Center for Digital Heritage and Geospatial Information Faculty and Staff Publications

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rock art, laser scanning, photogrammetry, climate change, imperiled, heritage loss, visualization, libraries, digital collections, GIS, GPS


The ability to quickly and accurately document the world around us is revolutionizing fields of archeology and museum sciences and is creating new areas of research synergy and curriculum development related to rock art. Much of the world's rock art and monumental carvings are at risk or imperiled, facing issues such as climate change, acidification of the rain, air pollution, and vandalism and looting. Approaches using an integration of tools ranging from global positioning systems and spatial mapping strategies, 3D documentation with terrestrial and close range laser scanning, and photogrammetry and other specialized imaging, are greatly advancing capabilities for rapid digitization, preservation, research, education, and dissemination. These technologies are helping to improve not only data access and the ability to share, but are enhancing interpretation and management, and assisting in conservation measures that will ensure continued visibility of these fragile resources. Using case studies from heritage and rock art documentation and digital collections projects in Mexico, Europe, and the United States, we will demonstrate and examine technological capacities, and consider limitations and issues such as scale, resolution, appropriateness of methods, and ethical implications for the future of rock art recording, digital sharing and learning. We will emphasize and demonstrate the role of libraries in these developing heritage preservation programs.

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Presented at the XVIIIth Congress UISPP on June, 2018 in Paris, France