Monday 20 April 2020

Herculaneum 3D Scan: free online 3D point clouds

This community hasn't been so active for a while but I thought that maybe in these coronavirus times, it might be useful to share some of the online material being made available for the Vesuvian sites.

Let me start with Herculaneum 3D Scan which is making 3D point clouds available of a series of areas within the site. The first one - the entire site - is already online and a new house will be added each Wednesday (this week the House of the Beautiful Courtyard). Please note that these are not just the usual "virtual tours" but the technical data that can be used by scholars and practitioners to view the buildings, measure them and even extract sections. As a result they are best viewed from a laptop, rather than a phone.

Official description from the website of Herculaneum Archaeological Park:

“Herculaneum 3D SCAN” is a small preview of data collected as part of the long-term programme for the documentation and monitoring of the archaeological site of Herculaneum made possible by the extraordinary support of the Packard Humanities Institute. The intention is to share results with a larger and more diverse community including scholars, heritage professionals and the wider public. It can be seen as a shared experiment exploring not only how people engage with cultural heritage through digital resources, a reality well known to the general public, but also the benefits of providing working tools for the heritage sector.
The 3D point clouds:  The 3D point clouds were acquired to inform conservation planning work over the last five years. The data relates to some of the most important domus of the ancient Herculaneum. These are not “virtual reconstructions” but real three-dimensional scans: very high-density 3D point clouds acquired by 3D laser scanners and photogrammetric drone images. It is possible for the user to relocate within the 3D clouds and visit the different ancient spaces of a Roman house virtually. They cann measure distances, surfaces, volumes or even extract sections. The results of these activities can then be exported in the most common software formats.

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