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Augmented Reality For Museum Artifacts Visualization

Augmented Reality For Museum Artifacts Visualization

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Published by ijcsis
Recently, advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques have increased the visual quality and field of Augmented Reality (AR) applications. Research into indoor exhibition systems associated with the use of AR technologies is getting general. This project describes an AR based system for overlaying computer generated information on the real world where museum artifacts are digitized in this project and superimposed in real scene. Furthermore, this project also presents the information of the artifacts in virtual form. 3D models are created and rendered in an AR environment providing an opportunity for museum visitors to visualize virtual artifacts in the context of other contextual information.
Recently, advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques have increased the visual quality and field of Augmented Reality (AR) applications. Research into indoor exhibition systems associated with the use of AR technologies is getting general. This project describes an AR based system for overlaying computer generated information on the real world where museum artifacts are digitized in this project and superimposed in real scene. Furthermore, this project also presents the information of the artifacts in virtual form. 3D models are created and rendered in an AR environment providing an opportunity for museum visitors to visualize virtual artifacts in the context of other contextual information.

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Published by: ijcsis on Jun 05, 2011
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AUGMENTED REALITY FOR MUSEUMARTIFACTS VISUALIZATION
EDMUND NG GIAP WENGCentre of Excellence for Semantic Technology andAugmented Reality, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences andHuman Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak nggiapweng@yahoo.comLINA CHAI HSIAO PINGCentre of Excellence for Semantic Technology andAugmented Reality, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences andHuman Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak BEHRANG PARHIZKARFaculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysiahani.pk@limkokwing.edu.my
 
ARASH HABIBI LASHKARIFaculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysiaa.habibi.l@hotmail.com
ABSTRACT-
Recently, advances in computer graphics andinteractive techniques have increased the visual quality andfield of Augmented Reality (AR) applications. Research intoindoor exhibition systems associated with the use of ARtechnologies is getting general. This project describes an ARbased system for overlaying computer generatedinformation on the real world where museum artifacts aredigitized in this project and superimposed in real scene.Furthermore, this project also presents the information of the artifacts in virtual form. 3D models are created andrendered in an AR environment providing an opportunity formuseum visitors to visualize virtual artifacts in the contextof other contextual information.
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
An artifact is any object made or modified by a humanbeing which contain the information about the culture of itscreator and users, and later discovered by archaeologist.According to Digital Artifact (2008), the artifact maychange over time in what it represents, how it appears andhow and why it is used as the culture changes over time.Examples include stone tools such as projectile points,monument, pottery vessels, metal objects such as buttons orguns, and items of personal adornment such as jewellery andclothing. Other examples include bone that show signs of human modification, fire cracked rocks from a hearth orplant material used for food. Artifacts can come from anyarchaeological context or source such as:
 
Buried along with a body (grave goods).
 
From any feature such as a midden or other domesticsetting
 
Hoards
 
Votive offeringsBesides cultural artifacts, there is also other form of artifacts.Digital artifacts is another type of artifacts which are visiblydefected in a digital photo or video picture that specificallycaused by the digital encoding (Digital Artifacts, 2008).Recently virtual artifacts pop out as a new alternative forartifact. Virtual artifact is an object that not physicallyexisting in real environment but present in digitalenvironment, for example the Internet, virtual reality,cyberspace and augmented reality. The term "virtualartifact" has been used in a variety of ways in scientific andpublic discourse (Virtual Artifact, 2008). Previously it hasreferred to objects of different nature such as images,models, prototypes, computer animation or virtual booksthat exist in digital environments. Nowadays virtual artifactextends their role to different field such as museum artifactsexhibition where real world artifacts are modeled orreconstruct in a digital environment.Museum is a place where the collections of cultural heritageis protected and exhibited. It also provides betterunderstanding of history. According to the definition of International Council of Museums, a museum is a non-profitmaking and permanent institution that is open to the public.It also acquiring, protecting, researching, communicatingand exhibiting cultural heritage for purposes of study,education and enjoyment (Museum, 2008).Some recent surveys in Europe show that about 35% of museums have already started developments with someform of 3D presentation of objects (Tsapatori, 2003). Rapiddevelopment of technology results in facing the newparadigm of museum. The challenges of museum such asextended types and quantity of materials require rethinkingconventional concept of museum. Even though newtechnologies are changing the museum environmentgradually, it still keeps its role and purpose as its functionsare exhibition, communication research and conservation.One of the benefits of the advance technology for museumis it provide a tremendous way to exhibits museum artifacts.Besides conventional display in the gallery, Virtual Reality(VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology offer newpossibilities where the artifacts are digitized to several formsso call virtual artifacts and augmented artifacts. VirtualReality is a user interface technology that allows users to
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011174http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
interact with a computer simulated environment throughhuman sensory channels in real time (Virtual Reality, 2007).The virtual world is interactive where the users interact withthe system with real-time response in an effective way. Then,the users are immersed in this virtual environment.Virtual reality technology has already reached the level of maturity which allowed it to be applied in real lifeapplication such as cultural heritage. The virtual museumand its artifacts is a generation of three-dimensional sceneby computer and it requires high performance computergraphics system to provide a sufficient level of realism tothe environment.(a)(b)Figure 1: (a) Image of real artifacts (b) Image of virtualartifactsAugmented reality (AR) is one of the variations of virtualreality. It is a different application where the virtual objectssuperimposed upon in the real world environment and theusers are interacting with this virtual object in real time(Vallino, 1998). Augmented Reality on the other handextends VR systems with the support for blending real andvirtual elements into seamless composite scenes. It offers anatural view of virtual objects in real scenes. AR enhancesthe physical reality by integrating virtual objects into thephysical world which become an equal part of the naturalenvironment (Augmented and Mixed Reality, 2000). Asstated by Vallino (1998), one of the objectives of Augmented Reality is to augment the real world whilemaintaining users’ sense and feel of existing in a real world.In this project, real museum artifacts are converted toaugmented artifacts. This project constitutes the concept of augmented museum with real museum where the exhibitedartifacts are digitized to render in the augmented realityenvironment.
II.
 
PROBLEM STATEMENT
Museum usually holds a lot of collection of artifacts whichthey cannot exhibit them publicly especially those uniqueartifacts, since the security and the preserving of the artifactsis one of the important factors. They need to take intoaccount the risk on the nature and fragility of the artifacts.One of the disadvantages of the conventional exhibition isthe interaction between the visitors and the artifacts arelimited. The visitors cannot study the artifacts from differentangles and in different context since the artifacts exhibited isstatic and protected in gallery or in the glass to prevent thevisitors from touching and destroying it.On the other hand, museum is a place that provides anopportunity for the visitors to learn about the history andcultural heritage. In conventional museum, the informationof the exhibited artifacts is presented using panels or leaflets.But the disadvantage of this method is it only provides smallamount of information to the visitors since the informationsize is restricted by the physical area of the panel or paper.If the visitors want to know more about the artifacts theyneed to find the information by themselves through anothermedia such as expert, books or internet. This is not aconvenience method for the visitors since they cannot getthe information directly from the panels or leaflets. Besidesthat, some museums might don’t have enough space andresources for them to exhibit the whole collection of artifacts to the public. Thus an effective solution is neededso that they can exhibit the whole collection to the publicwithout requires wide space.
III.
 
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
 
The aim is to design and develop an augmented realitysystem for museum artifacts application.
 
To design and develop an effective system for user andartifacts interaction using Augmented Reality technology
 
To enhances the effectiveness of artifact exhibition
 IV.
 
LITERATURE REVIEWVirtual Reality application in museum
Virtual reality is a computer generated system that allowsuser to immerse in interactive 3D environment (Ng, n.d.,p.8). Many museum applications based on VRML has beendeveloped for the web. This technology has been use toreconstruct thearchaeologicalartifacts and historical sites.The examples of this technology in museum application are3D Murale andThe Rideau Street Chapel.
3D Murale
3D Murale is referring to3D Measurement & VirtualReconstruction of Ancient Lost Worlds of Europe.Thisproject developed and using 3D multimedia tools to record,reconstruct, encode and visualized archeological ruins inVirtual Reality. Itis aimed at developing a system capableof recording archaeology excavation phases using VirtualReality techniques.Visualization of the reconstructed site isimportant both for the scientists to test and document theirhypotheses in virtual reality as well as for the broad publicto get an idea of how the ancient city could have looked like(3D Murale, 2003).This project used 3D multimedia tools to measure,reconstruct and visualize archaeological ruins in virtualreality using a test case which is the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey. Media and textual information aboutarchaeological content is stored in a database. This contentis structured by metadata information. Metadata informationwill make this content available by remote Internet accessthrough the use of search engines for archaeologicalresearchers and members of the public. Furthermore, theproject offers the reconstruction of excavated remains of pottery, sculptures and buildings as well as theirvisualization in a way as they possibly looked likethroughout ages (3D Murale, 2003).In this system, the users are able to freely navigate theancient city. Collision detection is added in this system to
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011175http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
avoid users passing through objects. To add the educationalvalue, various kind of interactive multimedia such as textualinformation, images, movie, sound and recorded objects isintegrated into the virtual environment. Guided tours is alsoprovided to guide users navigate through the system. Usercan select to use signpost or an avatar virtual guide instead.Figure 2.1 Guide tours through signpost (left) and virtualguide (right).
The Rideau Street Chapel
The Rideau Street Chapel or chapel of the
Convent of Our  Lady of the Sacred Heart 
in Ottawa was demolished by adeveloper in 1972. Luckily, its architecturally uniqueinterior was taken apart and later reconstruct inside theNational Gallery of Canada where it is currently preserved.Reconstructing a historical site as it once was or as itevolved over time is one of the most important goals of virtual heritage (El-Hakim, MacDonald, Lapointe, Gonzo &Jemtrud, 2006).This project objective is to digitize and model the existinginterior and reconstruct the destroyed exterior from oldimages and drawings to create a complete virtualreconstruction of the chapel as it once was. The stepsapplied for modeling and visualization of a heritage sitethrough time is CAD modeling from existing engineeringdrawings, laser scanning with two different scanners,Photogrammetry, and modeling from old photos (Figure 2.3and Figure 2.4). The existing engineering drawings, whichwere based on surveying and Photogrammetry, created theoverall model of the interior of the chapel. The outside of the chapel was modeled from photographs taken before1972. All models were integrated together and presentedwith the tools.Figure 2.2: Rideau Chapel: old images (up), virtual model(down)After that, all 3D models and other data are assembled bylinking components to each other, correcting scale, fillinggaps, and creating smooth transitions. An interactivepresentation and high quality pre-rendered animations iscreated with all models and data and light modeling is donewith different light types at various daytimes and seasons toincrease the realism of the model.Figure 2.3 Current chapel interior: (a) overall view, (b)part of wire-frame model, (c) scanned data
Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) can be defined as referring to casesin which a real environment is “augmented” by means of virtual objects (Milgram & Kishino, 1994). AR has a widevariety of uses, as it can clearly demonstrate spatial concepts,temporal concepts and contextual relationships betweenboth real and virtual objects (Aldridge, Bilinghurst, Garrie& Woods, 2004).Figure 2.4 shows Milgram’s Reality Virtuality Continuumwhich describes the relationship between augmented realityand virtual reality (Milgram & Kishino, 1994). Augmentedreality lies near the real world end spectrum with theperception in the real world augmented by computer-generated data. Augmented reality is a system which mostobjects in the environment are synthetic with some realworld images mapped on it.Figure 2.4 Milgram Reality Virtuality ContinuumsThus augmented reality technology creates partially virtualand real environments which enable it to be applied todifferent application such as medical, entertainment,education, robotics or architectures. The goal of augmentedreality systems is to combine the interactive real world withan interactive computer-generated world in such a way thatthey appear as one environment (Vallino, 1998).
Augmented Reality Application in Museum
Augmented Reality is a promising technology that can havewide impact on cultural heritage. A museum for example isone of the best places for AR applications. This is becausethey offer many challenges to AR researchers such asfinding novel ways of providing information and offeringnew consultation methods for archaeological or culturalsites (Liarokapis & White, 2005). Using this technology, theartifacts are digitized to replace the original artifacts in theexhibition and offer more interactive method.Since past few years, Augmented Reality is beginning to beused in museum application. AR offers an interfacetechnology that aims to exploit ways of combiningcomputer-generated information with the real world. User inAR environments can interact in a completely natural way
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011176http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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