Advanced VR, iMmersive serious games and augmented reality as tools to raise awareness and access to European underwater Cultural heritage (iMARECULTURE)
- Project Identification
- Project Period
- 10/2016 - 9/2019
- Investor / Pogramme / Project type
- European Union
- MU Faculty or unit
- Faculty of Informatics
Underwater Cultural Heritage assets are widely spread into the Mediterranean. Unlike land archaeological sites, however, submerged settlements, ancient ports and other coastal industrial installations, especially shipwrecks, are not accessible to the general public or all experts, due to their environment and depth. Photos and surfaced artifacts exhibited in maritime museums provide fragmented aspects of such sites but are the only ones visitors can actually see. Digital technologies have also been, randomly used, in museum rooms, as a supplementary information source, but not always very successfully. Thus, Virtual Museums provide a unique opportunity for digital accessibility to both scholars and general public, interested in having a better grasp of underwater sites. Such digital encounters should allow virtual 3D underwater visit opportunities for children, elderly or people with mobility problems, instead of only specialized drivers.
A Virtual Museum (VM) of ancient seafaring is a technologically demanding endeavor, but one that will cover a significant gap in the dissemination of underwater archaeological finds to the public. Its main objective is to introduce the general public into diverse archaeological domains pertaining to ships, such as shipbuilding and navigation, cargoes and trade mechanisms, but also underwater archaeological methods and conservation and protection issues. Thus and given the multicultural character of seafaring and seaborne trade, through which the Mediterranean people have been interacting and communicating over the last 2500 years, a VM will enhance better understanding of common Cultural Heritage, within and around Europe, and will bring together an interdisciplinary team of specialists from different countries.
This project, based on the re-use of open GIS maritime data, 3D models of shipwrecks, 2D drawings from books and publications and already existed underwater archaeological parks will provide creative and highly innovat