ADS 3D Viewer

A 3D Real-Time System for the Management and Analysis of Archaeological Data


The ADS 3D Viewer is a project funded under the Marie Curie Actions Seventh Framework Programme, and benefits from the collaboration with the Visual Computing Lab (ISTI-CNR) in the framework of the ARIADNE European project. The project will run for two years from autumn 2014 to autumn 2016. The project has the overall aim of developing a 3D web-based working environment for the management and analysis of archaeological data, based within the Archaeology Data Service.

In the past ten years the use of new technologies for the 3D documentation and reconstruction of cultural heritage has changed how we approach archaeological research. The growth of information technology in 3D documentation tools, including electronic surveying instruments, laser scanners, photogrammetric cameras, and even CAD modellers, has brought an exponential increase in the use of digital data. The use of “real-time” survey software and hardware such as the total station, global positioning systems (GPS), photogrammetry and laser scanners has had a remarkable impact on archaeological recording as well as important implications for archaeological survey. The use of these techniques, by improving the accuracy and precision of the documentation process, is considerably changing the nature and implications of the word “digital” in archaeology. Presently, the main challenge for archaeologists and information and communication technology specialists consists in the preservation and dissemination of 3D data in archaeology. Up to now, a number of 3D digital data archives have been developed but most focus on the preservation of the information over time without thinking about the accessibility of these data on the part of the scientific community.

The ADS 3D Viewer project aims to fill this gap by developing an interactive visualization system that is integrated with the database and provides access to data archived in a simple way for all kinds of users, including those who are unfamiliar with these technologies. The final aim of the ADS 3D Viewer project is to implement two viewers:

1. Object Level 3D Viewer

The Object Level 3D Viewer, extending the web-based browsing functionality of the ADS project archives, will allow the dynamic visualization of single 3D models directly in the project webpage.

2. Stratigraphy 3D Viewer

The Stratigraphy 3D Viewer will consent the visualization and analysis of a very specific kind of “aggregated” data such as the different layers of the archaeological stratigraphy.


Dr Fabrizio Galeazzi
Department of Archaeology
University of York
King's Manor

Project partners

Archaeology Data Service, University of York

Visual Computing Lab, ISTI-CNR


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