Acquiring, exploring and spreading Cultural Heritage with immersive technologies
Prashant Goswami, Ruggero Pintus, and Alberto Jaspe-Villanueva
Frontiers in Virtual Reality 2022
Digital technologies have been used for decades to ensure preservation, conservation, research, and wide access to Cultural Heritage (CH) content. Computer Graphics techniques have provided effective digitization of the shape and appearance of artworks and archaeological sites, becoming the main basis to virtually convey this information to the general public. CH can be explored in immersive environments so the users can better experiment and understand it; virtual tours of museums, libraries, and archaeological sites, powered by virtual and augmented reality technologies, open up possibilities of an enhanced access and inspection of places, environments and contents normally not accessible to people. This role has been even more evident during the extreme conditions of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, when these technologies represent the most practical and helpful means to reach CH assets. The lessons learned so far and, mostly, in the last year, have to be exploited to improve the field of CH digitization and dissemination, in order to increase public cultural awareness and consolidate the cultural identity of mankind around that valuable heritage. This Research Topic aims to bridge CH domain and VR/AR technologies, gathering quality publications which address challenges across the whole stages from acquisition, to exploration and dissemination. The whole pipeline covers many different topics ranging from the required capturing technologies enabling high degrees of similarity with the reality (CH digital twins), to the rendering techniques to achieve detailed and realistic visualizations. We encourage submissions as well regarding user interaction to allow exploration at different levels of expertise, methods for dealing with the meta-information, or the design of tools and installations for both the experts and the general public that use virtual and augmented reality technologies. The goal of this Research Topic is to provide a venue for presenting to the community solutions that address those different challenges, ranging from specific research problems to reviews of the state of the art, as well as case studies.