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3D-PITOTI - Innovative Technology Developments for Rock-Art Research

This ambitious 3-year 3D-PITOTI Project involves over 30 European scientists and is coordinated by the University of Nottingham. The project focuses on the UNESCO World Heritage rock-art in Valcamonica, Italy, and strives to develop new technologies for recording, visualizing and analyzing rock-art three-dimensionally.

The 3D-PITOTI project will significantly advance both the state of the art in rock-art research methodology and the recording of flat 3D structures in general. Moreover it will not only ‘take the rock-art to people’ for the first time but will convey Pitoti knowledge to a much wider audience in interactive and engaging ways. Over the next three years this international team of experts will be: • Researching and developing an affordable and portable multi-scale 3D scanning toolkit for the high resolution acquisition of Pitoti figures and their natural context. • They will develop and build intelligent control of micro aerial vehicles to survey complete rock-art sites using elaborate on-site structure from motion techniques • The project will produce intelligent data processing technologies to enrich the scanned 3D data using classification, clustering and retrieval techniques. • They will also develop interactive 3D visualisation and presentation techniques to provide access to the enriched high resolution digital rock-art for scientists, museum visitors, school children and web users. The 3D images will instantly and reliably capture each cut and scrape to a fraction of a millimetre. This suite of new methods in computer vision, laser scanning and archaeological expertise will allow a world-wide audience to see these carvings as never before. The study area is in Valcamonica, a single alpine valley in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, which has the largest group of this ‘rock art’ in Europe. Tens of thousands of images there span a period from an unknown starting date a great many centuries BC into medieval times. In the Camunian dialect, the old local language of the valley, the figures are called ‘pitoti’. This traditional name has been used for the title of the project. The key advance is to work always and fully in the third dimension, so the project is entitled 3D-PITOTI. The project successfully started in March 2013 and will carry on for the next three years. As a first important step, the ground truth scanning with state-of-the-art 3D scanning technologies was completed in Valcamonica in July 2013. The software and hardware developments have started. The collaborators in the project are: • The Human Factors Research Group and Learning Sciences Research Institute, The University of Nottingham, UK • The Institute for Creative\Media/Technologies, University of St. Pölten, Austria. • The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, UK. • The Virtual Reality Systems Group, Bauhaus University of Weimar, Germany. • The Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision and the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Measurement Signal Processing, Graz University of Technology, Austria. • ArcTron 3D GmbH, Germany. • The Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, Valcamomica, Italy Further information is available from Dr Sue Cobb at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0) 115 9514089 or Lindsay Brooke, Media Relations Manager at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 9515751.


Austria, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom