To Do: Migrate

This presentation is part of the 2017 3D Digital Documentation Summit.

Shifting the Paradigm of Heritage Conservation Education through 3D Imaging Technologies

Speaker 1:           I’m actually only going to speak briefly, and Sujin will be doing the presentation, but I wanted to, I wanted to share first a little bit about the University of Florida’s Envision Heritage Initiative. If I could ask the students from the University of Florida to stand up, we’ll point them out. I encourage you all to speak with them during breaks or otherwise. I think they’re all very interested and engaged in issues of 3D digital documentation of heritage. Thank you.

The University of Florida, well first I should say, I very much appreciate being involved in this effort in the National Center For Preservation Technology and Training, is partner of ours for the last four years, and again this summer we have been offering classes on Nantucket as part of our Preservation Institute of Nantucket, the nation’s oldest built school for historic preservation. On photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning, so that’s a shameless plug. If you know anyone whose interested in training and learning we’ll be there on island this summer with the National Center, but a lot of the presentations yesterday, with the exception of maybe the Rhode Island School, was really about the application of these technologies. But few people are really talking about how we’re training that next generation to use the technologies, and that’s really what Sujin’s dissertation, his research focus is on. And it was something we realize at the University of Florida we wanted to be involved in.

And in 2012 we launched the Envision Heritage Initiative with a much broader agenda or mission of exploring how new and emerging technologies, specifically 3D technologies could be used to document the historic built environment and since we launched that program, we’ve worked with the US State Department and the World Monuments Fund and [inaudible 00:02:06] which is show here in [inaudible 00:02:06], Buddhist temple. We have a rather, what I think, is a fairly progressive and innovative program with the Town of Nantucket to create a digital model of Nantucket. Sujin put in there, he said you have to share with them this profile detail we talked a little bit about I think it was, we talked a little bit about the difficulties I think it was the Habs Team of creating profiles. So we scanned Mainstreet last May, and we got a call from an owner who wanted to do repair work of her front door. And we were able to create, she has a second home, a summer home on Nantucket, and Nantucket called us in Florida, we went into a digital model, we created elevations. The profiles aren’t exact, but enough to kind of work from, and we were able to send them to her. So the idea of managing a historic district remotely through digital technology, that’s something that we really wanted to explore, and I think it’s happening. This is just one example. They’ve lifted bricks and put them back, based on preliminary work.

We worked with American College of the Building Arts, this is Steinway and Sons Piano Company. I think everyone’s probably touched a key from a Steinway and Sons piano. A developed purchased that building and demolished the interior, as you see on the upper right, they weren’t protected and we were able to laser scan and document them. We had about eight hours we were given and we were able to recreate with American College of Buildings what you are seeing is from left to right a 3D print, our model, and then actually used traditional techniques, measure and drew from the model to do [inaudible 00:03:56].

And more recently we have been working with communities across Florida to look at issues, historic communities I should say, coastal communities, to address issues of sea level rise, and so what you’re seeing here, ah we have a geologic center, a geo plan, one of the best in the country and they have been mapping sea level rise across the coast of Florida, and they asked us to do 3D visualizations. We click on that little map, sea level- scenarios, you see it in 2D, but we’ve been doing it in 3D.

And lastly Jeff is here, an exciting new partnership that we have is with Vizcaya and Museum and Garden which are being very progressive about the issues of digital technology and how to interpret those sites. So we were asked to scan the stone barge, and it is stone and it won’t float, they it was meant to be a break water, I think they also park their yachts there, so we took the scanner into the water and we did photogrammetry from the boat and so Vizcaya is helping take us up into the next level. So with that I just wanted to introduce, we have the presentation now, we have a talk tomorrow about historic building information modeling and we have three poster sessions. So I think the University of Florida is well represented. I’m gonna turn it over to Sujin.

Sujin:                     Thank you. So this particular part of the study is about, this aims to answer this research question, how can 3D digital technology [inaudible 00:05:41] transform the process and the perception of heritage documentation entering. So 3D digital documentation has been transforming the way heritage specialists work. Extending their documentation and analysis to the virtual realm. Academia, academic historic preservation training programs including universities started recognizing this phenomenon and trying to introduce the new technologies to their traditional curriculums.

So we may be at the moment of a paradigm shift upgrade. So we’re in the middle of transition. Then the academia should respond to this shift. That’s the purpose of this study. So I just want briefly talk about paradigm shift. The concept of paradigm shift originates from Thomas Coon’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. So according to Thomas Coon, a paradigm shift is about perception of shift, which means the world, the word relevant to group of certain professional may not change actually, although there could be a small addition of new things, but the perception of, people’s perception of the world changes.

So it’s very important to understand the nature of the factors that this [inaudible 00:07:24] is the proponent from the [inaudible 00:07:26]. And once the paradigm shift is understood, it is also important to reeducate ourselves and also other people in the field, because people tend to believe things the way they were educated, learned to pursue. So this study will explore how the preservation students and educators are recognizing and perceiving this new digital technologies and how they want to introduce or integrate it, the technologies with their traditional approaches and curriculums. And this study also investigates the difference between the working on adjacent sides and remodel sides in terms of the user of virtual data.

So this study conducted ethnographic research collecting data through interviews and participatory observations where three different college age interview groups. The first group is the student group who participated a Heritage Documentation class that aimed at hapse submission. So like some of the demographic character of this particular group is a little hard to prove it’s impact. Many of the students are called millennials and that could be a character of this particular group, and also many of them have the architecture background and also some experience of 3D imaging. This is also unique character a little hard to represent a typical group of preservation students but they still provide a valid information about this study.

So this class documented a mid-century modern building and decide what adjacent to the campus. So the students have a lot of chance to visit the site actually to take the field measurement and others. And at the end of the semester, the interview asked them, the students about critical reflections on the curriculum.

And the second group is preservation instructors who have a teaching experience in heritage documentation, and also some experience of 3D vision technologies.

Speaker 2:           We are millennials [inaudible 00:10:26].

Sujin:                     Yeah, yeah, right yeah. They are baby boomers yeah. And the last group is what Mari just represented, Envision Heritage, the University research group who address 3D imaging technologies to document heritage sites. And we interviewed four graduate student assistants and they, in many cases, work on CAD drawings using the virtual data. For heritage sites where they may or may not visit, so actually some of the students in the group one and three are the same, but their work objectives are very different. For instance, the class group, their main purpose is learning skills. Not only learning the 3D technologies but also all kinds of traditional approaches. So in terms of the final products, it’s kind of flexible although the class aims at hapse mission but the final products [inaudible 00:11:41] depends on how students do.

But the last group is a little different because although still non-profit organization, but the projects are still sponsored which means they have to produce certain deliverables on time. So it’s a little more practical approach.

So the ethnographic research here is informed by two contexts, and the contexts want is the class project for the University Lutheran Church in Gainesville, Florida. And this context is relevant to the first two interview [inaudible 00:12:23]. So the University Lutheran Church was built in 1961, and it’s in a mid-century modern style building. And the design high-rise the vericolity through the steep roof and the triangular spines on top and the exposed glurem structures.

Yup so the modern features of this mid-century building was kind of relatively easy for students to have a hands-on experience for surveys, but at the same time, there are a lot of challenges. For instance, the because of the height the many areas at the upper area was not accessible, also there is a safety issues for students as well. So as a part of the curriculum, the primary instructor introduced laser scanning, among many other tools. But also the laser scanning like recorded, helped to record the inaccessible areas, both for exterior and interior. And please keep in mind that the laser scanning is kind of the timing is important. The laser scanning was introduced after mid-term. It’s kind of typical because most heritage documentation programs are focused on the traditional field survey method. So they start with those things and then introduce some other new technologies later as just one among many other tools.

So there is some expectations when the curriculum was originally designed. First of all, because the site was adjacent to the campus the primary instructor and I expected that students will have a lot of chance to visit the site as much as they want to collect information by hand measuring. And so in the curriculum the field measurement was remained as a major method of collecting information. And laser scanning was still treated as a supplement actually. Well just to give you more information, sorry just to help you better understand this kind of traditional approach, this is a summary of the interviews with the other heritage documentation instructors.

So typically a traditional curriculum involves not only graphical documentation, also narrative documentations. It doesn’t have to be for something like national register nomination, but still this kind of research, archival research helps students understand the sites better.

The instructor talked a lot about the educational values actually. And those values could be understood through the frame of the Ernest Boyers concept of scholarship. Including discovery, application, integration. And the amount this the most important thing is discovery. So one instructor said it’s very important for students to have a deep fundamental appreciation of [inaudible 00:16:11] contexts of heritage. So which means like students need to understand how the things are put together, not only just how the building looks like or what style it is. So in many cases those traditional curriculums and those instructors want to keep the traditional hand measuring method central to the academic training and practice. And it was the same for this particular case as well as group one.

However, after the semester is done, after the students create a final projects, the interviews and observations revealed that the students drawing production greatly relied on the latest scan data. The less benefited from hand measured information collected through the entire semester. There are some challenges actually in terms of field work. The first one was again there are many inaccessible areas, so student’s claimed that they could not really like fully relied on their field notes because there are a lot of missing information. And at the same time, they could not rely on the laser scans either because you know like if you have the experience of laser scanning, laser scanning always include some degree of missing information and unclearness. So you know like they could not rely on like neither one, and despite the adjacent site, we didn’t have a chance, a real chance to verify the laser scan data or chance to fill in the gaps in the laser scan data because of the timing. The laser scan was introduced after mid-term, among many other tools. So students didn’t have a real chance to explore those new technology, especially the 3D information.

So they produced the draft version of drawings including elevations and sections and plans, and this is one example done by a student who is sitting there. And you can see, you can easily compare the earth graphic images from the laser scans to and see how it was converted to the line drawings.

So in terms of digital data used, the students group, the classes student group showed nearly no difference from the University research team, the mostly documents remote site with little to no field access. So I want to explore the context to you which is documentation for Robox Street in Bridgetown, Barbados, which was documented by the University Research Group.

So two of the faculty members from UF and I went to the Robox Street which is part of the city’s [inaudible 00:19:43] world heritage site. And the field world of laser scanning took about four days to record about one mile long street scape. And we got the 3D information and based on that we could, we were able to create a scale of orthographic images. And based on that, the student assistant produced the CAD drawings for some of the most significant historic buildings on the street.

So just think about the you know this kind of documentation just one mile lone street scape is traditionally, through the traditional approach this is subject to surveys that take many weeks if not many months, and also many people. But it took four days for laser scanning and the more interesting factor of this project is that none of the student assistant had visited the site. They, so they worked from the virtual realm. And there was some opportunities like through the interviews the students claimed that they kind of felt comfortable with using the virtual data, although they have never visited that site. And so, technically they did not need any field note, hand measured field notes. And they said the laser scan sources provide a reliable information of overt shapes and structural systems. So which means most outlines of the buildings can be drawn from laser scans. But, however, there is challenges as well, they said that the details like modeling profile many other smaller details were not clear on the laser scans. So sometimes require verification in the field. And also the laser scans always includes a degree in unclear and missing information.

There was some challenges, but so they kind of relied on the virtual data a lot. But that does not mean they didn’t value the field experience. I think this is important. The experience of field, traditionally the instructors tended to treat the experience of field is equal, equals taking field notes. But student’s think like experiences about being there touching something, smelling something, that is not necessarily taking a lot of field notes which you know is really labor intensive and time consuming.

So in terms of work flow, they put the 2D orthographic images from the laser scans at the center. So they traced it over to draw the outlines, most of the outlines of the buildings. And they still needed more information about the details or sometimes the somethings not clear on the orthographic images, then they use some other resources from laser scans like point clouds and also if you know the laser scans can create a 360 degree panoramic view as well. But also they got some of the reference photos is like typical photos. So they cross checked the information using these different resources. This is also important that like instructors or some many others tend to treat the laser scanning as a whole, but these student assistants distinguished these things like they are different things like they are all from the laser scans but 3D, orthographic and panoramic view. Very different resources.

So to sum up, instructors expectation is like this, so they need to out the hand measured field notes at the center of the whole curriculum. So they spend a lot of time for this and they introduce kind of [inaudible 00:24:33] laser scanning among many other tools, so it’s like just another tool, among others. And again they tend to treat [inaudible 00:24:42] laser scanning as just a single thing. And students, the class of students but however, rarely used their field notes very little. But they really highly relied on the um orthographic images from the laser scans. But virtually they didn’t have a chance to explore the 3D information cause it took time for them you know to be familiar with those certain type of software or data.

And the research team really, the red dash line, means the strong connection between the different sources. So they use a variety of multiple sources from the 3D imaging. And also if it is necessary they did some individual research through Google or something to understand the site to where they never visited.

So this study leads to the conclusion that the integration of 3D digital tools into heritage documentation training should be based on the fully understanding of advantages and limitations of each method. To help students learn how to use both traditional and digital tools properly, what to measure with which tool is important. For instance, the problem of the class curriculum might be the students measure the same things that lasers can also record it. Which means both the traditional method and the digital method duplicate information rather than augmenting information. So yeah, so this assumes that virtual data may need to be introduced from the beginning of the class for applying service in the field. Even the first students have field experience. So actually this study would not make a fixed conclusion or something, but rather it would kind of open up some questions about for the further research. And this assumption, that I just talked about, and other other preliminary findings from this study will be subject to further examination by applying to future documentation training programs and classes and then there is like, to be continued. Thanks.



The development and advancement of 3D imaging technologies is profoundly changing the way heritage specialists undertake documentation, collaborate, and accomplish their goals of preserving historical and cultural resources. Heritage conservation scholars and instructors are recognizing this phenomenon. Research and teaching have started involving 3D imaging, and students are being introduced and becoming more familiar with technologies like laser scanning for heritage conservation. Limited research, however, has been done to explore how heritage conservation education and practice are changing. This study records and analyzes how 3D imaging is transforming how heritage specialists are educated and how they are integrating technologies like laser scanning into workflows for documenting resources.

The study employed ethnographic research to investigate how collegiate instructors and students use 3D imaging tools for documentation of heritage sites and how the technologies are changing the traditional approaches to academic training and practice. Data collection tools included interviews and observations. Interviews were conducted with graduate students and faculty members comprising two focus groups: a graphical documentation course aiming at a Historic American Building Survey (HABS) submission and university research group dealing with sponsored projects. Both groups utilized 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry as documentation tools. Interviewees also included individuals ranging from a former director of a traditional documentation program to students who have attended a 3D imaging workshop. The research also incorporates the authors’ observations during involvement in heritage documentation programs and training courses.

To understand the contexts of the ethnographic research, two case studies were chosen: University Lutheran Church, Gainesville, Florida and Roebuck Street, Bridgetown, Barbados. The church is a 1961 post-World War II modern style building that was designed by a Florida architect A. Wynn Howell and retains a high level of integrity. The building was surveyed and documented by graduate students with the goal of a HABS submission. Roebuck Street is one of the major commercial thoroughfares in Bridgetown, Barbados. This major street was established about 1628 by English settlers and is included in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription. As part of the city’s redevelopment planning effort, the approximately one-mile-long streetscape was documented by 3D laser scanning over 4.5 days, and student researchers created elevation drawings of some of the most significant historic buildings on the street. The case selection criteria include different access levels and project scales. While the site of the church was visited on a regular basis, Barbados was never visited by most of the student assistants. Consequently, the church project could combine field measured information, but the Caribbean project exclusively depended on 3D laser scans. Also, while the church project aimed at a complete documentation of the architecture, the Roebuck Street project was focused on the urban scale and street elevations and conditions.

Among the results of this study, outcomes indicate that the integration of 3D imaging technologies into the heritage documentation process is shifting analysis from reality to the virtual realm. Less time is spent in the field and more time with the digital data. In both case studies, students and faculty relied heavily on the results of laser scanning to examine and better understand the design, construction details, and materials, among other aspects of the buildings. For example, rather than taking measurements and physically assessing building components on site, this analysis was conducted from the virtual model. A key variable was accessibility. In one instance, the site was remotely located and not easily visited. The architecture of the other example did not allow some areas to be easily accessed. This paper and presentation explore this shift in heritage documentation and address larger issues of the opportunities and challenges it affords, including how to educate a future generation of specialists who will increasingly experience sites virtually.

Speaker Bios

Sujin Kim is a research assistant of the Envision Heritage initiative at the University of Florida where he pursues his Ph.D. His dissertation explores the impact of terrestrial laser scanning on conservation of the built heritage. Sujin has examined methodologies of producing a variety of products from laser scan data, such as topographic mapping for flood mitigation planning and solid modeling for reconstruction of historic elements, on which he presented papers at international conferences. Sujin led a laser scanning workshop and graduate course. Sujin got his master’s in architecture and historic preservation from the University of Texas at Austin.

Morris (Marty) Hylton III is Director of the Historic Preservation Program and Preservation Institute Nantucket at the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning. His research addresses multifaceted strategies for documenting and advocating the preservation of endangered heritage sites, particularly cultural resources associated with modernism and the Recent Past and historic places and communities endangered by sea level rise and other threats. Marty also created and manages the Envision Heritage initiative to explore how new and emerging technologies like laser scanning can be used to document historic sites and cultural resources.

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