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50 Year Race to Preserve the World’s Heritage Places – Digital Technologies Meeting this Challenge?

February 24, 2021 at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Data Science Distinguished Speaker Seminar Series  

Tile: 50 Year Race to Preserve the World’s Heritage Places – Digital Technologies Meeting this Challenge?
Presented by: Dr. Mario Santana-Quintero
Format: Online via Zoom

Abstract: The 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention currently lists over 1000 sites. This instrument has mobilized a large community of states, experts and communities about the need to protect our cultural heritage for present and future generations. The convention is reaching 50 years in 2022. Looking back at technology’s role, it has always played an important role, but still more could be done. In particular, earth observation, recording and bringing World Heritage Places into the digital space is no longer a privilege reserved to the few experts. Simple cameras, satellite technologies, drones and smartphones allowed to collect a huge amount of information potentially used to preserve sites with cultural significance. Using a cumulative experience of projects in Canada and elsewhere in the world, the speaker will present the opportunities and challenges that simple but more advanced technologies, such as 3D Scanning, image-based recording tools and information system offered to protect world heritage sites at different levels. Examples of monitoring weathering in important historic decorated surfaces to modelling ancient temples for seismic retrofit will be presented. To conclude an ethical framework for the work of digital documentation of world heritage sites will be presented.

About the Speaker: Mario Santana-Quintero, is a full professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Carleton University) in Ottawa, Canada. He is also the Director of the NSERC Create program Heritage Engineering and faculty member of the Carleton immersive Media Studio Lab (CIMS). Besides his academic work in Canada, he is a guest professor at the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (University of Leuven). Along with his academic activities, he serves as Secretary General of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and he is the past president of the ICOMOS Scientific Committee on Heritage Documentation (CIPA). Furthermore, he has been a Getty Conservation Institute scholar and he has collaborated in several international projects in the field of heritage documentation for The Getty Conservation Institute, UNESCO, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, ICCROM, World Monuments Fund, UNDP, Welfare Association, and the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi.

Seminar Moderator: Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault, Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

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