Alternative views on the lost heritage of Gwynedd

Lead Research Organisation: Bangor University
Department Name: Sch of Computer Science

Abstract

Computer photogrammetry techniques have advanced enough to utilise multiple 2D photographs of the same object, building or environment, perform a registration of them and calculate a 3D model from the 2D photos. This project will create 3D models from the photographs in the archives and allow users to navigate and view these 3D scenes. The work will focus on heritage photographs that are stored as an image archive of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT), photographs that were taken many years ago, and not for the purpose of creating a 3D picture. Many of the photographs depict assets that have long disappeared, or excavations that have been built upon. Thus we aim to re-create 3D models of images that cannot be digitised into 3D today - we are creating the lost heritage of Gywnedd. We will also elicit stories from public engagement and collate information on these pictures. Therefore, we will present alternative views on the lost heritage of Gwynedd. Different representations will be included: the 2D pictures, interactive 3D models, stories and interpretations of the heritage asset, and where appropriate 3D physical models printed through rapid prototyping techniques. By making enhanced archival data publicly available in formats it was not available before, the project also will also contribute to the AHRC's care for the future research theme.

Planned Impact

This work is important nationally and seeks to address a timely problem. There are many photographs of old heritage artefacts, objects and buildings, if it is possible to re-create then automatically through this method then other archives can develop similar 3D models and utilize the methodology that we are investigating. While researchers have used photogrammetry techniques on photographs, the photographs were especially taken for this purpose. We are achieving this on unprepared photographs that were not arranged for this purpose. Therefore this is an important challenge. Also there is much benefit in creating alternative representations and integrating different stories: users are able to understand the information better, and to explore the information, and develop their own conclusions.

There is much benefit to other researchers. It will benefit researchers at each institutions: Bangor and Aberystwyth. It will also develop skills of the local community, through the community involvement. This project will also strengthen the established Research Institute of Visual Computing (RIVIC) (rivic.org.uk), which is a collaborative network of four universities in Wales: Bangor, Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Swansea. Since exploration and enhance issues are relevant for many problems that the researchers in RIVIC are dealing with, the expertise in this area will be beneficial for the entire institute.

This work will contribute to UK's research standing through published papers (that will be presented in peer review conferences and journals). Also, the workshop will enable researchers to discuss these issues, and it is hoped that this workshop will engender new research areas and future research projects.

Pathway to global impact. The website and exhibition will enable us to start to promote the work to a wider audience and therefore have far reaching impact. We are specifically collaborating with the University of Vienna in this proposal, such to collaborate with researchers who have developed appropriate experience and skills, and have recently published on similar challenges. Through this collaboration the research will naturally have wider reach. In particular, other EU projects could be developed in this area, strengthened by the collaborations that are formed through this work.

Publications

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Miles H (2015) Alternative Representations of 3D-Reconstructed Heritage Data in Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage

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Wilson A (2016) Historical records, archives and photogrammetry in The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice

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Karl R (2014) Picture This! Community-Led Production of Alternative Views of the Heritage of Gwynedd in Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage

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Roberts JC (2016) Sketching Designs Using the Five Design-Sheet Methodology. in IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics

 
Title Exhibition at Amgueddfa ac Oriel Gwynedd Museum &and Art Gallery, Bangor; June-July 2013 
Description Exhibition of 3d physical (tangible) three-dimensional printed models of standing stones, art work from local artist, pre-history artefacts from excavations in the local area, and information about pre-history sites. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Interest from public and curator of Gwynedd Museum over new collaborations with the museum. 
 
Title Meini Hirion Mon / Anglesey Standing Stones, Holyhead Library; May-June 2013 
Description Exhibition at Holyhead Library. Demonstration of recreated 3d models on a computer; stereographic setup showing 3d models in 3d. Including 3d printing of some standing stones; a model as a puzzle for school kids to explore; original artwork from archives of old excavations; artwork from local artist who had worked with school kids during sessions; artwork from said school children. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Newspaper article showing visit by MP, and children exploring the 3d models. Interest in Bangor University and further study from the kids. 
 
Title Standing Stones Exhibition, Oriel Ynys Mon; 25/01-09/02/14 
Description Exhibition in the Oriel Ynys Mon on the standing stones; a collaboration with Bangor University, GAT, involving a local artist and work by school children from the local area. Exhibition included: physical models (3d printed) of standing stones, 3d models on a computer, art work on standing stones, children's drawings of standing stones and original sketches from archives of excavations from the past. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Interest from school kids over Bangor University. 
 
Description The project examined the archive data of an archaeological archiving service, in this case that of the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, from an external computer science perspective.

We were able to utilise a subsection of the images to create partial 3D reconstructions; particularly with aerial photography in the generation of large terrain landscapes.

In addition we were able to advise the archiving staff on which images would be suitable for the generation of models and offer future alterations to their methods of photography and storage which would allow greater success in the production of models.
Exploitation Route Digital communication sectors could take the work and apply it to their domain. So, the work could be applied to other datasets. In particular, Heritage archivists could take the technique and look at other digital data to generate other types of digital surrogates.

Education Sector would benefit from having additional 3d models for education of heritage assets or sites.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The findings influenced the development of the next AHRC project, such to automate the process and involve the public (in citizen science). Since the publication of the article, we have been contacted by a heritage conservation group, to use our techniques.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description KESS mini
Amount £18,370 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Department Welsh European Funding Office
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 01/2015
 
Description Forestry commission Isle of Arran 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Forestry Commission Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Photogrammetry survey on 8 different prehistoric sites.
Collaborator Contribution Permissions and access to the forestry commission land.
Impact Multidisciplinary: Archaeology/survey and Computer Scientists. Output was 3D models of these sites for the Forestry commission.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Maid Harlech, RCAHCW 
Organisation Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaboration with Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and with Skyonix to scan Maid of Harlech aircraft.
Collaborator Contribution Skyonix provided the hardware and some expertise, RCAHCW provided the expertise and also ground surveyors.
Impact Multidisciplinary. Surveyers (RCAHCW), Technology and Research (Bangor University and Aberystwyth University), Skyonix technology in flight and business.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Maid Harlech, RCAHCW 
Organisation Skyonix Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration with Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and with Skyonix to scan Maid of Harlech aircraft.
Collaborator Contribution Skyonix provided the hardware and some expertise, RCAHCW provided the expertise and also ground surveyors.
Impact Multidisciplinary. Surveyers (RCAHCW), Technology and Research (Bangor University and Aberystwyth University), Skyonix technology in flight and business.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Smerquoy excavation 
Organisation University of the Highlands and Islands
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joining the excavation at Smerquoy on Orkney Island, to take samples for radio carbon data, and photographs for photogrammetry
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration by the team for another neolithic site.
Impact Archaeologist, with computer scientists.
Start Year 2013
 
Description European Archaeological Association, Pilsen 2013 - Alternative views: Automated photogrammetry on lost heritage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Promotion of the project to 1397 registered people, 48 countries. United Kingdom (179), Czech Republic (148) and Germany (135). Many discussions took place over the conference.

This work helped to fashion the follow-on AHRC proposal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.eaa2013.cz
 
Description Holyhead and Anglesey Mail - 20/06/2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Engendered discussions within the University; produced interest from wider University and visitors to the School.

Visitors to our other open day mentioned it. From this article we decided to do more schools work in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation - Open Data, Archäologie und Bürgerbeteiligung in England und Wales 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk engendered many questions.

Invitation to writeup paper in journal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation -- Re-creating Lost Heritage: Automated photogrammetry on archived images; at Digital Past 2014, 12-13/02/14 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk created much discussion over photogrammetry techniques.

Gain of contacts for future collaboration; discussion of follow-up grant;
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://digitalpast14.blogspot.fr/p/blog-page_3.html
 
Description Presentation of project at AHRC's Digital Transformations 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Several questions about the project.

Discussion about future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description RIVIC newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion with other researchers in RIVIC

Query from email about additional research; enquiry about doing a phd at Bangor.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Recycle and Reuse: Reusing archived images for automated photogrammetry of cultural heritage, Digital Past 14, Llandudno, 12-13/02/14 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participants learnt how to use images for photogrammetry and generating 3d models.

Participants were interested in the heritageTogether.org project and wanted to hear more about how they could get involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014