Symposium eyes technology's
role in historic preservation


Technology's evolving role in building documentation was the focus of the 11th annual Historic Preservation Symposium sponsored Feb. 26 – 27 by the Center for Heritage Conservation at the Texas A&M University College of Architecture.

The symposium, titled "Technology Preserves," took place in the Preston Geren Auditorium at the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus.

"Leaders in the field discussed the latest technology in the documentation of historic buildings and sites, and how that technology is used," said Bob Warden, director of the CHC. "There's been lots of new developments in the past 10 years."

Bernard Frischer, director of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory and professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Virginia, delivered the symposium's keynote address, "Rome Reborn: A Case Study in Digital Documentation and Publication."

The keynote, open to the public, was followed by a dinner for registered symposium attendees.

Frischer is a leading scholar in the application of digital technologies to humanities research and education. Among the major projects he's headed is "Rome Reborn," the creation of 3-D models illustrating ancient Rome's urban development from the late Bronze Age to its depopulation in the early Middle Ages.

He has authored or co-authored six books, two e-books and numerous articles on virtual heritage, the Classical world and its survival, and is editor of the award-winning Digital Roman Forum website,

The Rome project was featured at SIGGRAPH, the world's premier computer graphics and interactive techniques conference, in 2008, and was the December 2008 cover story of Computer Graphics World.

His work has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, German Public Radio, the BBC, Newsweek, Scientific American, Business Week, the New York Times and many other magazines and newspapers around the world.

Lectures on day two of the symposium included:

  1. "Point Cloud to BIM," by Gonzalo Martinez, director of strategic research in the office of the Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk, Inc.;
  2. "Computer Vision Technology Applied to Building Modeling," by Kevin Williams, chief executive officer and co-founder of Clear Edge 3D, a firm that developed software to create editable, 3-D CAD models from laser scanner data;
  3. "Towards Preserving Digital Collections for Long-Term Access," by Katherine M. Arrington, digital library specialist in the prints and photographs division at the Library of Congress;
  4. "Laser Scanning," by Karen Hughes of Leica, co-author of "Bridging the Gap: Using 3-D Laser Scanning in Historic-Building Documentation" in a 2005 issue of the Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin;
  5. "Application of Technology for Mayan Anthropology," Bob Warden, the CHC's director and professor of architecture at Texas A&M, and
  6. "GPR Interpretation at Valmagne," Vivian Paul, professor of architecture at Texas A&M, and Mark Everett, professor of geology and geophysics, Texas A&M.

For more information about the CHC, visit


- Updated: March 03, 2010 -

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