SHARING ON WEB 3D MODELS OF ANCIENT THEATRES. A METHODOLOGICAL WORKFLOW
Keywords: 3D, Cultural Heritage, Ancient Theatres, WebGL, HTML5, Web-Based Visualization, Knowledge sharing, Virtual Reality
Abstract. In the last few years, the need to share on the Web the knowledge of Cultural Heritage (CH) through navigable 3D models has increased. This need requires the availability of Web-based virtual reality systems and 3D WEBGIS. In order to make the information available to all stakeholders, these instruments should be powerful and at the same time very user-friendly. However, research and experiments carried out so far show that a standardized methodology doesn’t exist. All this is due both to complexity and dimensions of geometric models to be published, on the one hand, and to excessive costs of hardware and software tools, on the other. In light of this background, the paper describes a methodological approach for creating 3D models of CH, freely exportable on the Web, based on HTML5 and free and open source software. HTML5, supporting the WebGL standard, allows the exploration of 3D spatial models using most used Web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer. The methodological workflow here described has been tested for the construction of a multimedia geo-spatial platform developed for three-dimensional exploration and documentation of the ancient theatres of Segesta and of Carthage, and the surrounding landscapes. The experimental application has allowed us to explore the potential and limitations of sharing on the Web of 3D CH models based on WebGL standard. Sharing capabilities could be extended defining suitable geospatial Web-services based on capabilities of HTML5 and WebGL technology.