Full text: New perspectives to save cultural heritage

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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