Well-known manufacturer of 3D scanners Artec Group has teamed up with CyArk, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of world history for future generations. Together, they will be using Artec’s high-powered 3D scanners for the “digital preservation of the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites.” CyArk’s 500 Challenge is a worldwide mission to “collect and archive cultural heritage sites through laser scanning, digital modeling and other state-of-the-art technology.” The process is known as Digital Preservation, used for “cultural resource management, condition assessment, conservation, restoration, reconstruction, structural analysis, interpretation, education, and cultural tourism.”
Launched in October 2013, the point of CyArk’s 500 Challenge is to digitally preserve 500 cultural heritage sites before they are ravaged by “war, terrorism, arson, urban sprawl, climate change, earthquakes, floods and other threats” in the next five years. Artec Group’s hand-held 3D scanning technology is some the most advanced scanning equipment, and I can see how it will be a valuable asset when participants have to scan complex objects in different field conditions.
“We’re delighted to have Artec join us in the 500 Challenge. Artec’s technology enables us to rapidly capture artifacts and important elements at a greater level of detail than traditional scanning, and we are very excited about future applications. We are proud to have Artec join the ranks of our esteemed technology partners around the world,” says Elizabeth Lee, Vice President of CyArk.
“Artec is honored to facilitate CyArk’s mission with close-range 3D scanning technology, and work within a team of top professionals accumulated around the 500 initiative. Often, huge architectural sites contain objects – statues, bas-reliefs – with intricate geometry; Artec technology will aid their digitization and supplement data of terrestrial scanning,” said Artyom Yukhin, president and CEO of Artec Group.
Whether or not you read the news, most people around the world are more aware of daily atrocities and horrors perpetrated by extremists that plague innocent adults and children around the world. And destroying priceless historical artifacts often has no real point other than to assert dominance and subjugation of people. The work of CyArk is already playing a small part in preventing the damage done by this destruction through the preservation of these cultural assets of limitless importance.
Artec 3D scanners have already been used to digitize the Rani ki Vav stepwell in India and the Washington Monument in the US Capital. In August 2014, the CyArk team used Artec technology to scan the British Museum’s Assyrian Collection. As for the 500 Challenge, over 150 sites have been nominated, 80 have been approved, and over 60 now preserved. These include Pompeii, the Sydney Opera House and the Leaning Tower of Pisa among others. With the data, CyArk will develop a free online that will be coupled with free educational lesson plans and activities, offering people an unprecedented educational opportunity to engage with these objects in a whole new way. The fact that historical objects can be reprinted in similar materials and given to someone to hold without damaging the actual artifact is a completely new learning experience for human beings, and I’m sure it will prove to be a valuable one.