Visual Media Service launched

Visual Media Service home page

ARIADNE is pleased to announce the first release of the ARIADNE Visual Media Service. End users may look at a variety of examples of 3D models, RTI images and also very high resolution images as well as contributing their own content for viewing.

One of the goals of the ARIADNE Infrastructure project is to design, implement and deliver a number of digital services for the archaeological community, which will be integrated in the ARIADNE web portal.

Preliminary activity aimed at consulting end users and understanding their needs and requirements was addressed through the Stakeholder survey with more specific feedback regarding 2D and 3D visual media coming from the 3D and Visualization SIG Workshop (Pisa, October 2013). Further input was provided from the students who attended the first TNA Workshop on “2D/3D documentation for archaeology” in June 2014.  The conclusion was that several users are already able to produce good visual models of objects of interest (artworks, archaeological artefacts and monuments) and, in many cases, by proficient use of CNR’s tools such as MeshLab. Conversely, sharing and visualizing those digital assets on the web is still a major issue. 

Consequently, CNR-ISTI started the design and implementation of a service some months ago that ARIADNE are now proud to announce to the community. 

The ARIADNE Visual Media Service is aimed at providing support for the easy publication and presentation on the web of complex media assets through a simple Web interface.

RTI - Medallion (obverse) Hadrian, 191-121 AD

RTI - Medallion (obverse) Hadrian, 191-121 AD

It provides an automatic service capable of transforming any media file uploaded by ARIADNE Archives Managers into a format that will allow easy and efficient access and remote visualization on the web. Three types of visual media are supported:

  • high-resolution images,
  • RTI (Reflection Transformation Images, i.e. dynamically re-lightable images),
  • high-resolution 3D models.

These types of media are not easy to show on the Web, because their visualization may require downloading the entire (very large) file as well as the use of dedicated software. Moreover, the owner of high quality data may not wish to permit visitors to freely download their files in order to protect copyright of the data.

High resolution image - Capsella Samagher

High resolution image - Capsella Samagher

In order to upload data files, a simple web form requires users to provide some basic information about the media they are uploading. The service processes the input data to  automatically create an online page and sends the user an email notification of links to the visualization page (hosted on the Ariadne web-service and open to any external user) and to an admin page, where the associated data can be modified. It is also possible to download the created page (html code + processed 3D Model or image) in order to integrate the content on the user local server or archive. 

The ARIADNE Visual Media Service therefore allows inexperienced users to easily create an efficient webpage to display complex 2D or 3D content. For more experienced users, the basic webpages may be the starting point for the development of more complex visualization, or for integration of the visualization within existing websites, taking advantage of the features of the 3DHOP platform.

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