Cultural heritage institutions are increasingly using 3D digital preservation techniques to preserve fragile museum artefacts and to develop virtual online collections. Such 3D representations improve access to physical collections and provide precise digital surrogates for scholarly analysis. As 3D data acquisition tools become more affordable and available, the amount of 3D data requiring storage, indexing and search services will grow dramatically. Because high quality metadata is prohibitively expensive, museums are keen to explore how they might exploit community tagging and annotation services.
Such services enable users to easily attach information, comments and keywords to 3D objects and their sub-parts and hence, add significant contextual value to the collection, enhance discovery and enable much richer online exhibitions. Annotation services also facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange between geographically dispersed communities of curators, scholars and Indigenous owners. Moreover, if the annotations are drawn from pre-defined ontologies, they provide machine-understandable semantics that enable further reasoning about the object and the derivation of new knowledge.
The aim of this project is to develop simple, semantic annotation services for 3D digital objects (and their sub-parts) that will facilitate the discovery, capture, inferencing and exchange of valuable cultural heritage knowledge.