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Preserving cultural heritage and historic sites is an important problem. These sites are subject to erosion and vandalism, and, as long-lived artifacts, they have gone through many phases of construction, damage and repair. We believe that it is important to use 3D model building technology to create an accurate record of these sites, so preservationists can track changes and foresee structural problems. From a digital libraries perspective, 3D models also allow a much wider audience to "virtually" see and tour these sites. We have developed a suite of new methods that can reduce the time to build a model through automation. Our methods utilize range image segmentation and feature extraction algorithms. Once the 3D model is constructed, it is necessary to texture map it with imagery to create a geometrically and photometrically correct model. We are developing a 3D visualization environment to aid archaeologists in their post-excavation interpretation and analysis.
Date of Conference: 7-11 June 2004