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Tikal 3D Laser Scan Fly-through

Tikal 3D Laser Scan Fly-through

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3D fly through created from laser scan and photography at Maya city of Tikal (300-850 CE) in Guatemala by CyArk.

Tikal 3D Laser Scan Fly-through - History

I'd like to start with a short story. It's about a little boy whose father was a history buff and who used to take him by the hand to visit the ruins of an ancient metropolis on the outskirts of their camp. They would always stop by to visit these huge winged bulls that used to guard the gates of that ancient metropolis, and the boy used to be scared of these winged bulls, but at the same time they excited him. And the dad used to use those bulls to tell the boy stories about that civilization and their work.

Let's fast-forward to the San Francisco Bay Area many decades later, where I started a technology company that brought the world its first 3D laser scanning system. Let me show you how it works. Female Voice: Long range laser scanning by sending out a pulse that's a laser beam of light. The system measures the beam's time of flight, recording the time it takes for the light to hit a surface and make its return. With two mirrors, the scanner calculates the beam's horizontal and vertical angles, giving accurate x, y, and z coordinates. The point is then recorded into a 3D visualization program. All of this happens in seconds. Ben Kacyra: You can see here, these systems are extremely fast. They collect millions of points at a time with very high accuracy and very high resolution. A surveyor with traditional survey tools would be hard-pressed to produce maybe 500 points in a whole day. These babies would be producing something like ten thousand points a second. So, as you can imagine, this was a paradigm shift in the survey and construction as well as in reality capture industry.

Approximately ten years ago, my wife and I started a foundation to do good, and right about that time, the magnificent Bamiyan Buddhas, hundred and eighty foot tall in Afghanistan, were blown up by the Taliban. They were gone in an instant. And unfortunately, there was no detailed documentation of these Buddhas. This clearly devastated me, and I couldn't help but wonder about the fate of my old friends, the winged bulls, and the fate of the many, many heritage sites all over the world. Both my wife and I were so touched by this that we decided to expand the mission of our foundation to include digital heritage preservation of world sites. We called the project CyArk, which stands for Cyber Archive.

To date, with the help of a global network of partners, we've completed close to fifty projects. Let me show you some of them: Chichen Itza, Rapa Nui — and what you're seeing here are the cloud of points — Babylon, Rosslyn Chapel, Pompeii, and our latest project, Mt. Rushmore, which happened to be one of our most challenging projects. As you see here, we had to develop a special rig to bring the scanner up close and personal. The results of our work in the field are used to produce media and deliverables to be used by conservators and researchers. We also produce media for dissemination to the public — free through the CyArk website. These would be used for education, cultural tourism, etc.

What you're looking at in here is a 3D viewer that we developed that would allow the display and manipulation of [the] cloud of points in real time, cutting sections through them and extracting dimensions. This happens to be the cloud of points for Tikal. In here you see a traditional 2D architectural engineering drawing that's used for preservation, and of course we tell the stories through fly-throughs. And here, this is a fly-through the cloud of points of Tikal, and here you see it rendered and photo-textured with the photography that we take of the site. And so this is not a video. This is actual 3D points with two to three millimeter accuracy. And of course the data can be used to develop 3D models that are very accurate and very detailed. And here you're looking at a model that's extracted from the cloud of points for Stirling Castle. It's used for studies, for visualization, as well as for education.

And finally, we produce mobile apps that include narrated virtual tools. The more I got involved in the heritage field, the more it became clear to me that we are losing the sites and the stories faster than we can physically preserve them. Of course, earthquakes and all the natural phenomena — floods, tornadoes, etc. — take their toll. However, what occurred to me was human-caused destruction, which was not only causing a significant portion of the destruction, but actually it was accelerating. This includes arson, urban sprawl, acid rain, not to mention terrorism and wars. It was getting more and more apparent that we're fighting a losing battle. We're losing our sites and the stories, and basically we're losing a piece — and a significant piece — of our collective memory. Imagine us as a human race not knowing where we came from.

Luckily, in the last two or three decades, digital technologies have been developing that have helped us to develop tools that we've brought to bear in the digital preservation, in our digital preservation war. This includes, for example, the 3D laser scanning systems, ever more powerful personal computers, 3D graphics, high-definition digital photography, not to mention the Internet. Because of this accelerated pace of destruction, it became clear to us that we needed to challenge ourselves and our partners to accelerate our work. And we created a project we call the CyArk 500 Challenge — and that is to digitally preserve 500 World Heritage Sites in five years.

We do have the technology that's scaleable, and our network of global partners has been expanding and can be expanded at a rapid rate, so we're comfortable that this task can be accomplished. However, to me, the 500 is really just the first 500. In order to sustain our work into the future, we use technology centers where we partner with local universities and colleges to take the technology to them, whereby they then can help us with digital preservation of their heritage sites, and at the same time, it gives them the technology to benefit from in the future.

Let me close with another short story. Two years ago, we were approached by a partner of ours to digitally preserve an important heritage site, a UNESCO heritage site in Uganda, the Royal Kasubi Tombs. The work was done successfully in the field, and the data was archived and publicly disseminated through the CyArk website. Last March, we received very sad news. The Royal Tombs had been destroyed by suspected arson. A few days later, we received a call: "Is the data available and can it be used for reconstruction?" Our answer, of course, was yes.

Let me leave you with a final thought. Our heritage is much more than our collective memory — it's our collective treasure. We owe it to our children, our grandchildren and the generations we will never meet to keep it safe and to pass it along. Thank you.

Entering the Underworld

On my first day with the NASA team, I joined Garry on a mapping expedition inside Indian Tunnel. Like other lava tubes, this natural cavern formed when a lava flow cooled on top, insulating the river of hot rock underneath. After the lava had run out, it left behind a roughly circular tunnel.

With 30-foot ceilings and an 800-foot expanse, Indian Tunnel seems like the entry hall to an underworld realm. But it is also relatively accessible, which may have encouraged members of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes to use it centuries ago for temporary shelter, to locate water, or to store meat in a cool place. Two large Native American-made rock rings still sit near the tunnel’s entrance, possibly used as campsites or in ceremonies.

During my visit, a young girl appeared at the skylight-like entrance to the cave. "It’s huge! We gotta go in!" she shouted to her family. (Park visitors are encouraged to explore these caves, provided they have the right permits and safety gear.)

Once inside, the power of flowing lava can still be seen in the rocks. The floor is a ropy, uneven texture, and cooled dribbles of lava hang from the ceiling and walls, as if someone had smeared on too much paint.

Scientists have found signs of an extensive network of lava tubes underneath the Martian surface, too. Some mission planners are betting these will be just the thing to keep early settlers safe.

The red planet is a punishing place for life as we know it, and visitors will need protection from intense radiation, dust storms, and temperature extremes. The ancient Martian caves may come with additional perks, such as reservoirs of water and traces of microbial life.

That’s assuming they can find caves on Mars that are easily accessible.

Indian Tunnel isn’t too hard to climb in and out of, but even for people in hiking boots carrying only a notebook and a camera, it requires some scrambling. Four people helped carry the mapping equipment from the car. This is clearly not the setup that will be brought to explore another planet.

“How’d you like to do this in a spacesuit?” Garry asks me.

Enormous ‘Megalopolis’ Revealed

The project mapped a 2,100 square kilometre (800 square mile) area around the popular tourist site of Tikal in the Petén region of Guatemala. The results of the aerial survey, which produced a series of 3D images of the landscape below the jungle canopy, revealed an enormous network of cities, which is being hailed as a ‘megalopolis’.

The images showed over 60,000 previously unknown structures, including complex agricultural systems with canals, dikes, and reservoirs for irrigation, and terracing for supporting food production for the masses. Also discovered was a huge highway network – raised to prevent flooding issues in the rainy season – which connected the cities and quarries, and had been constructed by hand, without the use of the wheel or ‘beasts of burden’.

The interconnected network of ancient Maya cities was home to millions more people than previously thought https://t.co/0E0FafOyRR

— National Geographic (@NatGeo) February 1, 2018

Another surprising finding was the sheer scale of the defensive structures, including walls, ramparts, terraces and fortresses, which indicate that warfare was happening on a much larger-scale than previously realized.

“Warfare wasn’t only happening toward the end of the civilization,” said Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer. “It was large-scale and systematic, and it endured over many years.” [via National Geographic].

Tikal 3D Laser Scan Fly-through - History

CyArk has a variety of resources that can be used in an educational setting. Whether you're teaching history, math, or science, there's a number of ways for educators to use CyArk in the classroom.

Take a virtual field trip.
Wander through an ancient Egyptian temple and see giant statues of Ramses II.
Survey the Guatemalan countryside by climbing the ancient Mayan pyramids of Tikal.
Climb into a Pueblo cliff dwelling at ancient Mesa Verde and imagine what life was like for Native Americans.

The CyArk website features ancient multimedia from heritage sites around the world. 3-D models, photographs, immersive panoramas, and videos from a number of sites are available for free to the public. Each piece of multimedia is accurately placed on a map and has a detailed, extensively researched description. Explore the multimedia by using the project map to virtually tour a location with your class.

Play with 3-D models of ancient sites.
CyArk features 3-D models of historical projects created by laser scanners. Engage your students by showing off ancient sites from any angle, or by screening fly-through videos of these projects.

Using the ruler tools in the CyArk 3-D viewer, you can even get exact measurements of any part of a 3-D model. Create connections between math, science, and history, by having students measure how much the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans. With the CyArk 3-D Viewer, students can make their own discoveries about the engineering and construction of ancient sites.

View sites as they looked like in ancient times.
Imagine what Pompei looked like before and after the destruction of the Mount Vesuvius. Help students visualize history with models of a Roman bathhouse. Computer-generated models and artist renderings bring ruins to life.

Discover online teacher lesson plans.
Looking for ways to combine technology and hands-on activities in the classroom? The CyArk Education page has a number of interdisciplinary, teacher lesson plans, containing everything needed to teach a lesson with CyArk's materials. These plans feature hands-on and computer based activities aligned to CA State Standards and can be used to teach multiple subjects. Teacher background, preparation information, slideshows, and student sheets are all included.

If you are a teacher and have questions or need help using a CyArk lesson plan, contact Nicole Medina, the CyArk Education Program Developer at . We can also work with you to customize a lesson plan from our website for your class.

If you are a teacher and want to share your experience of using CyArk in the classroom, we invite you to tell your story as a guest blogger. We'd love to hear your story!

3D Laser Scanning Details Historic Fowler Clark Farm

HBI is grateful to Feldman Land Surveyors for providing pro-bono laser scans of the 1785 Fowler Clark Farm in Mattapan. Stephen Wilkes of Feldman wrote this article to share how it?s done and why it?s so valuable to the preservation of historic buildings.

Constructed towards the end of the 18th Century, the present day Fowler Clark farm house, along with its later outbuildings, sits within a very different landscape from when it was built. Surrounded by today?s urban Mattapan, the farm house provides a special reminder of the earlier pastoral history of the area.

Alongside the ongoing study by Historic Boston, Feldman Land Surveyors performed a 3D laser scan of the farm house and barn as part of a ?Scanning Historic Boston? initiative. Using the latest in high resolution 3D laser scanners, the Leica ScanStation P20, Feldman staff captured the complete exterior and landscape surrounds of the Farm House and barn.

Laser scanning provides surveyors with the ability to capture millions of 3D measurements across a building or landscape, creating a highly detail 3D representation of the area without having to impact any structures. These millions of individual measurements, referred to as a point cloud, can be so dense that the 3D results can look like a video or photograph. Any part of the point cloud model can be measured too, with accuracies of under ? inch. This enables surveyors, architects, contractors and heritage managers to extract a range of detailed information from 2D existing condition drawing sets to full 3D models, restoration markup plans to animated public outreach flythrough. Nearly 450 million separate measurements make up the laser scan for the Fowler Clark farm survey.

As well as the detailed positional information, the laser scanning can also collect other information, such as color photographs from an onboard camera, or in this case the different reflectivity of materials or the environment. This can create the greyscale photographic appearance of the building and provide important visual guidance to offer a familiar representation to an advanced digital resource.

For Historic Boston the laser scan was directly used to create a series of orthographic images of the exterior facades which can be used for restoration planning or production of scaled drawings. The point cloud model was also used to create an animated fly-through of the exterior of the farm as a potential outreach and educational tool.

Each year Feldman Land Surveyors selects two properties in the Greater Boston region to laser scan pro-bono. The program includes the time to scan the chosen site and produce the 3D point cloud model along with an animated fly-through. As well as the Fowler Clark farm, Feldman Land Surveyors have scanned the Old State House, Boston Public Library, Paul Revere House, and Shirley-Eustis House.

Mayan city of Tikal, Guatemala

nice! Was reading a book about aztec and mayan history and decided to fly along cortes's route to tenochtitlan. Was a good journey but was disappointed none of the ruins were rendered, especially since google has photogrammetry several mexican cities and archaeological sites. Would love to see more mesoamerican stuff

This can be downloaded at either one of the two links below:

This add-on provides an overhauled representation of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala, as the default scenery represents the area using anachronistic structures. The centerpiece of this add-on is Tikal Temple I, otherwise known as the Temple of the Great Jaguar. This temple is incorporated by using a laser scan model acquired by Open Heritage 3D. Due to the absence of sufficient 3D scans for the other Tikal temples, hand-made assets were used, including various models from 3D Warehouse produced by users Steven D., anyang, and ONIMEX. A Sketchfab model produced by user Room 27 was also used. These models were further modified to include additional details and PBR textures. Other 3D assets were also created from scratch to fill in for many of the various ruins. A few minor terraforming adjustments were made to allow for some of the scenery objects to rest seamlessly on the ground, otherwise, no significant changes were made to the surrounding environment, including trees and satellite imagery. Levels of Detail are included for some of the 3D assets, and some basic night lighting has been incorporated as well.

Brown anthropologist Stephen Houston is among a team of researchers whose work, published in Science, drastically alters the prevailing view of the scale and complexity of the Maya.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Stephen Houston, a professor of social sciences at Brown University, helped lead a groundbreaking project that used cutting-edge laser technology to survey 2,100 square kilometers of Guatemalan forest by airplane, rewriting the understanding of Maya civilization in the process.

The ambitious project, undertaken in 2016, was funded by Guatemala’s Fundación PACUNAM (a Guatemalan nonprofit focused on promoting scientific research, conservation and sustainable development in the Maya Biosphere Reserve) and included more than 30 scientists and archaeologists from leading academic institutions worldwide. The work was authorized by Guatemala’s Ministry of Sports and Culture.

Using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, researchers were able to penetrate thick foliage to see what lay under the surface of the rainforest. An active remote-sensing technology, LiDAR uses laser pulses to map land cover and ground surface in 3D space. Houston said the technology emits beams of light, some of which reach the surface, and the sensor captures a “cloud” of spatial information. Some 5.2 billion beams hit the surface, scanning the terrain from six angles and revealing otherwise invisible details of ancient landscapes.

In essence, cities were “stripped” of concealing vegetation, Houston said. What the LiDAR team saw suggests that the Maya civilization was far more populous and complex than previous research indicated, and that it was, in its infrastructure, among the most sophisticated civilizations in world history.

The LiDAR technology allowed researchers to see what structures lay under thick jungle foliage. Courtesy Wild Blue Media/National Geographic

Houston has spent decades researching the Classic Maya civilization, including excavations at the city of El Zotz and the ruins of Piedras Negras, Guatemala. Houston said the LiDAR initiative differed sharply from traditional fieldwork, which has involved cutting through the jungle to allow access for cumbersome survey equipment.

The findings from the LiDAR survey, Houston said, were breathtaking. They revealed more than 64,000 dwellings and structures that increase the estimated population of the area to about 7 to 11 million. They also showed human-made features related to intensive agricultural production, extensive road construction, fortifications and other features.

The project was the subject of a National Geographic article and documentary, and Houston and his colleagues, including anthropologists Tom Garrison of Ithaca College and Marcello Canuto and Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University’s Middle American Research Institute, published their research in Science on Sept. 27.

The study, “Ancient lowland Maya complexity as revealed by airborne laser scanning of northern Guatemala," describes how the team’s work has spurred a comprehensive revaluation of the demography, agriculture and political economy of ancient lowland Maya civilization.

Here, Houston talks about the findings and their implications.

Q: As someone who has completed many excavations at Maya sites in Guatemala, can you describe what it was like to first see the maps created by the LiDAR survey?

Quite literally, it took my breath away. I’ve been mapping in arduous conditions since the early 1980s. This is often sweaty, dangerous work — using machetes to cut sight-lines in the jungle, balancing measuring devices in mud and heavy rain, stretching tapes along ragged edges of mounds. At times, to my embarrassment, I have walked right by, or over, fairly substantial buildings. Vegetation and ground cover make them easy to miss.

Of course, there’s no substitute for fine-grained appreciation of ancient sites — at some point, archaeologists have to see them on the ground. But the LiDAR offered an unprecedented view, as though a “magic lens” had filtered through all that obscuring forest, or, as another analogy, a fogged window had been wiped clean. We could see continuous landscapes, along with wholly unexpected features in swamps, hilltops or broken terrain that no specialist had ever visited before.

Entire cities, including the great metropolis of Tikal, were suddenly laid bare, down to their smallest buildings and most distant hamlet. I won’t have this experience again. at least not until the next flights are flown!

Q: What was most surprising to you?

In “our” zone, where I’ve been collaborating with Tom Garrison of Ithaca College, we saw several things that took us aback. One was a set of sprawling fortifications with concentric embankments, moated areas, ridge-top cisterns, perhaps to withstand sieges, and palaces protected by walls and what must have been gates. Before LiDAR, we didn’t have a clue that these existed, despite walking over parts of them during preliminary exploration. They extended over at least six kilometers. An early city called El Palmar seemed now to be 70 times larger than we had suspected, with raised fields for agriculture. An “isolated” royal palace had an extensive swath of settlement extending a kilometer or more.

What intrigued us too was the discovery of what we called “cave communities.” These were sinkholes with clear caves in them and with buildings nearby as though to serve or monitor these depressions and breaks in the surface. Tom and I suspect we’re looking at cacao or chocolate plantations for a kind of “money that grows on trees,” a food of immense value to the ancient Maya. The sinkholes provided conditions of concentrated humidity and the shade that cacao plants crave.

And then the looting. It’s no surprise that most Maya cities are Swiss-cheesed with trenches by tomb robbers. But the LiDAR showed the precise location of each and every one of these pits, giving us a powerful tool for evaluating such damage. In cleaning them out, we will also have a way to date buildings and to determine their ancient use and history.

Finally, Tom and I were fascinated by what may be a distinct “signature” to different periods of time. Earlier constructions from the beginnings of Maya civilization showed an almost “melted” quality, later ones a crisp outline. This means that we can see this landscape as a palimpsest — that is, like an old parchment manuscript with layers of writing on it, some erased, some added later. The occupational history of a large area is now open to us, pending further testing.

Q: How do the new findings impact the assessment of the stature of the Maya civilization?

Everything is larger, more extensive, more deeply built and engineered than we had thought. In some areas there are denser populations than previously imagined, other regions seem absolutely desolate. And the large-scale fortifications and citadels surely indicate a surprising level of conflict, fear and control. Our few excavations to date suggest that most come from the time of intrusion by an almost imperial power centered on the Mexican city of Teotihuacan, now on the outskirts of Mexico City — for societies that relied on human foot traffic, more rarely canoes, that’s very far away. The defenses we’ve found give some idea of the astonishing impact and scope of militarism of the time.

The images created by the LiDAR technology reveal a far larger and more complex Maya civilization than previous archaeological research had indicated. This is a 3-dimensional view of structures at Tikal. Courtesy of PACUNAM/Canuto & Auld-Thomas

Q: The LiDAR imagery shows what is under the rainforest — do you know how you and other researchers will address the question of when those structures were built or used?

LiDAR’s immense impact comes from the fact that it pinpoints future directions for research. At one point, I looked at a sector of the LiDAR survey and thought, “there’s a doctoral dissertation, that’s a doctoral dissertation,” and I could have gone on for dozens of other projects. That is the definition of a breakthrough. As I said before, however, looking at a landscape takes you only so far. Now we have to dig. A lot.

Q: What are a few examples of new questions that arise from what the LiDAR shows?

Figuring out what the fortifications were all about is our first task, along with exploring what we now know to be a massive city at El Palmar. The walls and citadels appear to relate to events involving Tikal and Teotihuacan, some of which are mentioned in the glyphic inscriptions I read. At El Palmar, there is an entirely new story to be told. Tikal, taken by scholars to be the main “player” at the time, was in competition with a community at least the same size. What had been a story about one major city is now, with apologies to Dickens, “a tale of two cities.”

Q: What are the implications for the field? Will this change how anthropological and archaeological research is conducted?

The archaeology of ancient tropical urbanism now has two phases, pre-LiDAR and post-LiDAR. This technology transforms everything. It changes how we explore, how we target projects, how we evaluate the cultural patrimony of our host countries, how we study the biotic overlay of trees and vegetation, how we study the soils underneath. Ultimately, it changes how we interpret the achievements of peoples I’ve been studying since I was a teenager. There couldn’t be a more thrilling time for Maya archaeology.

Leica Cyclone 3D Point Cloud Processing Software

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The Cyclone family of products is a key part of the complete solution. The various Cyclone modules take users from start to finish for every type of point cloud project.

There are modules to take advantage of the unique Leica Geosystems laser scanners field data collection operations, such as traverse, back-sight and resection as well as Visual Inertial System (VIS) links created by the Leica RTC360 for rich survey-grade collection and registration of data. This includes wizard-like automation routines that do all the work for the user as well as the industry's richest set of QA/QC and survey adjustment and analysis tools.

There are other modules dedicated to generating a vast array of deliverables from reports to maps and 3D models, movies/animations, and light weight 3D data formats that can be distributed freely over the web. These modules support a wide range of industries and workflows including civil engineering, as-built 3D models, topographic surveys, BIM models and much more.

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Leica Cyclone is comprised of individual software modules for different needs and for flexible product deployment:


CyArk was founded in 2003 by Iraqi expatriate and civil engineer Ben Kacyra. In the 1990s, Kacyra was instrumental in the invention and marketing of the first truly portable laser scanner. The scanner, called the Cyrax, was designed for surveying purposes, and was produced by Cyra Technologies. [7]

In 2001, Cyra Technologies and all rights to the invention were sold to the Swiss firm Leica Geosystems. [8]

After sale of the company, Ben Kacyra dedicated his energy to using the new technology to document archaeological and cultural heritage resources, and to the CyArk organization. [9]

CyArk's primary focus has been the digital documentation of threatened ancient and historical architecture. This architecture includes sites such as Colorado's Mesa Verde, Italy's Pompeii, Wyoming's Fort Laramie, and Kacyra's native Mosul in Iraq – also known as the biblical Assyrian city of Nineveh.

CyArk has generated a fairly large amount of publicity since its inception. Initially, this was in part due to the relevance of Kacyra's life story to the ongoing Iraq War, during which much of the country's cultural patrimony was destroyed amidst a spasm of looting and heavy military damage to important historical sites such as Babylon and Samarra. As the public face of the CyArk organization, Ben Kacyra became a popular speaker at conferences such as Google's Zeitgeist (2008), and TEDGlobal (2011), describing his life story and the potential of digital preservation to save the "collective treasure" of global heritage. In recent years, however, he has taken on more of an advisory role, while the independent non-profit organization CyArk has gathered considerable momentum.

As of 2014, CyArk has become a major entity in the historic preservationist and cultural resource/heritage management communities. The 2014 CyArk 500 Annual Summit was held at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. The theme was "Democratising cultural heritage: Enabling access to information, technology and support." [10]

CyArk seeks to help preserver heritage sites around the world through utilizing digital documentation to support the work of heritage managers and further connect people with the history of these sites. According to the site's website, they work across three principle areas: conservation, recovery, and discovery. [11]

CyArk's digital data may be useful for professionals monitoring and managing gradual architectural deterioration at cultural sites. [12] This data could also make it possible to generate blueprints for reconstruction following catastrophic events, such as the Afghan Taliban's notorious demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 or the 2010 destruction by suspected arson of the Royal Tombs of Kasubi, Uganda. The Kasubi Tombs were digitally preserved by CyArk a year before their demise, providing a lasting digital record and potential blueprint for reconstruction. [13]

In 2019, CyArk launched Open Heritage 3D in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and the University of Southern Florida to make digital data of heritage sites available to download online for people to use for educational purposes.

According to CyArk's online mission statement, the dissemination of free digital content about heritage sites can help encourage additional visits by tourists, and invigorate communities with revenue from cultural tourism. Youth and educators will benefit from free, publicly accessible historical and site information, including some Creative Commons-licensed content. And finally, the creation of digital records ensures not only that the sites will never be lost forever it also provides a digital resource to facilitate the continued mining of information over time as technologies and methods of information extraction evolve.

    , a major crossroads along the ancient silk road in Turkmenistan and the Ramesseum/Necropolis of Ramses II, Egypt and Banteay Kdei areas, Cambodia , a portion of the Ayyubid Wall in Cairo, Egypt (See: Bab al-Barqiyya) , the political, economic, and cultural center of the Bagan Kingdom in Weissenburg, Germany , a Gothic masterwork in France , 3500-year-old capital of the Chavin culture, Peru [14] , ancient Yucatán Maya center and pilgrimage site, Mexico [3] , the legendary Old West city in South Dakota, United States
  • Fort Conger, a 19th-century Arctic exploration camp located on Northeastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. , historic center of the Plains Indian Wars and the Oregon Trail, United States
  • The Hypogeum of the Volumnis, an intact Etruscan tomb near Perugia, Italy , Square Tower House, and Fire Temple, ancestral Puebloan cliff structures in Colorado, United States [15] , the capital of the ancient Zapotecs of Oaxaca, Mexico [9][16] , imperial capital of the Assyrian Empire, Iraq
  • Piazza Del Duomo's Baptistery, Cathedral, and Campanile (also known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa), Italy
  • Pompeii, ancient Roman city buried under the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. The CyArk website states that this project was also the first time laser scanning was used to document a cultural heritage site.
  • Qal’at al-Bahrain, a 14th-century Portuguese fort built atop the remains of the ancient Dilmun civilization's hilltop capitol, Bahrain , the largest stepwell in India, in the town of Patan, Gujarat[5]
  • Rapa Nui (Easter Island), scans of the famous monuments and lesser-known structures of this very isolated Polynesian culture site, Chile , culturally vital mausoleum of the last four Bugandan Kings, Uganda. The Tombs were scanned and documented by CyArk in 2009 then largely destroyed by a fire in 2010, and data from the scans will be used for reconstruction efforts.
  • Church and Cloister of Saint-Trophime, a former cathedral in Arles, France that contains some of the world's most notable Romanesque facades
  • The Pelourinho of Salvador da Bahia, historic downtown district of Brazil's original capitol
  • Stone Bridge of Regensburg, 800-year-old bridge across the Danube, Germany , a significant site in LGBTQ rights movement
  • Tambo Colorado, an adobe-built strategic center of the ancient Inca empire, Peru , a monument to the 3rd president of the United States located on the National Mall in Washington DC
  • Tikal, one of the most important and longest-occupied cities of the ancient Maya world, Guatemala

The CyArk website also offers a world map of the hazards which global heritage sites face, such as earthquakes and sea level rise due to global warming.

Initially, CyArk was fully supported by the Kacyra family and their Kacyra Family Foundation. [7]

CyArk is now primarily funded through individual project funding, corporate in-kind support, and foundation grants/donations. Corporate funders as of 2014 include Microsoft, IBM, Iron Mountain, Autodesk, and Trimble Navigation. [17]

CyArk has also established working relationships with project partners in engineering, media, and academia, including Christofori und Partner and PBS. At UC Berkeley, the organization coordinated an internship program with the department of Anthropology in 2006–2007. CyArk is currently an approved work-study employer for Cal students.

Watch the video: Fly-through of a 3D laser scan of Garage 40 (July 2022).


  1. Bednar

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  3. Nalabar

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  4. Waldo

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  5. Abboid

    Thanks for this post

  6. Ararg

    I am very obliged to you.

  7. Manning

    More precisely it does not happen

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