Vassena, C. Lanzi, Laser Scanning and
Traditional Survey Integration to build complete 3D Digital
Model of Sagrestia dell’Archivio di Stato a Mantova”, ,
Proceedings of the CIPA WG 6 International Workshop on
Scanning for Cultural Heritage Recording,Sep 1-2 2002, p. 105-
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