3D recording of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice : Presentation of the results of the collaboration between Factum Foundation, EPFL DHLAB and the Foundation Giorgio Cini


Event details

Date 27.09.2021 16:3018:30  
Speaker Adam Lowe, founder of the Factum Foundation Frédéric Kaplan, professor in Digital Humanities and director of the Digital Humanities Insitute at EPFL
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Special event on Zoom platform and live on Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s YouTube Channel

On 27 September, as part of Fondazione Cini’s 70th anniversary celebrations, a special AOA ARCHIiVe Online Academy lecture will be presented - free of charge and open to all on YouTube. Adam Lowe and Frédéric Kaplan will present the project to digitise the entire island of San Giorgio Maggiore begun in 2020.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s 70th anniversary celebrations continue with a revolutionary project: the digitalisation of the entire island of San Giorgio Maggiore and the surrounding lagoon. The monumental architecture, inside and out, the grounds and the church of San Giorgio have been entirely scanned. The event is part of the AOA – ARCHiVe Online Academy training course on techniques for recording three-dimensional materials, where the techniques, tools and aims of digitising cultural heritage will be discussed.

Adam Lowe, founder of the Factum Foundation, and Frédéric Kaplan, professor in Digital Humanities and director of the Digital Humanities Insitute at EPFL will present online, on 27 September 2021 from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm, the results of the major environmental registration campaign begun in 2020 and continued in recent months with a new research project to digitise the water that laps the island, thanks to the installation of a Divirod sensor.

The online meeting in the afternoon is open to the public, who may register free of charge to watch the Zoom platform live through the www.cini.it website, subject to availability. The lecture will in any case be streamed live on the Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s YouTube Channel and so will be accessible to all. The entire three-dimensional digitalisation course will be held in English (for information).

The project arose out of research on the new frontiers of digitisation, a partnership between Fondazione Giorgio Cini, DHLAB of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation.

The 3D scanning of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore was carried out by the Factum Foundation team from 6 to 17 July 2020. The first stage of the project was to record the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore. The Factum Foundation used LiDAR scanning (with a Leica RTC360) and terrestrial photogrammetry (with a Sony A7Riv camera). The island was then recorded from more than 600 different points, generating an enormous quantity of data with 60,000 million points. The data acquired by photogrammetry are leading to the creation of a 3D model of the entire island.

In 2021, the company Divirod joined the partner institutions, to focus on the monitorisation of the Island’s environment. Divirod, a US company based in Boulder, Colorado and founded by Javier Marti, have developed a radar sensor that uses satellites and locally recorded data to generate accurate hydrological models. In this case, a model of the tidal trends and movement of the water that surrounds the Island of San Giorgio, producing data accessible in real time on desktop computers and mobile devices.

The speakers will discuss the technological challenges at stake while recording and processing the data of San Giorgio Maggiore, as well as the possiblities offered by the application of new technologies for long-terms preservation, sharing and monitorisation purposes.

Additional information:

Fondazione Giorgio Cini: The Fondazione Giorgio Cini was created on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice in 1951 by Vittorio Cini in memory of his son Giorgio. The initial aim of the Foundation was to restore the Island, which had fallen into disrepair after almost 150 years of use as a military base, and to re-integrate it in Venetian life as an international centre for cultural activities and important meetings. In its almost seventy-year history, the Foundation has promoted permanent social, cultural, artistic and research activities, with special reference to Venetian and Veneto culture. These activities have always been pursued through original initiatives creating continuous dialogue with Italian and international cultural figures and institutions. The Foundation's exceptional standing is highlighted by the large number of events promoted and hosted in its premises and the extent of its heritage, especially its art collections (antique books, drawings, miniatures, tapestries, paintings, furniture and sculpture) and considerable archives preserved on San Giorgio. In 1984, this heritage was further enriched by the addition of the Palazzo Cini Gallery at San Vio with its collections of Renaissance Tuscan and Ferrarese paintings.

Factum Foundation: The Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation is a not-for profit organisation founded in 2009 in Madrid by Adam Lowe. It works alongside its sister company, Factum Arte, a multi-disciplinary workshop in Madrid dedicated to digital mediation and physical transformation in contemporary art and the production of facsimiles. The Foundation was established to demonstrate the importance of documenting, monitoring, studying, recreating and disseminating the world’s cultural heritage through the rigorous development of high-resolution recording and rematerialisation techniques. The Foundation’s activities include: building digital archives for preservation and further study, creating and organizing touring exhibitions, setting up training centres for locals to learn the different technologies developed by the Foundation to record their own cultural heritage, and producing exact facsimiles as part of a new approach to conservation and restoration.

Digital Humanities Laboratory of EPFL: Digital Humanities is an interdisciplinary domain applying computational methods to conduct research in the humanities. The Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLAB), founded in 2012 by Professor Frédéric Kaplan develops new computational approaches for dealing with large digital cultural objects (large corpora of texts, images and complex documents, high-resolution scanning of artefacts, buildings and entire cities) and a new understanding of digital cultures.  Benefiting from EPFL's strong technological expertise, the DHLAB conducts research projects in collaboration with prestigious patrimonial institutions and museums, all over Europe and beyond.

Press information
Fondazione Giorgio Cini Onlus
Press Office
tel.: +39 041 2710280
fax: +39 041 5238540
email: [email protected]


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Fondazione Giorgio Cini Onlus
    Press Office
    tel.: +39 041 2710280
    fax: +39 041 5238540
    email: [email protected]


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