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MIT Digital Collection of Panoramas, Photogrammetric Images, and Drone Captures of World Heritage Site #MachuPicchu | @UNESCO

This is an incredible, and highly ambitious project, from the fine folks at MIT Computation Group | Architecture whose MIT Design Heritage digital collection includes a number of sites, notably Machu Picchu in Peru.

The team, the Architecture Representation and Computation Group, has led the first extensive expedition to digitally document Machu Picchu, using the latest generation of instruments and techniques to explore the site’s architectural and urban importance  and develop a 3-D site map using virtual reality and augmented reality. The Architecture Representation and Computation Group has an important record of working with digital capturing technologies on World Heritage Sites in Italy, China, Singapore, and Japan.

“We believe that documentation through computational techniques for the digitalization of architectural monuments is key to the preservation of the cultural heritage of humanity,” Nagakura says. “But it is just a simple idea for old practice. From Renaissance time, architects have been going to building sites, and drawing them up to study them. We are just replacing tape measures and Mylar sheets with scanning tools and VR headsets.”

For the project in Peru, the team visited the archaeological complex on two occasions for several weeks in mid-2017 and early 2018. At the site, more than 9,000 images were collected through panoramic cameras, photogrammetric scanning tools, and drones. Gonzalez says the working hours were “intense.”

Read more here and check out the full collection of images here.


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