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DigiCULT
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have looked like.
- Virtually compare different objects or
different sites.
- See how an object or a site developed
over time.
- Virtually explore existing sites.
- See how sites, such as mills, operated
and what processes were involved.
- Virtually explore sites that are not easily
accessible, such as underwater wrecks.
I
n addition to these uses for the public,
which it was generally agreed should be
the main priority, there are also many
other advantages and uses both for muse-
um professionals and also for marketing
applications such as physical reproduction
manufacture.
ROLE MODELS AND
FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
O
ne of the ORION questionnaire
topics was on examples of good
practice.This led to a surprisingly high
number of responses that cited more `for-
eign' cases than national cases.This is indi-
cated by the replies from the Greek
museums surveyed who cited as examples:
Byzantine Museum of Athens, Louvre,
Sanctuary of Isis at Dion, Archaeoguide at
Olympia, University of Newcastle, British
Museum, Boden Museum Berlin,
Metropolitan Museum NY, and the Virtual
Reconstruction Cultural Map of Rome
CD-ROM.
I
t may be noted that in general there was
considerable willingness to look outside
one's own country for best practice and
indeed outside Europe, reflecting both the
openness and the nature of the museum
archaeologists. However, for some coun-
tries the references were mainly national
and a number stated that they knew of no
example of excellence.There is thus no
reason for complacency.
- Fear of obsolescence
Positive forces:
- Falling costs as technology develops
and experience grows
- A number of role models
- Increasing public familiarity with
3D, e.g. games and TV
- Influence from other areas, e.g.
medical and tourism, industry
- University, research institute and
company interest in museums
M
ost museums that provided inputs
to the study were agreed as to the
benefits of using 3D as a vital means of
enhancing public access to both objects
and sites.They feel 3D offers potentially
unprecedented opportunities for:
- Getting nearer towards using real
objects than can be achieved by
2D presentations
- Increasing users' sense of connection
to and ownership of cultural resources
- Increasing effective learning by
showing more clearly than can be
achieved with 2D
- Promoting interest in and under-
standing of not only the objects
and sites butthe societies and cultures
that produced them.
T
he opportunities come in many
forms.While using 3D represen-
tations users can:
- Virtually examine a treasure which only
specialists and curators could normally
handle, see all of the object including
reverse, base and, where applicable, the
interior and even view a magnification
of the object to several times its size to
analyse details.
- See how objects, such as tools, were
actually used.
- See where objects, such as statues, would
originally have appeared within a site.
- Virtually explore objects and sites that
no longer exist in their original form.
- Virtually explore alternative views of
what original objects and sites might
inputs from the questionnaire survey,
workshops and interviews showed that
museums are beginning to realise the
potential that 3D offers and take action.
Moreover, around 10% of museums con-
sulted held some 3D images of their objects
and around 15% held 3D movies of sites.
The fact that a significant number of the
museums consulted already have the be-
ginnings of a 3D library illustrates a seri-
ous awareness of the growing relevance of
3D to the cultural sector.The Scottish
Cultural Resource Access Network
(SCRAN) has the largest collection to our
knowledge in the European cultural sector
with several hundred 3D scenes, although
a much lower number of 3D images of
objects.
T
he use of 3D provides many specific
functional advantages especially as
regards social inclusion, as indicated by this
quote with regard to Public Access and 3D
Applications:
`The visualisation offered by 3D serves as a
better stimulation of the human system of
cognitive perception: less abstraction and more
real understanding of archaeology.The transfer
and the marketing of archaeological or cultural
content by 3D opens this field to a greater
public and does not focus only on few people
of a well-educated elite.'
(Dr Joachim Paul, Medienzentrum
Rheinland des LVR, ORION interview,
2 October 2002)
B
ased on the study work, some of the
main forces affecting the take-up of
3D by Euro- pean archaeology museums
are as follows:
Negative forces:
- Perceived costs (65%)
- Lack of appropriate knowledge of 3D
- Conservation
- Lack of awareness of commercial
benefits
- Confusion between accessibility and
`dumbing down'