Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dr Maurice Murphy PhD, MPhil, Member of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, is a lecturer and researcher in building conservation and computer graphics in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). With over 30 years’ experience in building surveying and conservation, he has led and participated in a number of EU programmes in the area of Digital Cultural Heritage.

Maurice will be at Digital Past 2016 talking about Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM), a process which consists of surveying existing structures using remote sensing followed by the mapping of parametric and information rich objects onto a geometric framework based on the survey data. The parametric objects which represent the architectural elements are built using a geometric descriptive language and are based on historic architectural documents (architectural rules and shape grammars). In  addition  these  rules  and  grammars are  exploited to  procedurally model  parts  of  the structures to speed up and automate parts of the process. The resultant HBIM can then be used for automatically producing conservation documentation and analysis of historic structures in addition to visualisation.

The project to develop this prototype recording and documenting system will be explained through the case studies of work on the Four Courts and Henrietta Street in Dublin City. These historical, classical buildings will provide examples of how this project creates a system for the conservation, maintenance and management of historic properties.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Integrated Survey for Community Engagement

Wessex Archaeology and the Churches Conservation Trust have undertaken a joint project to assess the value of combined digital survey to engage local communities in heritage assets.

The project was carried out at the Old Church of St Nicholas, Uphill, a site not often open to the public, during the Heritage Open Days 2015. The aim was to carry out archaeological investigation using a combination of laser scanning, Total Station Survey, Reflectance Transformation Imaging, excavation and geophysics to inform the CCT about the building, but also to encourage local volunteers to participate in the survey and be trained in survey and excavation techniques. Processing of the raw data was carried out on site allowing the volunteers to see the products of their work and a selection of this work formed an exhibition on the final open day.

Paul Baggaley and Damien Campbell Green will be at Digital Past to discuss the project and whether such an approach can lead to sustained engagement.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Registration is open!

Registration for Digital Past is open and, as spaces are limited, early booking is advised. 

Two-day delegate tickets can be booked at Eventbrite at a cost of £89, covering lunch and refreshments. This will give access to the wide range of talks, discussions, workshops and demonstrations available over the two days, held within a friendly and informal atmosphere that aims to promote the exchange of ideas and facilitate networking. There will also be the opportunity to take part in the 'Unconference' session on the first afternoon, allowing delegates not on the formal timetable to give presentations on projects, research, ideas or issues within or outside the strict themes of this year’s event.

Two sizes of exhibition stand are also available for booking, giving the opportunity for displays and demonstrations of projects or products at the heart of the conference venue. 

Lastly, but by no means least, you can book for the conference meal to be held in the Wedgewood Suite at the St George's Hotel on the evening of the 10th. A delicious three-course menu, prepared by their award winning chef, will be provided at 7 pm. 

We look forward to seeing you in Llandudno! 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Virtual Reality at the British Museum...

While a growing number of cultural heritage sites are using virtual reality to enhance visitor experiences, examples of this technology within museums are far fewer. Lizzie Edwards, Education Manager at the Samsung Digital Learning Programme at the British Museum, will be talking about the findings from their 'Virtual Reality Weekend' in August, an early iteration of the use of VR in a museum.

Bronze Age round house interior: Photo Soluis Group Limited
The talk will cover the exploration of the potential of Samsung Gear VR headsets and Virtual Reality environments to assess how they might deepen engagement with museum collections for children, young people, school group and families. Based around 3D scans of three Bronze Age objects, the experience invited users to explore multiple interpretations of each object's function and purpose while locating the objects in the context of a virtual Bronze Age round house.

                        British Museum: Photo Benedict Johnson                                                       Sussex Loop: Photo Sketchfab

Lizzie will discuss the testing of the experience, the use of different platforms and the feedback received. She will also place VR within the context of other digital engagement methods used in museums to assess its relative value in providing engagement opportunities.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Digital Saqqara - from bits of paper to bites of data

Scott Williams, PhD student at Cardiff University, will be talking about mapping the ritual landscape at Saqqara. While traditionally Egyptologists have relied upon published literature to understand this landscape, digital technologies are providing the opportunity to combine this paper-based media with GIS and field survey data to assemble an advanced multi-layered, three-dimensional representation of the complex funerary landscape of North Saqqara.


This three-dimensional simulation and representation permits new approaches to the study of landscapes which are no longer extant or accessible, allowing exploration and examination from different perspectives. These technologies continue to be underpinned by an academic framework through the application of the latest theoretical methodologies within archaeological GIS, and through this approach the geo-referenced landscape model will provide a digital research heuristic.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Introducing our first three keynotes...

We are very pleased to announce our first three keynote speakers for Digital Past 2016: Anthony Corns (Discovery Programme Ireland), Andrew Lewis (V&A) and Jon Munro (Visit Wales, Cinch).

Anthony is Technology Manager for The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland, an institute with the mission "to explore Ireland’s past and its cultural heritage by conducting advanced research in Irish archaeology and related disciplines and by disseminating its findings widely to the global community." A fundamental part of this aim is to carry out this research using the most modern tools available, and to encourage the participation of a much wider community outside the confines of archaeologists and historians.

Andrew is Digital Content Delivery Manager at the V&A, part of a team responsible for all things digital in the museum. As the World's leading museum of art and design, the V&A aims to enrich people's lives through "promoting the practise of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world". The delivery of material digitally, be it online or in the museum, is playing an increasingly large role in this.

Jon Munro is Head of Digital Leadership at Visit Wales and managing director of Cinch, a digital and destination marketing consultancy. Visit Wales is the Welsh Government's tourism team and its principal role is to provide leadership and strategic direction to the Welsh tourism industry, including in the areas of heritage, faith and digital tourism.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Are you involved in an innovative digital heritage project?

Digital Past currently has out a Call for Contributions for the 2016 event. Our two themes for this year are 'Digital Survey: An Integrated Approach' and 'Digital Heritage Tourism'. Topics may include, but by no means are limited to, BIM, GIS, digital archiving, Big Data, utilising the Cloud, intellectual property, digital publication, digital storytelling, gaming, engaging children, heritage tourism and regeneration, sustainability, heritage tourism platforms, and Digital Tourism: Is it working?

If you are working in a research or operational capacity on innovative projects within the heritage, survey or tourism sectors then please submit an outline proposal for a paper, seminar or workshop to Outlines should be in the region of 150 words and should be submitted by 5pm on the 2nd October 2015

Monday, 24 August 2015

Welcome to Digital Past 2016

Welcome to the new BlogSpot for Digital Past 2016, due to be held in the beautiful seaside resort of Llandudno.

We are currently looking for contributions for the 2016 conference on the themes of Digital Survey: An Integrated Approach and Digital Heritage Tourism. Details of the Call can be found on the Call for Contributions page.

There will be more information posted soon, and the BlogSpot will keep you up to date with speakers and workshops as our programme progresses.

We hope we can welcome you to Digital Past in 2016....