Never before have we been able to combine new and emerging technologies with existing tools to digitally model and document anything – above ground, below ground or even under water. Using an unprecedented combination of technology and process, we can create exact replicas, accurate to less than the width of a human hair, in 3D, and know exactly where on earth they reside using GPS technology. These models become the precise digital archive of the sites being recorded.
The Power of Digital Models
The Titanic wreck is expected to be unrecognizable in 20 years due to its extreme depth. It’s also common knowledge that the ocean’s coral reefs are dying. Using digital models we could monitor the health of remaining coral reef systems around the world. Similarly, a model of the Parthenon could be used to determine the structure’s vulnerability to pollution and earthquake. Finally, imagine virtually experiencing the mortuary temples inside the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Data Leads to Rediscovery
This is more than just creating digital models. Important data can be integrated into each model, which allows us to ask the models questions. For example, let’s say we open a digital map that we have created. We then ask the map to show us all of the sites built during the time of Emperor Hadrian’s reign. Then we ask, of those sites, which in Rome were built using Carrara marble. We could then trace the marble to its source, and analyze the route used to transport it by examining topography. The point is this: once the digital model is created with its embedded background data – the hidden becomes seen, sites are researched more deeply and cohesively, are preserved, and can be recreated for historical, cultural and commercial gain.
The value these models can provide is incalculable. Geologists know that all natural and manmade structures will eventually return to dust. It’s simply a matter of time and the elements. However the results of increased population and the demand for water, agriculture, living space, etc. is putting many of mankind’s most precious sites in harm’s way today.