Unlike cultural artifacts safely housed in museums, cultural heritage sites are constantly at-risk. They are exposed to the daily effects of the natural environment, from the seemingly benign: sun, wind, and rain; to the dramatic: earthquakes, fire, and human aggressions.
To better understand the threats facing cultural heritage, CyArk has also developed an interactive Hazard Map to help visualize individual site risk.
Digitally preserving these sites provides heritage professionals with tools they can use to help physically preserve their sites.
Digital capture of the world's significant heritage sites ensures these places will be available for the future, while uniquely telling their story today.
CyArk uses the data captured in the creation of educational and cultural tourism media which is then broadly disseminated via the CyArk website. Education of visitors and potential visitors can have a positive impact on the cultural resource and the community through the promotion of responsible cultural tourism.
The local communities will also benefit directly from the digital media created for education. This content can be used to educate the local children about their own history and culture, both online and in the classroom.
In order to meet the challenges facing cultural heritage, CyArk has developed the Total Process for Digital Preservation. This four-step process is performed by CyArk and its world-wide partners.
1. A site is chosen based off many factors, specifically individual site need, and its significance to human culture.
2. Upon arrival at a project site, the CyArk team uses a variety of methods to thoroughly collect and document the site. These include traditional survey techniques, new photographic processes, and 3D laser scanning.
3. Collecting data in such a manner allows CyArk to create a multitude of "deliverables" including CAD drawings, High Dynamic Range photographs, accurate 3D Point Clouds, and multimedia for educational and cultural tourism.
4. Once these files have been created they are securely stored in the CyArk archives and made available to site managers and the public in the Heritage Sites section of our website.
It is possible to digitally preserve the world's cultural heritage, but CyArk needs your help. You can help by providing general financial support, sponsoring a specific heritage site or by joining our global network of partners. Please visit our Get Involved page or contact us.