Art and Design Review
The use of digital twin technologies to preserve cultural heritage has become increasingly common over the past two decades. Evolving from the use of virtual environments (VE) and digital reconstructions that required multiple phases of workflow and multiple software applications and various hardware to output a useable experience to the immediacy of 3D artificial intelligence (AI) generative content and the latest generation of photogrammetric scanning, non-specialists are now able to more easily create digital twins. At the same time, the destruction of cultural heritage has accelerated due to geopolitical instability, seen in examples such as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia (2022). Even with advances in user-friendly and commercially available technologies, digital art history and the digital humanities are in a race against time to train and equip enough individuals onsite to create digital twins before more irreplaceable cultural artifacts and sites are lost to natural disasters, accelerated by climate change, or through armed conflict. However, there remain no international standards for methodological reproducibility and the techniques used currently by many scholars include specialized training and knowledge. As such, this paper presents a case study that addresses reproducibility and explainability in the digital humanities through a detailed workflow of the creation of a digital twin of Chiesa dei SS Apostoli e Biagio in Florence, Italy. A model is presented that is scalable and leverages widely available, user-friendly 360 cameras and photogrammetry with LiDAR to capture cultural heritage sites with best practices on how to quickly and effectively train non-specialists to create site-specific digital twins of a variety of cultural heritage structures.
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Hutson, James; Weber, Joe; and Russo, Angela, "Digital Twins and Cultural Heritage Preservation: A Case Study of Best Practices and Reproducibility in Chiesa dei SS Apostoli e Biagio" (2023). Faculty Scholarship. 453.