While those hoping to preserve the millennia-old Roman ruins at Palmyra may be hoping for some kind of Indiana Jones-type intervention, short of more fighting, preservationists may have to find more creative ways to document the region's ancient architecture. Archeologists from Harvard and Oxford, along with UNESCO World Heritage and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, have teamed up to launch the Million Image Database Project, a campaign to send 3D cameras to the region so anybody can photograph, scan and help preserve the area's history and artifacts.
The project aims to deploy 5,000 cameras by the end of the year, heavily modified and inexpensive consumer 3D model that can record data and GPS coordinates. By the end of next year, sponsors hope to have one million images on record. While it may be too late for some sites, the aim is to use this launch as a catalyst for similar projects. The first round of cameras will included tutorials for field users, such as NGO employees and volunteers, and will run on open-source software, providing both a proof of concept and hopefully a new method of crowdsourced preservation.
・Harvard and Oxford Take On ISIS with Digital Preservation Campaign [ArchDaily]
・Images of the Ancient City of Palmyra, the "Pearl of the Desert" ISIS is Destroying [Curbed]
・How are Austerity Measures Harming Architectural and Archeological Preservation in Greece? [Curbed]