Yiran Xuan – Looking Outwards – 05

Archaeology is a prime application for 3D computer graphics. Due to technology, we have been able to discover more and more archaeological artifacts that were previously unknown or inaccessible; however, access and exposure to these artifacts, or simply the march of industrial development, have also put some of them at risk. Old buildings and statues in Europe are damaged by acid rain, sections of the Great Wall of China are swallowed by encroaching desertification, and the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan are being destroyed. A solution to their preservation is to use laser scanning to create a virtual 3D model of the site. This can create an accurate record of the artifact before its possible degradation, or help in the restoration of certain parts. It is also powerful tool to allow researchers to study the artifact in ways that are physically impossible, such as manipulating the models, seeing them from a different view, or just accessing them without having to travel.

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