Digitization uses digital technologies in products, processes and services related to cultural heritage to investigate, protect, conserve, restore and disseminate cultural heritage. Although digitization and cultural heritage are contradictory concepts, digitization is a valuable tool to enhance the research, protection, preventive conservation, restoration, and dissemination of cultural heritage.
Digitization is necessary for all companies to change how they are organized, which has generated fear in some companies in the cultural heritage sector of losing their professional and craft identity. These companies, usually SMEs, may need help to adapt to digitization since it is not just about acquiring and using technology but about a more significant change in the way of doing things.
However, it is essential to remember that many of the workshops and people who are famous for their works innovated and used the best technologies available at the time. Technological solutions for the digital transformation of heritage What technologies are currently being used for the digitization of cultural heritage? Without being exhaustive and knowing that there are some things that we did not mention in this article, here are the most popular ones:
Digital twins they are technological tool that allows you to create a virtual replica of an object or place in the real world. These can be used to plan and carry out interventions more efficiently and safely on cultural heritage objects or areas, such as monuments, historic buildings and other artefacts. They can also create immersive and interactive virtual reality experiences for visitors. Digital twins are valuable for preserving and promoting cultural heritage as they enable detailed simulations and analysis and help visitors better understand and appreciate these historical sites and objects.
IoT, the Internet of things it is a set of technologies that enables connectivity and interaction between objects and devices over the Internet. In cultural heritage, the IoT can improve the conservation and promotion of monuments, historical buildings and other relics. Some ways the IoT can be applied to cultural heritage include structural, environmental, and environmental monitoring and control, guide creation and interactive virtual tours, traffic and capacity management, and conservation and restoration. The Internet of Things can help protect and conserve historic objects and buildings, make it easier to obtain information about cultural heritage, avoid damage caused by excessive visitors, and allow the anticipation of problems and the planning of conservation and restoration interventions more efficiently.
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (XR) Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that allows users to immerse themselves in a virtual world and experience a sense of being present in it through devices such as VR glasses or headsets. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows virtual information to be superimposed on the natural world through devices with cameras and sensors, such as smartphones or tablets. Mixed reality (XR) combines VR and AR and allows users to interact more seamlessly and naturally with the virtual and real worlds through devices such as VR headsets with cameras and sensors. These technologies can be helpful in the conservation and access to cultural heritage, such as the creation of virtual tours and interactive experiences, the reconstruction and visualization of cultural heritage,
Multidimensional modelling and simulation it is a technique used to represent and analyze complex systems in several dimensions. In the context of cultural heritage, this technique can be used to visualize, assess, and predict the behavior of historic buildings and cultural sites over time. HBIM, or Historic Building Information Model, is a popular multidimensional modelling and simulation approach applied to cultural heritage that uses geographic information technologies and 3D modelling to accurately and detailed depictions and analyze historic buildings. The HBIM enables cultural heritage professionals to make informed decisions about the conservation and restoration of historic buildings and to assess the impact of different interventions on them.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a set of techniques and technologies that enable machines to perform tasks that require human intelligence, such as pattern recognition, learning, and decision-making. In the context of cultural heritage, AI can be used to improve the conservation and management of cultural assets by using machine learning algorithms to analyze and predict the behavior of historic buildings and cultural sites and to use feature recognition technologies—patterns for analyzing and cataloguing collections of cultural objects. AI can help make decisions about the conservation and restoration of historic buildings and determine the age, origin and use of archaeological objects.
Color 3D printing and robotization these technologies can be used to improve the conservation and management of cultural heritage. Color 3D printing makes it possible to reproduce objects or fragments of cultural objects with greater fidelity to their original appearance. At the same time, robotics can be used to carry out conservation and restoration tasks more accurately and quickly.
Cybersecurity It is a set of measures and techniques to protect computer systems and information from cyber-attacks and other threats. In the context of cultural heritage, it is essential to safeguard all documentation, knowledge, and techniques used to manage and preserve cultural property. Security measures such as information encryption, double user authentication and the implementation of firewalls and intrusion detection systems can be applied.