Virtual tours and informational modeling for conservation of cultural heritage sites

Rebecca K. Napolitano, George Scherer, Branko Glisic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Thorough and organized documentation is crucial for conservation of historic structures. While photogrammetry, laser scanning and building information modeling (BIM) have enhanced 3D documentation in conservation, it is imperative that the method of documentation matches the requirements of the project. Present methods are efficient for certain types of projects. However, for projects that need to depict 3D conservation challenges, but do not have the budget or time for a 3D model, a middle ground does not exist. We present an intermediate solution, a workflow for virtual tour environments (VT) and informational modeling (IM) and we test this workflow on a case study. The VT/IM environment we created contains building plans, previous conservation reports, image galleries, databases about past interventions and short descriptions of the conservation issues at Princeton University. In this paper, we compare conservation reports using 2D plans against the VT/IM environment and we compare the time, cost and data management of VT/IM with methods of 3D documentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Archaeology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Conservation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


  • Conservation
  • Documentation
  • Heritage structures
  • Informational modeling
  • Virtual tours


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