Scanning the Past: A 3D Model of Trausch's Library

Today, modern geospatial technologies and methods are widely used in combination with the documentation and preservation of objects of importance to cultural heritage. In this setting, archeologists and historians alike benefit from the rapid technological developments over the past decades, which have resulted in instrumentation that allows the capture of real objects and the generation of accurate and precise three-dimensional (3D) digital representations, i.e. models, from these sensed data. Here, the object of interest is the villa of the late historian Professor Gilbert Trausch with its library, for which a virtual library should be created for the general public. The building is an 19th century townhouse located on Limpertsberg in the City of Luxembourg and contains a cellar, three floors as well as a loft. Of particular interest were the cellar, stair cases, the first (the location of Professor Trausch’s office) and second floors as most of the bookshelves are situated there. In line with state-of-the-art approaches for 3D building modelling, a broad spectrum of modern geospatial technologies including classical surveying, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), digital close-range photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning were employed to capture the Villa Trausch and its 33 bookshelves, i.e. Trausch’s Library, in all its details, while providing all data in one homogeneous coordinate system. Models and more photo-realistic visualizations of the exterior and interior have been obtained using, e.g., indoor images captured during the scanning. These allowed us to explore different virtual reality (VR) pathways employed by the gaming industry, for the generation of a first VR experience of the building in the sense of a digital museum. Currently solutions for the development of a public virtual library using commercial providers are investigated.

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