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Digital Classicist London Seminars 2013 - Seminar 2 - Valeria Vitale

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Valeria Vitale (King's College London)
'An Ontology for 3D Visualization in Cultural Heritage'.

Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies seminar 2013, Friday June 14th.

To date, 3D computer graphics and modelling techniques have been used in the study of the ancient world mainly as a means to display traditional research. The value of these digital techniques has been often assessed merely on the degree of graphic aesthetic quality.

The pursuit of "photorealism" has proven ineffective in engaging the audience but also scientifically misleading, as it suggests that is possible to reproduce an artefact or scene "exactly as it was" in the past.

Behind every scholarly 3D visualisation is a thorough study of excavation records, iconographic documentation, ancient literary sources, artistic canons and precedents. However, this valuable research (that may lead to new discoveries in the field) is not always detectable in the final visual outcome.

The London Charter for the Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage made a huge step forward in the regulation of scholarly 3D visualisation—prescribing that researchers' choices and motivation must all be documented. No 3D model could be considered a scholarly resource if its research method was not "transparent".

The London Charter presents methodological guidelines for recording this data, but does not go as far as to offer a formal framework in which to place this information; each modeller is left to simply follow their own style. Moreover, the clients who commissioned the 3D model (such as museums or other cultural institutions) are frequently more interested in the final product than in the rationale which is often completely overlooked and not circulated (or, in the worst case, dropped from the budget line altogether).

Since there are programming languages that enable 3D environments to successfully interact with html, I propose that it would be useful to create one or more ontologies to standardise the verbal component of the documentation, embedding it in the 3D model itself.

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Digital Classicist London Seminars 2013 - Seminar 2 - Valeria Vitale

  1. 1. Digital Classicist, 14 June 2013 An Ontology for 3D Visualisation in Cultural Heritage Valeria Vitale Odeon of Agrippa, Athens. Model by Martin Blazeby. KVL King’s College London
  2. 2. 3D Visualisation in Cultural Heritage. Virtual reconstruction of the House of the Faun in Pompeii. MAV Museum, Herculaneum http://www.museomav.it
  3. 3. “a perfect reconstruction based on historical documents and reliefs of the present ruins.” 3D Visualisation in Cultural Heritage. Virtual reconstruction of the House of the Faun in Pompeii. MAV Museum, Herculaneum http://www.museomav.it
  4. 4. ✤ Visibility, accessibility and movement through space ✤ Lights and Shadows ✤ Water features ✤ Virtual unification of dispersed collection ✤ Contextualisation of artefacts ✤ Comparison of restoration hypotheses
  5. 5. ✤ Visibility, accessibility and movement through space ✤ Lights and Shadows ✤ Water features ✤ Virtual unification of dispersed collection ✤ Contextualisation of artefacts ✤ Comparison of restoration hypotheses To understand how a building might have appeared, there is no better method than to attempt to reconstruct it digitally (or physically, if there are sufficient resources). The effort itself creates a new form of knowledge consisting of the type of information used and the design constraints applied. Johanson 2009
  6. 6. The London Charter: call for transparency Principle 4 Sufficient information should be documented and disseminated to allow computer-based visualisation methods and outcomes to be understood and evaluated in relation to the contexts and purposes for which they are deployed. http://www.londoncharter.org/
  7. 7. Why there are not many documented 3D visualisations? ✤ (Really) Long and time consuming ✤ Too verbose ✤ Not standardised ✤ Not easily searchable Documentation for 3D digital visualisation is:
  8. 8. There is hope? Can we think of a faster, not expensive, accessible, searchable, standardised way to express information about the visualisation, making it a proper piece of academic research? Can we describe the elements of the model, their relationships with the actual remains, the documents and the literature? Archimedes Thoughtful, by Domenico Fetti. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Domenico-Fetti_Archimedes_1620.jpg
  9. 9. Do we really need a new one? What makes this new ontology different from the many others that already exist? Second Hand Store, by Marc Fitzsimmons ✤ Not material object oriented, ✤ Not only qualities and relationships of the object (material or digital), but also the methodology used by the modellers and their interpretations of the available information.
  10. 10. @prefix “obj”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/objects/> Breaking (Virtual) Reality into pieces 1. Preservation and sustainability
  11. 11. @prefix “obj”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/objects/> Breaking (Virtual) Reality into pieces 1. Preservation and sustainability
  12. 12. @prefix “obj”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/objects/> Breaking (Virtual) Reality into pieces 1. Preservation and sustainability
  13. 13. @prefix “obj”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/objects/> Breaking (Virtual) Reality into pieces 1. Preservation and sustainability
  14. 14. @prefix “obj”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/objects/> Breaking (Virtual) Reality into pieces 1. Preservation and sustainability
  15. 15. ✤ Creation of a standard vocabulary for Cultural Heritage (or an integration of the existing ones) ✤ Translation issues (pointing out inconsistencies) @prefix “CultHer”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/CHVocabs/ More detailed metadata
  16. 16. TOI1 TOIkcl2013 TOI1a Doric Column 3D Coordinates IsPartO f Type Text of the Definition Temple of Isis Pompeii AbacusH asValue Dimensions 3D Coordinates Dimensions Text of the Definition IsPartOf H asPart IsPartOf Depicts Type H asValue HasLocation HasLocation Label Label HasLocation
  17. 17. 2. Joining and enriching the linked network of digital resources to study the past http://pelagios-project.blogspot.co.uk/
  18. 18. URIs for Ancient Buildings http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/638753/odeon
  19. 19. Photographs (and 3D visualisations?) http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/pleiades:*=638753
  20. 20. 3. Rating certainty tdvo:HasCertainty @prefix “tdvo”: <http://hypothetical3donthology.kcl.ac.uk/threedvisontology/> House of the Tragic Poet and House of Loreio. MAV Museum, Herculaneum
  21. 21. Quantitative or Qualitative? http://dlib.etc.ucla.edu/projects/Forum/reconstructions/IuliusDivusAedes_1/issues
  22. 22. From 6 (maximum) to 0 (minimum) ✤ LEVEL 6: the element is still in situ, and its dimensions and position can be measured ✤ LEVEL 5: the element is not in situ but it has been visually documented in the past and the documentation is still available ✤ LEVEL 4: the element is not in situ but it can be geometrically derived from the surviving elements ✤ LEVEL 3: the element is not in situ but it can be visualised according to well accepted standards and precedents ✤ LEVEL 2: the element is not in situ but it can be visualised according to the modeller’s experience, knowledge, intuition ✤ LEVEL 1: the element is not in situ and it has been added for communicative purposes ✤ LEVEL 0: the element has not been created for scholarly purpose and does not aim to historical accuracy. However, some characteristics of an original referent can still be recognised
  23. 23. tdvo:HasEvidenceIn 4. Connecting each element to the sources my pictures of pompeii Temple of Isis, Pompeii. December 2011. Column of the Porticus Personal photographic documentation “the 3D element can be compared with specific verbal or visual evidence such as video/ photographic documentation or official excavation records”
  24. 24. Crowd sourcing http://pompeiiinpictures.net/R8/8%2007%2028%20p1.htm
  25. 25. Digital Repositories http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/bauwerksteil/2085
  26. 26. http://archive.org/details/giornaledeglisca13fior
  27. 27. tdvo:IsBasedOn “the shape, dimensions or decoration of the element is based on visual or written information contained in a relevant document describing established practices, standards and rules” Vitruvius, De Architectura
  28. 28. tdvo:IsMentionedIn the visualised building (or part of it) is mentioned in a ancient (or modern) text the visualised building (or part of it) is described in a ancient (or modern) text tdvo:isDescribedIn http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?q=pompeii
  29. 29. 5. Enabling citations and collaboration ✤ It is very difficult to identify authorship of different elements ✤ There is no conventional way to cite another model or its components ✤ No peer-review ✤ Lack of collaboration
  30. 30. http://publicvr.org/html/collaborate.html
  31. 31. 6. Annotations Le più belle pareti di Pompei. E. Preshun
  32. 32. ✤ constrain the documentation, creating a standard, ✤ speed up the recording process thus reducing time/cost and making the documentation more likely to be retained in a project, ✤ allow and encourage comparison of different visualisations and interpretations of ancient heritage, ✤ contribute to transform 3D visualisation from univocal display of traditional research to a collaborative virtual environment that can be shared and implemented by different scholars, ✤ allow citations and re-use of the visualisation of entire buildings or single elements and peer-review, ✤ make 3D visualisations (human- and machine-) searchable, connecting them with the literary and historical sources An ontology for 3D visualisation would:
  33. 33. Special thanks to Drew Baker, Gabriel Bodard, Ryan Baumann, Faith Lawrence, Raffaele Viglianti, Martin Blazeby, Øyvind Eide THANKYOU FORYOUR ATTENTION valeria.vitale@kcl.ac.uk

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