3D Cultural Heritage book chapter on MayaArch3D

Recently a book chapter on some of our work in the MayaArch3D project on “Structuring Archaeological Data to Deliver Interactive, Transparent 3D Reconstructions in a 3D WebGIS” has been published in the edited book “3D Research Challenges in Cultural Heritage II”.

Creating 3D reconstructions is a common approach today in archaeology and cultural heritage. The problem is that 3D models in online virtual research environments may tempt users to believe them as historical truth. What must be done to enable the public to view a 3D reconstruction as a hypothesis and have access to the supporting data? This paper explains – via use-case examples from the ancient Maya city of Copan, Honduras – a procedure for structuring heterogeneous data to enable interactive, web-based access to 3D reconstructions of cultural heritage. A prototype 3D WebGIS system was built that can store, manage, and visualize 3D models and integrates these with georeferenced archaeological data. An ontology was created, a segmentation pipeline was developed, and databases and services were designed to structure and integrate the data in the 3D WebGIS. Results include two interactive 3D reconstructions: a city model and a temple model – these demonstrate how proper data structuring can deliver transparent models for archaeological argumentation.
The 3D WebGIS developed by the MayaArch3D Project is a prototype solution for web-based visualization and information systems to link 3D objects to other forms of information and make them traceable and accessible and available for further analysis on a multimedia level. The pipeline for segmenting and structuring 3D data has already been published (Auer et al. 2014); we have followed this here and have explained the process and challenges of preparing our data for this pipeline. Two queryable models are presented in the system: a low-resolution city model of Copan, and a high resolution temple reconstruction. These demonstrate the system’s potential for offering interactive access to knowledge about 3D reconstructions.

Schwerin, J., Lyons, M., Loos, L., Billen, N., Auer, M. Zipf, A. (2016):
Show Me the Data!: Structuring Archaeological Data to Deliver Interactive, Transparent 3D Reconstructions in a 3D WebGIS. In: Münster, S., Pfarr-Harfst, M., Kuroczyński, P., Ioannides, M. (Eds.): 3D Research Challenges in Cultural Heritage II -How to Manage Data and Knowledge Related to Interpretative Digital 3D Reconstructions of Cultural Heritage. Springer. pp. 198-230.

Auer, M., Agugiaro, G., Billen, N., Loos, L., Zipf, A. (2014): Web-based visualization and query of semantically segmented multiresolution 3D models in the field of cultural heritage. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, II-5, pp. 33–39 (2014). doi:10.5194/isprsannals-II-5-33-2014,