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Inaugural 3D Scholarly Editions

The Cooperative has chosen five digital project for its inaugural 3D Scholarly Editions. The Editions are in development with traditional academic presses, as a means of building and sharing with those Presses the necessary knowledge and infrastructure to work with 3D Editions. The 3D Editions are intentionally utilizing different technology platforms to demonstrate the variety of types of Editions possible, and to model multiple types of successful Edition projects. The five projects integrate time, space, and text in ways that necessitate sophisticated solutions for powerful 3D content. Each attempts to bring to life an archive of documentary materials in 3D space, not only providing a new scholarly resource, but utilizing these archives to research the community experience of past peoples. The five projects, however, have disparate research objectives and technological approaches, so it is anticipated that their conceptual publication designs would vary considerably, ensuring that user requirements already developed by the Cooperative are applicable to as many types of digital scholarly editions as possible. These varied research objectives and technological approaches allow the Cooperative to engage a broad range of presses with varying levels of expertise.

Constructing the Sacred

Elaine Sullivan | University of California, Santa Cruz

A screenshot of Digital Saqqara

The project Constructing the Sacred: Visibility and Ritual Landscape at the Egyptian Necropolis of Saqqara investigates the ancient Egyptian burial site of Saqqara (2950-350 BCE) comparatively through time and space. Addressing ancient ritual landscape from a unique perspective, it utilizes 3D + GIS technologies to examine development at a complex, multi-period necropolis. Developed in ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro by UC Santa Cruz’s GIS lab, the digital edition is accessible in a free online web-viewer that does not necessitate any software downloads by the reader. The fully interactive digital edition allows the reader to navigate freely in the model of the Saqqara site, access structured metadata, and control a ‘time-slider’ that allows for exploration across eighteen different temporal phases at the site. Sullivan submitted her completed digital edition and accompanying digital monograph to Stanford University Press in September, 2018. The hybrid edition + monograph project, entitled Constructing the Sacred, was positively peer-reviewed in fall 2018, and approved by the SUP editorial board for publication in December 2018, with an estimated final online publication date of winter 2020.

Click here for more information about the project.

Apartheid Heritages

Angel David Nieves | San Diego State University

Since late July 2018, Nieves and his project team have been working to reconstruct one of the former all-Black townships in Soweto, South Africa as part of his 3D Edition Apartheid Heritages. Approximately 1,800 structures have been built, including eight unique township house-types that are historically accurate and fully interactive. The model was developed through the use of airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, commonly referred to as “light detection and ranging” (or LiDar). Nieves has also been working to further develop proposed wireframes for his Edition, and, based on the proposed submission protocols developed during the planning phase of the 3D Scholarship grant, is preparing to submit a project proposal to Stanford University Press in summer 2019. The interface currently envisioned for the Apartheid Heritages project includes a sophisticated system of annotations that needs to be accessible both within the 3D environment and in Scalar.

Click here for more information about the project.

Contested Memories

Susan Schreibman | Maastricht University

The project Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge is a 3D (re)construction of a critical battle that took place on Wednesday, April 26, during the 1916 Irish Easter Rising. This particular contest, between the British army garrisoned in Dublin and a small group of Irish rebels, is one of the earliest well-documented
examples of battle in an urban environment. As it exists today, the project has much
of the necessary infrastructure to create a digital scholarly edition. The 3D computer
reconstruction is fully realized. There also exists a great deal of annotation and supplementary reference material, but at present, these are exhibited alongside the virtual world as opposed to being integrated into it as one would expect of a textual-based electronic edition. This edition would be representative of projects that combine 3D models with more traditional digital editions and would thus allow the cooperative to explore the potential for both hybrid and fully 3D publications.

Click here for more information about the project.

Neolithic House

Costas Papadopoulos | Maastricht University

This project focuses on a (re)construction of the Greek Neolithic site, Koutroulou Magoula, dating from the first two centuries of the 6th millennium BCE. Koutroulou Magoula is an extremely well-preserved, architecturally elaborate site, with houses, open areas, pasture land, and a range of substantial, probably communal works, such as terraces and perimeter ditches. The focus of this edition would be ‘Building 1,’ the first complete structure revealed in the settlement. This building, which has already been fully modeled in 3D, demonstrates use of space and everyday activities in a representative domestic structure. It is the intent of this edition to use the 3D model as a text that explores surviving archaeological evidence and interpretations. This project would harness this disparate material, typically extracted and published as traditional monographs, to create a fully annotated 3D Edition, exploring spatial and temporal elements of the site including the replacement of objects found around the site in what might be their original locations. Papadopoulos is in discussion with Cotsen Press for the publication of this project as an article-length edition.

World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893

Lisa M. Snyder | University of California, Los Angeles

The World’s Columbian Exposition project was launched in 1997 as a testbed for research on the educational applications of interactive computer technologies and an exploration of alternative forms of instructional technology for architectural history courses. The fair itself included well over 400 individual buildings and covered over 680 acres between the main fairgrounds in Jackson Park and the area devoted to concessions and amusements in the Midway Plaisance. The importance of this type of reconstruction cannot be overstated — while there is a significant amount of published material about the exposition, our modern understanding of the fair is based solely on textual descriptions and static images. As such, it is difficult to appreciate the scale of the enterprise; the relationships of the buildings, one to the next; and to build a holistic understanding of the fair. Therefore, a key requirement of the project from the start was to provide an interactive approximation of the spatial experience of the exposition with as much detail as possible so as to engender prolonged engagement with the modeled environment. Coupled with VSim, the NEH-funded open-source software developed at UCLA for interfacing with academically generated 3D models, the Columbian Exposition project can be used for both teacher-centered presentations and student-centered assignments and learning activities.

Click here for more information about the project.
Click here for more information about VSim.