Communicating Archaeological Risk with Web-Based Virtual Reality: A Case Study

Giacomo Landeschi1 and Marcello Carrozzino2

1. IMT Lucca, Piazza S.Ponziano 6 53100 Lucca, Italy. Email
2. PERCRO, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33 55100 Pisa, Italy. Email marcello

Cite this as: Landeschi, G. and Carrozzino, M. 2011 Communicating Archaeological Risk with Web-Based Virtual Reality: A Case Study, Internet Archaeology 31.


In the last decade 3D technologies have become very effective and are widely used for managing and interpreting archaeological data. A better way to perceive, understand and communicate Cultural Heritage has been achieved through VR applications, which have enabled archaeologists to make both reconstructions of original landscapes and to put artefacts in their original context. Furthermore, the exponential growth of the Web has led to a massive availability of digital content, even in the field of Cultural Heritage, that can be accessed in an easier and more intuitive manner by a broader audience.

Series of screenshots from XVR model

The case study presented here is designed to demonstrate the potential importance of Web3D technologies for communicating specific research aspects, such as the ones connected to the GIS-based spatial analysis applied to the archaeological landscape.

To this end, a research project was undertaken in order to get a final predictive model for detecting archaeological presence in an area of the Pisa coastal plain, implemented in a Web-orientated Virtual Reality system. The end-user is able to navigate the model in real-time and observe different thematic layers, such as the distribution of the archaeological sites, maps of lithology, land use and, finally, the assessment of the archaeological risk.


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