Special Issue "3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sara Gonizzi Barsanti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Aversa (CE), Caserta, Italy
Interests: 3D reality-based modelling; photogrammetry; laser scanning; FEA; reverse engineering; VR; AR; cultural heritage; monitoring; conservation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reverse engineering (RE) and computer graphics (CG) are well-known techniques for analysing, studying, preserving, and visualizing cultural heritage (CH) assets. Although 3D models are useful to preserve the information about cultural heritage, the potential of these digital contents will not be fully accomplished until they are not used to interactively communicate their significance to nonspecialists. Immersive technologies like virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) have become more and more popular in a wide range of scientific applications. With these technologies, it is possible to provide an immersive way to present spatial data such as 3D point clouds or 3D models, and they have significant potential for the virtual presentation, visualization, and fruition of cultural heritage.

AR and VR are valid tools to interact with 3D models and help make culture more accessible to the wider public. Thanks to their flexibility, they can help museum curators to adapt cultural proposals and information about artefacts based on different types of visitor’s categories.

These technologies allow visitors to travel through space and time, have fun, and get educated on complicated topics.

VR/AR technologies are also extremely useful to recreate a lost or hidden environment to lead to better comprehension of the site or to allow people to discover important sites that are not visible, both for security and conservation reasons.

Dr. Sara Gonizzi Barsanti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Virtual reality
  • Augmented reality
  • Cultural heritage
  • 3D reconstruction
  • 3D modelling
  • Reality-based modelling
  • Integration of data
  • Multi-source data
  • Hidden cultural heritage
  • Virtual tourism
  • Virtual tour
  • Virtual devices
  • Storytelling

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Augmented Virtuality Using Touch-Sensitive 3D-Printed Objects
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(11), 2186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13112186 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have become more and more affordable and popular in the last five years thanks to hardware and software advancements. A critical issue for these technologies is finding paradigms that allow user interactions in ways that are as similar as [...] Read more.
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have become more and more affordable and popular in the last five years thanks to hardware and software advancements. A critical issue for these technologies is finding paradigms that allow user interactions in ways that are as similar as possible to the real world, bringing physicality into the experience. Current literature has shown, with different experiments, that the mapping of real objects in virtual reality alongside haptic feedback significantly increases the realism of the experience and user engagement, leading to augmented virtuality. In this paper, we present a system to improve engagement in a VR experience using inexpensive, physical, and sensorized copies of real artefacts made with cheap 3D fabrication technologies. Based on a combination of hardware and software components, the proposed system gives the user the possibility to interact with the physical replica in the virtual environment and to see the appearance of the original cultural heritage artefact. In this way, we overcome one of the main limitations of mainstream 3D fabrication technologies: a faithful appearance reproduction. Using a consumer device for the real-time hand tracking and a custom electronic controller for the capacitive touch sensing, the system permits the creation of augmented experiences where the user with their hands can change the virtual appearance of the real replica object using a set of personalization actions selectable from a physical 3D-printed palette. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
The Use of Virtual Reality to Promote Sustainable Tourism: A Case Study of Wooden Churches Historical Monuments from Romania
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1758; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13091758 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The accelerated development and expansion of cultural tourism in areas with unique tourist objectives, characterised by a high degree of risk in terms of their physical and chemical integrity, requires sustained efforts by all stakeholders to identify new methods, techniques, and procedures for [...] Read more.
The accelerated development and expansion of cultural tourism in areas with unique tourist objectives, characterised by a high degree of risk in terms of their physical and chemical integrity, requires sustained efforts by all stakeholders to identify new methods, techniques, and procedures for their conservation, protection, and capitalisation, with respect to tourism. The aim of this study was to propose an optimal methodology for capitalising on tourism related to wooden churches, regarded as a structural item of tangible cultural heritage, with positive effects on the protection, conservation, information, and awareness of all stakeholders in tourism development. This involved the development of a web portal, in which were integrated the 3D models related to the analysed objects, the panoramic images inside them, the audio support, the photographs, and the accompanying text necessary to create and render a virtual reality (VR) production for purposes of virtual tourism (VT). The results obtained consisted of the creation of the website Bihor360°, which is freely navigable and whose content, including both textual and graphic information, can be easily accessed by all interested users. The aim involved was to release an online bridge for potential visitors to the fragile tourist attractions, facilitating the development of active knowledge and VR while raising awareness among the population and the local authorities about the role and the importance of the wooden churches in tourism and the local economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
3D Reconstruction and Geostatic Analysis of an Early Medieval Cemetery (Olonne-sur-Mer, France)
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13091688 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
A preventive excavation performed in 2018 prior to development work led to the discovery of more than 213 subjects buried from the 4th to the 11th centuries in the 1850 m2 dug area. This is a cemetery located in Olonne-sur-Mer in France [...] Read more.
A preventive excavation performed in 2018 prior to development work led to the discovery of more than 213 subjects buried from the 4th to the 11th centuries in the 1850 m2 dug area. This is a cemetery located in Olonne-sur-Mer in France (46.53723, −1.77603). The complex is limited to the south by a ditch. To the north, no limits were observed during the excavation and, to the west, ancient archaeological surveys suggest an extension of the burial area. Biological analysis of the skeletons reveals a demographic characterizing a natural community, with an under-representation of children under 5 and with subjects under 20 appearing to be grouped together in the center of the area. The place where the youngest are buried often testifies to a strategic position in Christian contexts (near church doors, under sub stillicidio gutters, etc.). Funeral practices are characterized by numerous skeletal alterations, especially in the western area of the site where their concentrations are particularly significant. These are not ossuaries but rather supernumerary bones present in the fills of graves of subjects in place or old tombs where no skeletons in place are preserved. These alterations mark the areas where burials are most frequent. The 3D reconstruction is coupled with geostatistical analyses (heatmap and Moran’s index), considering the digging of the land, the concentration of residual artefacts found in the graves, but also the biological characteristics of the sample and the funeral practices uncovered. From 2D entities generated with GIS software, the process of the elevation and sculpture of the volumes is innovative, because even if it is carried out by precise but classical computer graphics techniques, it is led by advanced taphonomical and anthropological reflections. This makes it possible to propose empty spaces, a potential gathering area for the village community and circulation paths. These elements are essential in order to go beyond the storytelling often proposed in archaeology and propose a vision based on the coherence of the observed facts. Even when the archaeological remains are only sunken (no preserved elevation), the integration of multisource archaeological data (biological anthropology, funerary, artefacts and pit size) allows relevant 3D reconstructions as a formidable tool for discussing past occupations. Three-dimensional technologies make it possible to recreate a lost environment to allow a better understanding of the site. They are didactic and help to share data between researchers and/or the public, especially when they are invisible such as the presence of empty space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
Making the Invisible Visible: Underwater Malta—A Virtual Museum for Submerged Cultural Heritage
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(8), 1558; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13081558 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
The seabed can be considered as the world’s largest museum, and underwater sites explored and studied so far provide priceless information on human interaction with the sea. In recognition of the importance of this cultural resource, UNESCO, in its 2001 Convention on the [...] Read more.
The seabed can be considered as the world’s largest museum, and underwater sites explored and studied so far provide priceless information on human interaction with the sea. In recognition of the importance of this cultural resource, UNESCO, in its 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, determined that objects/sites should be preserved in situ, whilst also advocating for public access and sharing. The implementation of these principles is not without difficulties. Some states have opened up underwater sites to the public—mainly through diving, yet the vast majority of the world’s population does not dive. In Malta, 7000 years of human occupation is reflected in and on the landscape, and recent offshore surveys show that the islands’ long and complex history has also left an indelible mark on the seabed. Besides difficulties related to their protection and management, these sites also present a challenge with regard to sharing and communicating. Recent advances in underwater imaging and processing software have accelerated the development of 3D photogrammetry of submerged sites and the idea for a virtual museum was born. The virtual museum, UnderwaterMalta, was created out of a need to share the plethora of underwater sites located on the seabed of the Maltese Islands. A multitude of digital tools are used to share and communicate these sites, offering visitors a dry dive into submerged sites that would otherwise remain invisible to the vast majority of the public. This paper discusses the basic principle of the sharing of underwater cultural heritage and the difficulties that beset the implementation of such a principle. A detailed explanation and evaluation of the methods used to gather the raw data needed is set in the context of the particular and unique working conditions related to deep water sites. The workings of this paper are based on first-hand experiences garnered through the recording of numerous wrecks over the years and the creation and launch of The Virtual Museum-Underwater Malta—a comprehensive virtual museum specifically built for “displaying” underwater archaeological sites that are otherwise invisible to the general public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
Presence of the Past: Digital Narrative of the Dennys Lascelles Concrete Wool Store; Geelong, Australia
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(7), 1395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13071395 - 05 Apr 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Recreation of the past—of historical buildings—sits at the intersection of the spatio-temporal manifestation of cultural memories, socio-cultural meanings, values, and identity remolds, and refines the existing understanding and sense of place. Digital technologies have become a popular tool in recreation of the past [...] Read more.
Recreation of the past—of historical buildings—sits at the intersection of the spatio-temporal manifestation of cultural memories, socio-cultural meanings, values, and identity remolds, and refines the existing understanding and sense of place. Digital technologies have become a popular tool in recreation of the past by creating a new body of knowledge and historical discourse based on identifying the gaps within our written histories. Designers and policymakers around the world have been exploring various tools and technologies, such as diachronic modeling, yet there is a gap in evidence-based understanding regarding the actual functioning and success of applications for placemaking. This paper, therefore, sets out to scrutinize the role of digital technologies in facilitating digital placemaking. To do so, it investigates the potential of a new “digital heritage” narrative in the revival of the lost architectural narrative of the Dennys Lascelles wool store, Geelong. The proposed paper aims to investigate the potential of a new “digital heritage” narrative and storytelling as a means towards a digital placemaking framework. While exploring the new and unique capabilities provided by the digital narrative in capturing, simulating, and disseminating lost heritage, it will further imbue a sense of place by connecting the everyday city dweller. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
Evaluating Feature Extraction Methods with Synthetic Noise Patterns for Image-Based Modelling of Texture-Less Objects
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(23), 3886; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12233886 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
Image-based three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction is a process of extracting 3D information from an object or entire scene while using low-cost vision sensors. A structure-from-motion coupled with multi-view stereo (SFM-MVS) pipeline is a widely used technique that allows 3D reconstruction from a collection of [...] Read more.
Image-based three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction is a process of extracting 3D information from an object or entire scene while using low-cost vision sensors. A structure-from-motion coupled with multi-view stereo (SFM-MVS) pipeline is a widely used technique that allows 3D reconstruction from a collection of unordered images. The SFM-MVS pipeline typically comprises different processing steps, including feature extraction and feature matching, which provide the basis for automatic 3D reconstruction. However, surfaces with poor visual texture (repetitive, monotone, etc.) challenge the feature extraction and matching stage and affect the quality of reconstruction. The projection of image patterns while using a video projector during the image acquisition process is a well-known technique that has been shown to be successful for such surfaces. In this study, we evaluate the performance of different feature extraction methods on texture-less surfaces with the application of synthetically generated noise patterns (images). Seven state-of-the-art feature extraction methods (HARRIS, Shi-Tomasi, MSER, SIFT, SURF, KAZE, and BRISK) are evaluated on problematic surfaces in two experimental phases. In the first phase, the 3D reconstruction of real and virtual planar surfaces evaluates image patterns while using all feature extraction methods, where the patterns with uniform histograms have the most suitable morphological features. The best performing pattern from Phase One is used in Phase Two experiments in order to recreate a polygonal model of a 3D printed object using all of the feature extraction methods. The KAZE algorithm achieved the lowest standard deviation and mean distance values of 0.0635 mm and −0.00921 mm, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Article
Initial User-Centered Design of a Virtual Reality Heritage System: Applications for Digital Tourism
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2583; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12162583 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Reality capture allows for the reconstruction, with a high accuracy, of the physical reality of cultural heritage sites. Obtained 3D models are often used for various applications such as promotional content creation, virtual tours, and immersive experiences. In this paper, we study new [...] Read more.
Reality capture allows for the reconstruction, with a high accuracy, of the physical reality of cultural heritage sites. Obtained 3D models are often used for various applications such as promotional content creation, virtual tours, and immersive experiences. In this paper, we study new ways to interact with these high-quality 3D reconstructions in a real-world scenario. We propose a user-centric product design to create a virtual reality (VR) application specifically intended for multi-modal purposes. It is applied to the castle of Jehay (Belgium), which is under renovation, to permit multi-user digital immersive experiences. The article proposes a high-level view of multi-disciplinary processes, from a needs analysis to the 3D reality capture workflow and the creation of a VR environment incorporated into an immersive application. We provide several relevant VR parameters for the scene optimization, the locomotion system, and the multi-user environment definition that were tested in a heritage tourism context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction for Cultural Heritage)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The 1934 Ford coupé utility vehicle - Challenges in the 3D documentation of industrial design objects between archiving and virtual reality presentation
Authors: Mathew Kanjirakattu George; Max Rahrig; Kaja Antlej
Affiliation: Deakin University
Abstract: 3D digitisation and virtual reconstruction are well-established digital heritage research areas. The most profound studies have been done in the domains of archaeology and built heritage. Various museums have been 3D archiving their collections and investigating the ways how users could engage with digital reproductions through virtual museums. However, industrial design and engineering museum objects, such as vehicles bring additional technical, and heritage questions, which up until now haven't been entirely addressed. Not only that heritage vehicles consist of small details, reflective and transparent surfaces, which may be difficult to document and later present in Virtual Reality. More studies should be conducted to understand the appropriate level of details to be recorded for future generations. Should an object be 3D documented only as a whole piece or should each part be disassembled in order to capture the information of negative corners and hidden elements, such as engine or cockpit? How to document and present reflective textures in Virtual Reality? The paper discusses the challenges and potential solutions of 3D documentation between archiving and virtual reality presentation on a case study of the first Australian ute vehicle. A combination of photogrammetry, laser 3D scanning and reverse engineering has been tested to investigate the most suitable ways to digitally represent the 1934 Ford coupé utility.

Title: Presence of the past: Digital narrative of the Dennys Lascelles Concrete Wool Store; Geelong.
Authors: Md Mizanur Rashid; Chin Koi Khoo; Surabhi Pancholi; Sofija Kaljevich
Affiliation: School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University , Australia
Abstract: Re-creation of past of historical buildings—which sit at the intersection of the spatio-temporal manifestation of cultural memories, socio-cultural meanings, values and identity—, re-moulds and refines the existing understanding and sense of place. Digital technologies have become a popular tool in re-creation of past by creating a new body of knowledge and historical discourse based on identifying the gaps within our written histories. This paper, therefore, sets out to scrutinise the role of digital technologies in facilitating digital place making. To do so, it investigates the potential of a new “digital heritage” narrative – by the application of ‘diachronic modelling’ – in the revival of the lost architectural narrative of the Dennys Lascelles Wool Store, Geelong. The Dennys Lascelles Concrete Wool store, popularly known as Bow Truss Building, is an early 20th century industrial building with expansive reinforce cement concrete (RCC) roof. Along with Barwon Sewer Aqueduct this particular building is one of the two most celebrated engineering achievement by Edward Giles Stone an architect and civil engineer who pushed design boundaries with RCC in the early 1900’s. It was claimed as being the largest flat -roof space in the world (almost an acre) without visible column support of that time. The site was considered very unique and was listed on several heritage registers including the Register of National Estate and National Trust register. Unfortunately, the rapid urbanisation of the city of Geelong, led to the destruction of the building and the site. More importantly, this led to an all-important loss of the lasting legacy of wool-making that glorifies the past of Geelong and its key strategic position in the history of Australia. This paper reports on the outcome of a research project, undertaken to address this situation. The findings of the paper reveal: (i) the reconstruction of past with scattered, scarce and inconspicuous primary data availability by undertaking a pragmatic approach, and (ii) the ocular-centric nature of virtual & augmented reality application that sparks the question however, of its’ ability to translate a ‘Place’ in its multi-layered manifestation. The proposed paper aims to investigate the potential of a new “digital heritage” narrative and story-telling– in the form of ‘diachronic modelling’ – as a means towards digital place making framework. While exploring the new and unique capabilities provided by the digital narrative in capturing, simulating and disseminating ‘lost’ heritage it will further imbue a sense of place by connecting the everyday city dweller.

Title: Making the invisible visible – Underwater Malta: a virtual museum for submerged cultural heritage
Authors: Timmy Gambin; John Wood; Sausmekat Maja at Heritage Malta; Kari Hyttinen
Affiliation: Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta
Abstract: It is estimated that there are over one million shipwrecks present on the seabed of the world’s seas and oceans. Although a very small percentage of this estimate have actually been discovered, underwater sites explored and studied so far provide priceless information of human interaction with the sea, not just through remains related to seafaring but also through submerged landscapes once inhabited by prehistoric peoples. Brought about by specific environmental conditions, the quality of the archaeological record of certain materials found underwater can be second to none. Likewise, the very same environment can quicken the deterioration of remains made from different materials. In recognition of the importance of this cultural resource, UNESCO, in its 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH), determined that objects/sites should be preserved in-situ as the first option. The same Convention advocates a principle for the promotion of “public awareness regarding the value and importance of Underwater Cultural Heritage”. There are numerous difficulties regarding the implementation of this last principle. Whereas some states have opened up underwater sites to the public – mainly through diving – it is also true that the vast majority of the world’s population does not dive. Moreover, many underwater sites are situated at depths that are beyond the reach of even the most qualified divers. More than 7000 years of human occupation is reflected in and on the landscape of the Maltese Islands. Recent offshore surveys show that the islands’ long and complex history has also left an indelible mark on the surrounding seabed. The concentration of UCH around Malta and Gozo is exceptional in both quantity and quality. Besides difficulties related to their protection and management, these sites also present a challenge with regard to sharing and communicating. Recent advances in underwater imaging and processing software have accelerated the development of 3D photogrammetry of submerged sites. Originally used by the authors for the recording and scientific study of underwater sites it soon became apparent that the 3D content being created also had added value as a means to communicate shipwrecks to those who do not have a chance to visit the wrecks in situ. The idea for a virtual museum was born. This paper discusses the basic principle of the sharing of UCH and the difficulties that beset the implementation of such a principle. A detailed explanation and evaluation of the methods used to gather the raw data needed, is set in the context of the particular and unique working conditions related to deep water sites. Processing methods and the integration of 3D models into a web platform are also presented.The capturing and processing of raw data forms the majority of the work behind the virtual museum. However, background research into each site had to be carried out, including the formation of feature annotations. The creation and launch of such a site is only the beginning. A virtual museum needs to be curated and kept updated just like any other physical museum. The work behind this is also examined. The workings of this paper are based on firsthand experiences garnered through the recording of numerous wrecks over the years and the creation and launch of underwatermalta.org – a comprehensive virtual museum specifically built for ‘displaying’ underwater archaeological sites that are otherwise invisible to the general public.

Title: 3D Reconstruction and Geostatic Analysis of an early medieval cemetery (Olonne-sur-Mer, France)
Authors: Rozenn Colleter (1,2); Jean-Baptiste Barreau (3)
Affiliation: (1) INRAP (National Institute of Preventive Archeological Research), 37 rue du Bignon, 35577 Cesson-Sévigné, France. (2) CAGT (Centre of Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse), team FOSSIL (FOrensic Sciences and the Study of Image Libraries), CNRS, University of Toulouse, UMR 5288, Faculté de Médecine Purpan, Bat A37 Allées Jules Guesde 31000 Toulouse, France (3) CReAAH, CNRS, University of Rennes, UMR 6566, Campus de Beaulieu Bat 24 RDC P009, Avenue du Général Leclerc, 35000 Rennes, France.
Abstract: More than 213 subjects have been buried from the 4th to the 11th centuries in the 1850 m² excavated area. The complex is limited to the south by a ditch. To the north, no limits were observed during the excavation and, to the west, ancient archaeological surveys suggest an extension of the burial area. Biological analysis of the skeletons reveals a recruitment rather characterising a natural community, with an under-representation of children under 5 and with subjects under 20 appearing to be grouped together in the centre of the area. The place where the youngest are buried often testifies to a strategic position in Christian contexts (near church doors, under gutters sub stilitico, etc.). Funeral practices are characterised by numerous skeletal alterations, especially in the western area of the site where their concentrations are particularly significant. These are not ossuaries but rather supernumerary bones present in the filling of graves of subjects in place or old tombs where no skeletons in place are preserved. These alterations mark the areas where burials are most frequent. The 3D reconstruction is coupled with geostatistical analyses (heatmap and Moran Index), considering the digging of the land, the concentration of residual furniture found in the graves, but also the biological characteristics of the sample and the funeral practices uncovered. This makes it possible to propose empty spaces, a potential gathering area for the village community and circulation paths. These elements are essential in order to go beyond the storytelling often proposed in archaeology and propose a vision based on the coherence of the observed facts. Even when the archaeological remains are only sunken (no preserved elevation), the integration of multi-source archaeological data (biological anthropology, funerary, furniture, pit size) allows relevant 3D reconstructions as a formidable tool for discussing past occupations. 3D technologies make it possible to recreate a lost environment to allow a better understanding of the site, they are didactic and help to share data between researchers and/or the public, especially when they are invisible such as the presence of empty space.

Title: A map based 3D reconstruction of the city of San Cristobal de La Laguna in the XVI century
Authors: Fernando Pérez Nava; Isabel Sánchez Berriel; Norena Martín Dorta; Cecile Meier; Jesús Pérez Morera
Affiliation: Universidad de La Laguna
Abstract: The use of 3D visualization technologies offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct historical cities that do not longer exist or have been substantially modified. These 3D reconstructions promote the cultural significance of the city so that it can become part of our collective knowledge and thereby endure over time. In this paper we will use the first preserved map of the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, drawn in 1588 by the engineer Leonardo Torriani as the basis for its 3D representation at that time. This map shows the first non-fortified Spanish colonial city whose plan provided a model for the colonial cities of America. These distinct features made San Cristóbal de La Laguna a UNESCO World Heritage site. In our work we show how the 3D reconstruction has to balance the fidelity to the original map, the integration of other historical sources and the current map of the city. This leads to the development of several tools to integrate these distinct sources resulting in a 3D model of the city in the XVI century. The results of our work can be applied to other similar maps that were developed in Europe at that time.

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