GraphiTech has investigated the application of IT technologies in the domain of cultural heritage. The vision was, and it still is, to connect different cultures through new technologies as well as to develop instruments for the re-qualification of archaeological, architectural and monumental heritage. In fact, archaeological sites and ancient monuments are usually perceived by non specialists as fragmented, partial, difficult to interpret and comprehend, and often out of today’s context. This results in a frustrating and limiting experience for most of the visitors.
The fast-growing technological advancements in the field of Virtual Reality technology and the access to affordable high-performance Computer Graphics hardware, made it possible to extend the range of VR applications from the field of scientific research and medical training, to the general public and specifically to the field of edutainment.
Notable example of projects at GraphiTech are TrentoIeriOggieDomani, a virtual exhibition which has reconstructed the urban evolution of Trento (Italy) and which had made accessible via the internet an extremely wide range of multimedia data based on their geographical location. The project was inspired by a previous similar initiative, called DentroTrento, which has brought to the development of a virtual exhibition illustrating the life in Trento during the Roman age.
NetConnect – Connecting European Culture Through New Technology, financed by the Cultura 2000 programme, is another European project which has brought to the development of a video game to teach history of archaeology.
Testing new media, triggering users’ creative potential, have been among the goals of different projects at GraphiTech. Through playful engagement we have adopted modern technologies and tools borrowed from the domain of Virtual Reality and computer graphics, in order to explore new domains, where artistic expression and creativity are predominant, still not explored by the large public. Cognitive and creative paths have been identified according to the specific project scenarios, promoting socialization, dialogue and exchange of ideas. Technology becomes catalyser of cultural exchanges and communication rather than cause of isolation and alienation. The semantic pillars of this research activity are therefore information, meant as knowledge, creativity and socialization.
Several projects have brought to the development of a number of different technologies in the field of:
- Virtual Reconstructions
- VR set-ups for museums
- Web-based access to virtual heritage