Our world is full of unique art, objects and structures that serve not only cultural icons but also as priceless, irreplaceable parts of history. But earthquakes, floods, war, time and humans threaten such sites, putting them at risk for harm or even complete elimination.
Thankfully new tools can capture these physical sites in digital form. One company leading this trend for digital preservation is California-based CyArk, a nonprofit organization focused on creating 3D archives of the world’s most precious and at-risk cultural heritage sites for preservation and education.
CyArk trains groups around the world to help identify vulnerable sites and embark on the process of digital preservation. The technology is small enough to fit into a backpack. Many of these teams are being trained in war-torn areas such as Syria and Iraq, where there is a significant risk of conflict having an impact on artifacts.
Check out the latest issue of Compass to see examples of some of CyArk’s 200 projects in more than 40 countries across all seven continents. You’ll also discover what some museums and other organizations are doing to help determine how future generations know and remember past cultures, and how technology like virtual reality headsets are making the content more powerful and more accessible.