Scottish world heritage site gets £150,000 of EU funding for 3D digital app

Written by Jenni Davidson on 25 July 2016 in News

Cutting-edge technology will be developed to offer a “hi-tech window” on the Roman Antonine Wall in central Scotland

Virtual view of the Antonine Wall - Image credit: Scottish Ten

A digital project to develop a 3D app for a central Scotland Roman heritage site has been granted £150,000 of funding from Creative Europe.

The three-year Advanced Limes Applications project (ALApp) project will see Scottish, German and Austrian partners working together to create a mobile app and digital visitor content for the historic Antonine Wall.  

The aim of the project is to help improve understanding, both for on-site visitors as well as those who drop in virtually from elsewhere, through the use of augmented reality and 3D digital reconstructions. 


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The project is a partnership between Historic Environment Scotland (HES); the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV) in Glasgow, which is a collaboration between HES and The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio; Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (the Bavarian State Department for Monument Protection); and Austrian digital heritage specialists Edufilm und medien GmbH.

It will build on previous work by CDDV to digitally document the Antonine Wall as part of the Scottish Ten project, which is using laser survey technology to digitally record Scotland's five UNESCO world heritage sites and five international heritage sites.

One key aim of ALApp will be to engage with audiences and carry out user testing, potentially with schools and community groups, in Scotland and Germany and to explore along with local authorities in central Scotland how the app can be used to support tourism along the wall.

New technologies for presentation and engagement will also be looked at during the project, with conferences hosted in Scotland and Germany to provide an opportunity for the exchange of information and best practice across the sector. 

Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of Development and Regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, said the funding would help create a "hi-tech window on the rich history of the Antonine Wall".

Dr Patricia Weeks, Antonine Wall World Heritage Site Co-ordinator for Historic Environment Scotland, said the organisation had "made great strides in digitally interpreting the Antonine Wall" over the last year.

“Thanks to this significant commitment from Creative Europe, as well as Historic Environment Scotland’s own substantial investment, we are now able to build on that work and expand our use of innovative technologies to engage the widest audience possible," she said.

“The project is a great model of international partnership working and ultimately we will share the technology with other countries free of charge, which should benefit the entire sector.”

The Antonine Wall, which ran for nearly 40 miles across central Scotland from Bo’ness on the Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde, is part of the Europe-wide ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site’.

The final digital products will be available for free to other countries along the line of the old Roman frontier, such as the Netherlands, Slovakia and Hungary, to enable them to create their own bespoke versions.

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