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Developing Advanced Technologies for the Imaging of Cultural Heritage Objects

Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant Project

Multiview RTI rig developed by CHI

Multiview RTI equipment developed by the CHI technical team

This project was funded in 2006 and completed in 2010.

In Fall 2006, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) and researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) earned special recognition: a prestigious National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the US. Only 37 of the 183 institutions submitting applications obtained grants.

In this project, USC, CHI, and Hewlett-Packard Labs have extended Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to provide three-dimensional (3D), multiple-view RTIs of cultural objects. Multiview RTI enables the creation of digital objects that can be interactively inspected using rotation and zooming and relighted from different viewpoints. New viewing software will make this technology readily accessible to museum professionals, scholars, and the interested public and enable interaction with the three-dimensional representations of cultural heritage objects.

One of the benefits of multiview RTI is the use of photographic technology and digital imaging processing, allowing museums to produce interactive images with powerful new information and without significant changes to personnel, skill levels, or professional working cultures.

Project Accomplishments

The project resulted in freely available tools and training materials for dissemination to the broader museum community.

Partners and Contributors

The project includes a USC team consisting of the Archaeological Research Collection (an active USC teaching museum), the West Semitic Research Project and the InscriptiFact internet image database. Dr. Bruce Zuckerman is the principal investigator for this project and leads the West Semitic Research Project.

WSRP logo   InscriptiFact logo
A USC School of Religion project dedicated for the last 20 years to high-end photography of ancient inscriptions and other material culture. A database designed to allow access via the Internet to high-resolution images of ancient inscriptions from the Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds.

CHI has enlisted experts around the world to make its vision a reality. By working with experts in different areas, we can deliver solutions that are low-cost and immediately effective for museum professionals and archaeologists.

HP Labs logo   UC Berkeley logo   CNR logo