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VENUS (Virtual ExploratioN of Underwater Sites) Two years of interdisciplinary collaboration

Abstract : This article describes on-going developments of the VENUS European Project (Virtual ExploratioN of Underwater Sites, over its first two years of activity. The VENUS project is a collaborative venture which aims to bring together archaeological and scientific methodologies with technological tools for virtual exploration of deep underwater archaeological sites. The breadth of results produced by the project mean that we can only give an overview of the key project elements here. The techniques developed through the work of the project are firmly rooted in the requirements of the archaeologists involved. The on-going dialogue between these archaeological requirements and the technological solutions developed in response to them forms the core of the project. In this article we will describe the evolution of both the archaeological methodologies and the technical solutions that were developed in response to them during the first two sea missions of the project ? the first to Pianosa Island, Italy in October 2006 and the second to Sesimbra, Portugal in October 2007. Realising the integration of the acoustic data stream with the optical data acquisition has formed a major component of the first two years of the project. Acoustic sensors track the position of unmanned underwater vehicles, like ROVs and AUVs, while they collect images during a site's survey. The fusion of acoustic and navigation data provides the seed for the photogrammetric process, recording cameras' position and orientation in real time within the EXIF metadata of the images. In response to archaeological requirements the presentation of the data takes three distinct forms. The first being a traditional two-dimensional representation, conforming to the illustrative norms of archaeological cartography, providing a rich interface to the extensive underlying archaeological datasets. The second presentation is a three-dimensional visualization of the site. By using an augmented reality system we are able to present these complex datasets for archaeologists to investigate in both accepted, traditional, two-dimensional forms but also making use of innovative, three-dimensional interfaces providing new insights on archaeological data. In order to represent the archaeological information, we consider a knowledge base consisting of application ontology and observations. We constructed application ontology for underwater archaeological knowledge. Throughout the course of data acquisition, processing and delivery the project has addressed the need for long-term preservation and access to the dataset. By identifying specific digital preservation requirements of the project the aim is to produce guidelines for the archiving of material derived from future investigations. The project will conclude with a final field mission near Marseille, France, utilising all the techniques developed to undertake a fully automated diver-less survey of a deep-water wreck site. This culmination of the project will realise the desire to provide archaeological and public interaction of an underwater site that is out of the physical reach of the common diver.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 4:31:52 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00361198, version 1


F. Alcala, Alex Alcocer, F. Alves, Kim Bale, J. Bateman, et al.. VENUS (Virtual ExploratioN of Underwater Sites) Two years of interdisciplinary collaboration. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia Dedicated to Digital Heritage (VSMM 2008), Oct 2008, Limassol, Cyprus. ⟨hal-00361198⟩



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