background image
example haptics (`touching' technologies).
- 3D watermarking technology and 3D
content management systems.
- Automated 3D measurement systems
for registration purposes including
objects from recent excavations.
- Showcasing such new results in a major
international touring archaeological
- Exhibition to major world centres
supported by an advanced 3D Website.
- Investigation into social and psychologi-
cal behaviour with regard to 3D.
- Research into overcoming `soft' organi-
sational barriers to 3D take-up by
museums and use of benchmarking
management approaches.
sing the parallel-technology state-
of-the-art study in ORION these
issues are being transformed into more
detailed R&D topic descriptions.
Moreover the entire 3D and Archaeology
issue can be regarded as just one `cell' in
the wide-ranging Research Roadmap
matrix from the eCultureNet project
(see for the
latest information).
`You see great 3D used in archaeology and
history programmes on television in
Britain.TV has really grasped the opportu-
nities that 3D offers.Why don't museums?'
Mark Wright, Edinburgh Virtual Environ-
ment Centre, Edinburgh University,
ORION Workshop, Edinburgh, 3
December 2002
he potential for 3D use in museums
is clear; however, it should be recog-
nised that archaeology museums, especially
in Germany, are more advanced in this
regard than other types of museums and
far ahead of other memory institutions
such as archives and libraries which natu-
rally concentrate on 2D images, despite
calls to get engaged in 3D (Lesk, 2002).
worldwide with pioneers such as the
Smithsonian and the Takayama Museum in
Japan. Other types of museums are also
important to consider, one example being
Science museums (who are also in the
forefront of 3D use). Returning to archae-
ology, ORION has also focused on cut-
ting-edge research and development in
archaeological excavations (e.g. the 3D
MURALE project,
uk/project/murale/) and cultural tourism
(e.g. Archeoguide project, http://archeogu- games, manufactur-
ing, medical and television industries are
areas of intense activity in 3D, as is the 3D
systems supplier sector. ORION technolo-
gy work includes consideration of these
industries and corresponding work in uni-
versities and research institutes.
he Research Roadmap sets out the
key lines for research and develop-
ment meriting possible EU support in the
Sixth Framework Programme. In the study
of user needs therefore, particular attention
was paid to the views of users and technical
specialists attending the user-oriented work-
shops.The workshops resulted in the fol-
lowing initial (partial) list of priority topics:
- Developing culturally aware Centres of
Excellence to disseminate to the muse-
um community information and advice
about 3D including on best practice
in IPR and business standards and
provision of 3D technical and design
- Research into delivering high-quality,
high-resolution 3D images of objects at
affordable costs. N.B.The European
Commission has, as a priority, reduction
of digitisation costs by 50% and this is
a goal that may well be achieved in the
timeframe up to 2006 supported by
well-focused R&D efforts.
- Research into technology to provide
high-quality presentations of different
restoration alternatives for objects and
reconstruction alternatives for sites.
- 3D and disabled access, including for
telling finding was that around 45%
of museums said that 3D was part of
their future IT development strategy. In
some cases, this involved specific, identified
projects; in others, it represented more of a
declaration of intent.There was a large
variation across countries on this question,
from around 35% in Scotland and France
to around 80% in Germany. Regardless of
whether or not 3D was part of their insti-
tutions' present plans, there was almost
universal consensus among museum pro-
fessionals that certain uses of 3D in an
archaeological museum context constituted
a high priority despite the costs.There was
a strong consensus across all countries that
the main purpose of using 3D was, in the
first instance, to create better public access
to museums' collections. Presentation of
3D resources was rated a significantly
higher priority than other uses such as
facilitating academic research, documenta-
tion and security, restoration and conserva-
tion, or marketing. However, as institutions
increasingly use 3D for public access pur-
poses, they are more likely to use 3D
resources in other areas of their day-to-
day work.
n researching the current and potential
future role of 3D in archaeology muse-
ums in six European countries, it is impor-
tant also to consider the broader context,
first in the context of the archaeological
museums in the rest of Europe which we
believe have similar experiences and future
aspirations to those studied in the six
ORION countries. For example, in Italy
there are many examples of leading 3D
practice but there are also many small
archaeological museums that have not yet
been able to `enter the 3D world'.
Secondly, there are archaeology museums
worldwide and consideration of published
papers, conference presentations and, per-
haps most importantly, visits (both physical
and using the Web) and personal contact
with leading international figures indicates
that the European trends are being shared