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The Elephant Stone - Tracing a New Path for the Digital Approach to Unsurveyable Monuments

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3 Author(s)
Giorgio Verdiani ; Dipt. di Progettazione dell'Architettura, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy ; Federico Piras ; Giovanni Guccini

The stone of the elephant is a well known monument in the northern part of Sardinia, one of the main island in the Mediterranean sea. It is a large volcanic stone with a particular shape which recall the shape of an elephant. The natural forces worked on it giving to the stone a strange elephant shape; the ancient humans worked on it carving sepulchers for their deaths; in the contemporary age, after centuries when the monument was lost and forgotten, the works for a new road brought to light the stone. This monument it's a mix of natural and architectonic events and it's a very interesting case study for any real surveyor because it has a shape almost impossible to survey with traditional measuring solutions. At the same time its strange and original shape gives no guaranties about the health status of this monument: if a small part should get lost it will not be easy to verify the real damage. Moreover the stone is now placed along a road and it's freely accessible night and day without any kind of surveillance; so, what will happen in case of a car crash or in case of some tourist with a hammer and bad intentions? At the same time it is not a simple strange shaped stone, it is one of the symbol of an ancient age in a very ancient land. In this way the monument offer natural and artistic characteristic, in a special mix that makes this object a real challenge for any surveyor or 3D drawer with serious intention to reproduce correctly this monument. In the 2006 a team from the Survey Laboratory of the ldquoDipartimento di Progettazione dell'Architetturardquo has decided to face this challenge and realized the first digital survey of the stone. After two years it is time to bring here, for the first time, the result of all the processing applied to the gathered data, from the first survey data treatment to the multi resolutions modeling and then straight forward to the 3D model printing. It is not only a matter of a single survey operation, it is the developing - of a whole new approach to this kind of landscape items, with a powerful workflow capable to satisfy the very different needs from the cultural heritage management to the dissemination of information, to the didactic approach and the quality multimedia presentations.

Published in:

Virtual Systems and Multimedia, 2009. VSMM '09. 15th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-12 Sept. 2009