The interdisciplinary EU funded project INCEPTION – Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic modelling, coordinated by the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara, is focused on bringing together innovative 3D modelling and ICT applications and professionals involved in different fields of Cultural Heritage. The aim is to increase knowledge, enhancement and dissemination through 3D digital models in order to promote the inclusiveness and accessibility of European assets. In this direction, a Stakeholder Panel with different skills in the field of Cultural Heritage has been involved leading the research toward effective strategies to increase use and reuse of digital models. These strategies are aimed at maximizing the impact of using digital data for cultural heritage applications involving a wide range of non-expert and expert users, starting from specific requirements for processing, managing, delivering cultural heritage information to a broad audience. A co-design workshop has been organized involving Stakeholders in order to investigate on their requirements and expectations, to obtain information that could be useful for the User Centered process of definition of INCEPTION’s main outcomes and functionalities.
Here we address the roadmap of the Digital Cultural Heritage research group DigitCH group, which was set up in 2013 at the Department of Architecture, University of Florence. The aim of DigitCH group was to realize the link between scientifically validated methodologies and contents, innovative storytelling, and technological instrumentation. The spread of electronic devices has enabled rapid and easy technological fallout of research in the field of the acquisition-representation of the survey data expanding audiences and accelerating even an innovative approach to the whole knowledge of CH.
The ongoing EU funded INCEPTION project proposes a significant improvement in the 3D modelling for the enhancement of Cultural Heritage knowledge by the use of a BIM approach for the semantic enrichment and management of models. Indeed, when used in the CH field, semantic BIM will be able to connect different users (e.g. scholars, technicians, citizens, governments), supporting the need for interpretation of the cultural heritage model.
The EU Project INCEPTION will create a platform that is able to exchange content according to state-of-the-art available open BIM standards. This INCEPTION open Heritage BIM platform is not only exchanging data according to existing state-of-the-art standards, but it is based on a new Heritage BIM model using Semantic Web technology. This allows applications to retrieve content according to modern query languages like SPARQL and allows user defined ‘on-the-fly’ extensions of the standard. This paper describes the structure and development of this new Heritage BIM standard. The Heritage BIM standard is developed by several Semantic Web and BIM standardization specialists in combination with top experts in the field of Cultural Heritage, all of them partners within the INCEPTION project.
The ongoing EU funded project “INCEPTION – Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic modelling” proposes a workflow aimed at the achievements of efficient 3D digitization methods, post-processing tools for an enriched semantic modelling, web-based solutions and applications to ensure a wide access to experts and non-experts. Nevertheless, the generation of high quality 3D models can still be very time-consuming and expensive, and the outcome of digital reconstructions is frequently provided in formats that are not interoperable, and therefore cannot be easily accessed. This challenge is even more crucial for complex architectures and large heritage sites, which involve a large amount of data to be acquired, managed and enriched by metadata. In order to face these challenges and to start solving the issues of the large amount of captured data and time-consuming processes in the production of 3D digital models, an Optimized Data Acquisition Protocol (DAP) has been set up. The purpose is to guide the processes of digitization of Cultural Heritage, respecting needs, requirements and specificities of cultural assets, by dealing with issues such as time-consuming processes and limited budget available for 3D documentation, accuracy of 3D models, integration of metadata and semantics into the 3D model and links with multimedia information. The DAP can be followed during the planning and performing of a 3D laser scanner survey of Cultural Heritage, and it is referred to architectural, archaeological, urban and site scales.