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3D Mapping Project, Dingle

As a visual learner, I find it much easier to understand ideas and concepts if they are put into practice. I want to put my new skills and knowledge (with a whole lot of curiosity!) to some use, and physically see how Digital Culture can make an impact. I want to get my hands digitally dirty so to speak. I emailed our local Museum, Múseum Corca Dhuibhne, to see if there was any projects I could volunteer on. Either I had a skill that might be of some use, or I could upskill if necessary. I ended up meeting resident archaeologist and curator Isabel Bennett for a long chat about an exciting upcoming project, Ogham in 3D

Ogham in 3D is a mapping project making 3D models of as many of the 400 surviving Ogham stones as possible. These models will then be freely available on the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies website as part of a multi-disciplinary archive of Ogham stones.

What is 3D Mapping

3D mapping is a technology that creates three-dimensional views of objects on computer screens. This type of technology is often used in modern computer programs to provide a life-like view of a place or thing on a map, a virtual copy.

Creating a digital copy of a subject allows for limitless possibilities. It is an accurate copy of the subject which can be shared with anyone you wish to. This might be as a simple 3D model or as a web based portal. The digital data has the potential to give an audience access to the subject which without the scans might not otherwise have been possible. This data can be 3D printed as a replica to any scale or it can printed for distribution as a hologram for exhibitions and demonstrations. The data can be examined in detail with sophisticated visualisation techniques, new discoveries about the subject are often made simply by examining the scan data.


Ogham in 3D

In October 2012, the DIAS began work on this pilot project in collaboration with the Discovery Programme who have great expertise in 3D capture and modelling.You can see some of the Discovery Programmes work here http://www.3dicons.ie

They have already 3D mapped half of the Ogham Stones on the Dingle Peninsula. See example here. According to Isabel, 3D mapping of the Ogham stones, will not only help in their digital preservation, a simple archaeological visualization, it can become an analytical tool. Through the digital maps, they might be able to read inscriptions, previously undecipherable to the naked eye. Nora White, the project manager, is a expert in Old Irish, and this work could help in collating archaeological data and research previously collected from the area.


The Ogham in 3D project, is now reaching out to residents of the Dingle Peninsula, and indeed anyone with an interest in archaeology, history or photography to join this project. By transforming it into a community project, there is more scope to get all the stones mapped, and to create an interest in, not only the heritage of Corca Dhuibhne, but also new technology for the preservation and study of our heritage.

There is a meeting, on Thursday 26th November 2015 at 2pm in 2pm in Lárionad Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, on this very project. Speakers include the following:

Edel Breathnach – Discovery Programme

Nora White – Dublin Institure for Advanced Studies

Gary Devlin – Discovery Programme – Technical aspects of the project

Stuart Jeffrey – Glasgow School of art, on a similar community project

poster for a meeting about 3d ogham mapping

Its a very exciting project, and one I will gladly throw myself into, so I can see the real benefits of using digital technology for cultural heritage. I can get my hands physically and digitally dirty, as I roam the Dingle Pensinula in search of stones to map!

For more information on the project:

Email: info@westkerrymuseum.com

Visit: Ogham in 3D Facebook page and/or Ogham in 3D website



So, what do you think ?