We have two decades of combined experience creating three-dimensional models to represent historic sites and landscapes. A dedication to open source software and our extensive research experience in heritage allows us to rapidly produce visualizations while maintaining historical integrity.
The use of 3D modeling to represent archaeological sites has grown steadily since the 1990s. However, the majority of this work almost exclusively focuses on monumental or internationally recognized contexts. Our work brings more recent and local pasts to life.
Digital heritage refers to the use of digital technologies for archaeology, history, and heritage. Our services include archaeological and historical GIS development, creating virtual worlds of past sites, digital documentation via photogrammetry, and producing studies of how users interact with these technologies.
Digital heritage increasingly refers to the use of virtual world environments, video games, and other online methods for exploring the past. It takes a particular skill set to translate traditional research materials (e.g., historic documents, site maps) into engaging, immersive, and interactive experiences. Our extensive experience with traditional archaeology encompasses work on five continents with considerable experience in the US, Caribbean, and South Pacific. We have undertaken dedicated graduate studies to develop best practices regarding the translation of historical evidence into captivating online experiences aimed at public education and outreach.
We are able to virtually reconstruct single structures, entire neighborhoods, and complete landscapes. These reconstructed contexts can be displayed as 2D images for publication, as animations to support public outreach, or as immersive and interactive experiences delivered via a range of technologies (e.g., web, VR). We offer scalable solutions to meet any budget, and will happily help you apply for appropriate funding (e.g., state grants).
We can also assist you with data visualization to explore ways of communicating research to the public. Data visualization focuses on the graphic display of complex data. We understand the complexities of communicating complex data to various stakeholders. Our approach to analysis renders complex trends within big data accessible through the design of maps and other visual aids. Whether you need to predict the location of archaeological sites or visualize historic trends in property values or land use, we can help you organize and interpret your data.
We offer services related to the conception, development, and release of serious games. Serious games entertain while simultaneously educating. Games provide an enjoyable and effective means for interacting with the past, and is a rapidly growing approach to heritage outreach.
The use of games for education has a long history, stretching back to paper-based examples in the early twentieth century. The proliferation of computers in the 1980s and later continues to drive an expanding universe of educational games, including the ever-popular Oregon Trail. Today, the Serious Game movement includes the application of games in formal education, healthcare, public policy, social change, and government agencies.
We focus on adventure, role-playing, and simulation games. These genres are particularly well-suited to heritage applications because they engage participants in challenges that communicate historical information in fun and immersive ways. We work with you to develop place-based games. Our services help you develop your ideas into full products. As with all of our services, a commitment to open source solutions lowers the cost to you.
The use of geospatial technologies has become central to the analysis of archaeological materials and the management of heritage sites. This is typically divided into three broad areas; inventory and geospatial database management, geospatial analysis, and map making and data visualization. We offer services in all three areas. You can view examples of some of these projects here.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) remain the most effective tool for the management of heritage data, including the interpretation and storage of remotely sense data (e.g., LiDAR). We have undertaken geodatabase management for numerous archaeological sites, including the Fountain of Youth site in St. Augustine, Florida, Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, Florida, West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York, and several others. We can also provide geodatabase designs for non-archaeological sites, and recently completed a full geodatabase design for the Montclair State University’s Facilities Deparment’s enterprise geodatabase.
Geospatial analysis is an umbrella term that includes locational modeling, cost surface analysis, and visibility analysis. Locational modeling combines cultural and environmental data for predictive modeling and to calculate site catchments in order to better understand territoriality. Cost surface analysis, which many consider as a type of locational analysis, is a rapidly expanding
form of geospatial analysis that determines the cost of travel across a landscape. I treat it as a separate category, due to the proliferation of such studies in recent years. Finally, visibility analysis
involves the use of elevation data to determine the visible area of a single point or multiple points on the landscape.
Map making and data visualization refer to the creation of graphics to communicate aspects of complex geospatial data to the public, other researchers, and so forth. Data visualization is a rapidly expanding sphere and renders complex datasets into understandable patterns. In addition to managing and interpreting your data, we can generate meaningful graphics to communicate complex ideas to a wide audience in meaningful ways.
DHI offers a range of workshops; GIS for archaeology or ethnography, digital heritage, and photogrammetry. These affordable workshops are led by Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, PhD; who offers workshops at international conventions, for the National Preservation Institute, and elsewhere.
DHI’s workshops fall into three broad categories. All workshops are led by Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, PhD. The first category, Digital Heritage, introduces students to the use of digital technologies for archaeology and heritage. These workshops use freely available tools to virtually reconstruct archaeological materials and past sites, and focus on the use of Blender and Unity 3D. These workshops are split into three levels covering 3D modeling for heritage with Blender, constructing virtual worlds with Unity 3D, and producing VR experiences for use with emerging technologies (e.g., VR googles). Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant has 10+ years teaching these techniques to university students as well as professionals at the National Preservation Institute, Society for Historical Archaeology, and Council for Northeastern Archaeology.
The second category covers the use of Photogrammetry for Archaeology and Heritage. This category is divided into two workshops; the first covering the use of photogrammetry for small and mid-sized objects, and the second dealing with the use of photogrammetry for landscapes and structures. These workshops utilize AgiSoft’s Photoscan software, which has become the industry standard for photogrammetry by heritage professional around the world. This workshop introduces participants to photogrammetry best practices regarding photographing subjects, processing the photographs via PhotoScan, and cleaning up the resulting models with Blender. The models created in these workshops can be used in the Digital Heritage workshops as well.
The third category of workshop focuses on the use of GIS for Archaeology or Cultural Anthropology. Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant has 15+ years of GIS experience and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on GIS in the US and New Zealand. He continues to publish on it’s use, including the first published example of using geospatial analysis for predicting the zombie apocalypse! He has also lead successful workshops for the American Anthropological Association, University of Florida, University of Otago, and elsewhere. Geospatial workshops last one day and are broken into introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. Workshops can be tailored for Esri products (e.g., ArcMap) and QGIS.
All workshops make use of real-world examples and provide participants with workable solutions they can immediately apply to their own work. The cost of workshops depend on the number of participants. Typical costs are $250 for ≤10 participants, $200 for 10-15 participants, and $150 for 15-20 participants. Workshops are restricted to 20 individuals, although exceptions can be made. This fee includes approximately 8 hours of instruction, a comprehensive workbook (60-100 pages), and sample datasets.