Academic, Digital Humanities, virtual heritage, visualisation

UNESCO chair in Cultural Heritage and Visualisation

I am in the process of applying for the above chair.
If any one has had experience in applying for or running one, or has words of advice to offer, or wants to send me a letter of recommendation or support or wants to be involved, please let me know!

Here is a draft precis.

This proposal will consolidate and disseminate 3D models and virtual environments of world heritage sites, host virtual heritage examples, tutorials, tools and technologies so heritage groups and classrooms could learn to develop and maintain 3D models and virtual environments, and act as advisor on policy formulation for the use, evaluation and application of these 3D digital environments and digital models for use in the classroom and for wider visualisation principles.
We propose to create a Cultural Heritage and Visualisation network, we would use and advise on 3D models of World Heritage Sites, how 3D models can be employed in teaching and research, investigate ways to host both the digital models and related paradata and publications, and transfer formats (for desktop use, mobile computing etc.), ideally with UNESCO, and leverage Curtin and partner institutes like the HIVE and integrate with our new visualisation courses in the Humanities (preferably at Masters level).

Context and justification (300 words)
Analyse trends and issues surrounding the theme of the proposal. What difference will the project make in terms of capacity-building, transfer of knowledge, and strengthening links between universities/other higher education institutions and development bodies?
Why is this necessary?
Professor Hal Thwaites, longtime President of VSMM, wrote in “Chapter 17: Digital Heritage: What Happens When We Digitize Everything”
In the very near future some critical issues will need to be addressed; increased accessibility to (and sharing of) heritage data, consistent interface design for widespread public use and re-presentations of work, the formalization of a digital heritage database, establishment of a global infrastructure, institutionalized, archival standards for digital heritage and most importantly the on-going curation, of work forward in time as the technology evolves so that our current digital, heritage projects will not be lost to future generations. We cannot afford to have our digital heritage disappearing faster than the real heritage or the sites it seeks to ‘preserve’ otherwise all of our technological advances, creative interpretations, visualizations and efforts will have been in vain.[1]
Trends at EU level are to create archives and digital humanities infrastructures but 3D models have been left behind, and the major related EU project, CARARE, created a common library format of 3D models but they were trapped inside PDF format so people could not modify and develop their own content, and the model did not dynamically link to the scholarly information that made the model possible.
This project would create a free online introductory to the field of virtual heritage, provide free online 3D models for use by the public, and create policies and guidelines for integrating digital heritage sites and models with library and community media and related information infrastructures. Web traffic, user feedback and user web forum information would be published. Plus the educational material developed would help visualisation courses incorporate heritage material into their educational programmes.

[1] Thwaites, Harold. “Digital Heritage: What Happens When We Digitize Everything?.” Visual Heritage in the Digital Age. Springer London, 2013. 327-348.

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