A virtual museum

A virtual museum
Description

DigiArt aims to create an "internet of historical things", available anywhere, at any time, on any web-enabled device. The project will provide a new, cost efficient solution to the capture, processing and display of cultural artefacts. It has been developed by a consortium of seven academic, industrial and museum partners and is being co-ordinated by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University. The project's ambition is to present artefacts, linked to their context, in an immersive display with virtual and/or with augmented reality. This virtual reality will be the "story telling engine" that builds the context around the objects. The project, which received EUR 2.3 million of its funding from the European Union under Horizon 2020, sets out to develop complex software to identify objects and automatically extract their meaning.

Results

Project ongoing. However, the DigiArt web platform now exists and seeks to provide a new, cost efficient solution to the capture, processing and display of cultural artefacts. It offers innovative 3D capture systems and methodologies, including aerial capture via drones, automatic registration and modelling techniques to speed up post-capture processing (which is a major bottleneck), semantic image analysis to extract features from digital 3D representations, a “story telling engine” offering a pathway to a deeper understanding of art, and also augmented/virtual reality technologies offering advanced abilities for viewing, or interacting with the 3D models. The 3D data captured by the scanners and drones, using techniques such as laser detection and ranging (LIDAR), are processed through robust features that cope with imperfect data. Semantic analysis by automatic feature extraction is used to form hyper-links between artefacts. These links are employed to connect the artefacts in what the project terms “the internet of historical things”, available anywhere, at any time, on any web-enabled device. The contextual view of art is very much enhanced by the “story telling engine” that is developed within the project. The system presents the artefact, linked to its context, in an immersive display with virtual and/or with augmented reality. Linkages and information are superimposed over the view of the item itself. The major output of the project is the toolset that will be used by museums to create such a revolutionary way of viewing and experiencing artefacts. These tools leverage the interdisciplinary skill sets of the partners to cover the complete process, namely data capture, data processing, story building, 3D visualization and 3D interaction, offering new pathways to deeper understanding of European culture. Via its three demonstration activities, the project establishes the viability of the approach in three different museum settings, offering a range of artefacts posing different challenges to the system.

Programme name
Horizon 2020
EC’s priorities
Digital Single Market
EU contribution
€2 300 000
Project location
United Kingdom, Greece, Belgium, France, Switzerland
Time frame
2015 to 2017
Project webpage

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