Augmented reality based user interfaces to assist fieldwork on excavation sites
Kayalar, Ceren and Balcısoy, Selim (2008) Augmented reality based user interfaces to assist fieldwork on excavation sites. In: CAA 2008, Budapest, Hungary
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Official URL: http://www.caa2008.org/documents/caa_2008_book.pdf
Archaeological site excavation is a destructive and irreversible process. According to archaeologists, there is a certain need to visualize and analyze the previously collected data and completed work. Over the past years, researchers have developed virtual and augmented reality (AR) applications for cultural heritage sites. The current applications are mainly focused on AR context, where 3D virtual objects are integrated into the real environment in real-time. They can be classifi ed into two main categories: mobile tour guides and reconstructive tools of remains. Although there are examples of excavation analyzers in indoor augmented reality and 3D virtual reality contexts, there are no such applications which offer real-time on site digital assistance using outdoor augmented reality. In our project, we present an outdoor augmented reality tool to assist fi eldwork of archaeologists on excavation sites which provides a user friendly interface. Our prototype consists of an ultra mobile PC embedded with a camera and connected with orientation and positioning sensors. It serves as a navigation and annotation tool. We provide a user scenario to explain the workfl ow: An archaeologist wants to work on a point of interest (POI) in the excavation site. He/she makes observations on the provided vectorial map and gets information of the POIs on graphical interface widgets. Upon selecting POI to investigate further using the stylus of the mobile PC, the POI’s detailed information sheet appears. Besides this navigation property, our tool allows the archaeologists to model the remains of the port walls in real-time, where AR context is activated. By lifting the mobile PC to his/her gaze direction, camera input starts and AR interface offers the 2D model of POI. The user selects reference points of the wall on the video input by considering the corresponding points of the 2D model and completes the 3D modeling process. The archaeologist can later work on the remains by marking and annotating the different strata on the video input. Thus, a complete 3D model of POI is created on site with layer information. We are currently testing our prototype at the Yenikapi excavation site in Istanbul. This area is considered as the most exciting and important archaeological discovery in the history of Istanbul where the archaeologists uncovered an ancient port of Constantinople with perfectly preserved ancient ships’ skeletons. Since 2005, a team of archaeologists, geologists and authorities of Istanbul Archaeology Museum are working on the remains on the fourthcentury port, Portus Theodosiacus.
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