Monday, May 08, 2006

Online Proceedings from “3D Digital Imaging and Modeling”

Posted by Jeff Thurston at Vector One, here are the full-text [pdf] proceedings from the 2005, Italy-Canada workshop on 3D Digital Imaging and Modeling Applications of Heritage, Industry, Medicine and Land” held in Padova, Italy, May 17th and 18th.

Taking a quick look at the keywords and paper titles, there are no less than 10 references to Cultural Heritage and 5 each for Archaeology and Architecture. There are also a handful of papers discussing 3D techniques with Geomorphology.

Reading back a few posts to my coverage of the CAA conference, there were a few references to the presence of the 3D community at the conference. One observation that struck me is that the all of the companies (~6 to 8 ) in the exhibitor’s hall served some aspect of 3D data collection or visualization. Mostly, these companies focused on 3D laser scanning. Further, the conference CAA program had a symposium on 3D data acquisition. This symposium functioned as a kind of Q&A showcase for the 3D companies.

The strong presence of the commercial 3D laser camp got me thinking. Is there a huge demand from Cultural Heritage and Archaeology that draws in these companies? Companies that are more traditionally focused on mechanical, medial, and industrial applications; projects that generally have bigger budgets that an archaeology dig. Or, do the 3D companies see a fertile ground for broadening their application base? Perhaps the heavy 3D marketing in Cultural Heritage is just the 3D companies getting their foot in the door, something that is plenty common at other industries, but not as much so in Archaeology and Heritage Management.

This is a topic to keep an eye on. If the 3D acquisition technology continues to become more affordable, or CR project’s budgets make room for these technologies, it is certainly something of use. The industry behind it has a good history and is full of really smart and innovative people.

Coincidently, I am working on a project this week that involves 3D laser scanned data and archaeology. This is my first project that integrates 3D laser data, archaeological field data, traditional GIS data, and interpretative visualization. There have been some bumpy paths leading to the coherent integration of all these data sets. When finished I plan to share some of the results.

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