IT APPLIED FOR HERITAGE
CULTNAT is probably the only center in the Southern Mediterranean region whose mandate is to systematically document all aspects of a nation's heritage, whether cultural or natural, be it tangible or intangible; and to promote and raise public awareness towards its importance. In doing both, CULTNAT developed and applied advanced information technologies. Moreover, it built a strong network of professionals in the field of heritage documentation and preservation.
HOLOGRAM OF KING TUTANKHAMUN MASK
CULTNAT, developed a three-dimensional hologram of King Tutankhamun mask, located where the original mask is displayed in the Egyptian Museum Hall after it was transferred to the restoration lab. Hologram is the latest museum presentation technique in the world, substitute for other traditional methods.
Database Management Technology
CULTNAT owns a treasure of heritage documentation data in different formats (i.e. databases, images, videos, 3D models, documents, etc.). CULTNAT’s target is to disseminate online all this heritage data to the researchers and public users. Therefore, the database technologies are used to build the CULTNAT Heritage Repository system that consists of: 1) a unified database for all the Egyptian heritage aspects, 2) Content Management System (CMS) that makes it possible for CULTNAT researchers to create, read, update and delete data in the unified database, and 3) search engine that helps the end users to query all CULTNAT heritage documentation assets.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
CULTNAT is implementing number of GIS solutions for enterprise heritage management that provides accurate information to scientific researchers, decision makers and casual users in a practical and accessible form that will eventually contribute to the management and conservation of all the aspects of heritage and will be published as an online tool.
In CULTNAT we use online mapping services, such as those offered by Google©, Yahoo©, Bing© and Mapquest© to display customized, clickable markers, paths and areas showing points of interest on the map and related descriptive information. Also we develop number of spatial analysis tools which allow users and researchers for better understanding.
Dissemination is considered as equally important as documentation, for the message that it conveys and the awareness that it provides. A Web Unit was formed on 2006 to participate in the dissemination efforts with the first project of www.cultnat.org to work as a communication channel between the user and the immense amount of information that the center holds. Recently, the unit successfully participated in many projects.The Web Unit efforts are not limited to the design and development of websites, desktop applications and the innovation of designs, but also one of the main tasks is to maintain and insure the sustainability of many applications. Testing and evaluation are very essential in all stages of the development process.
The unit successfully joined in the evaluation process of many applications.
CULTNAT's R&D target is to develop an augmented reality system to allow for mixing real and virtual cultural-related data, to be used in ancient monuments to provide visitors with a unique experience. Integrating augmented reality systems with the CULTURAMA allows the user full control of his virtual travels through time and space.
The Advanced Documentation Techniques Lab
It started as a unit for Laser scanning & media production to be the first Laser scanning unit in Egypt and the Arab region. The Lab is growing to utilize many technologies; Totalstation surveying, Laser scanning, DGPS surveying, Photogrammetry, IR/UV spectroscopy, Ultrasound Microscopy and multi-spectral imaging. The Lab now is considered a unique and pioneer effort in Egypt for documentation and artwork investigation and work is done to establish a stronger, larger and more effective Lab to better serve cultural and natural heritage. The Lab successfully joined several researches in variety of fields some of such; conducting a large scale Archaeological Surveying for the Temple of Hathor which is located on the mountains of South Sinai, besides several mosques at El-Darb El-Ahmar.The Lab provided an integrated solution that covers not only the documentation with laser scanning, DGPS, TotalStation, Video and Still photography but also the dissemination phase that provided plans, 3d models, inventory system, CD Catalogue, printed Catalogue and online applications.
This project can be considered a unique effort towards the use of technology in full integration.
CULTNAT initiated another production line with creating its first full dome movie for planetarium display, “The Astronomical Myths” movie was created using state of the art technologies and according to international standards for high quality planetarium movies. CULTNAT showed its movie in the IPS conference (International Planetarium Society) hosted by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in June 2010 and got a marvelous feedback from the visitors and experts of the IPS, it’s worth mentioning that “The Astronomical Myths” is also the first Egyptian full dome movie.
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