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Paper: From Survey to Education: How Augmented Reality Can Contribute to the Study and Dissemination of Archaeo-astronomy
Volume: 409, Cosmology Across Cultures
Page: 464
Authors: Schiavottiello, N.
Abstract: The study and practice of archaeo-astronomy comprehend disciplines such as archaeology, positional astronomy, history and the studies of locals mythology as well as technical survey theory and practice. The research often start with an archaeological survey in order to record possible structural orientation of a particular monument towards specific cardinal directions. In a second stage theories about the visible orientations and possible alignments of a specific structure or part of a structure are drawn; often achieved with the use of some in house tools. These tools sometimes remain too “esoteric” and not always user friendly, especially if later they would have to be used for education purposes. Moreover they are borrowed from tools used in other disciplines such us astronomical, image processing and architectural software, thus resulting in a complicate process of trying to merge data that should instead be born in the same environment at the first place. Virtual realities have long entered our daily life in research, education and entertainment; those can represent natural models because of their 3D nature of representing data. However on an visual interpretation level what they often represent are displaced models of the reality, whatever viewed on personal computers or with “immersive” techniques. These can result very useful at a research stage or in order to show concepts that requires specific point of view, however they often struggle to explore all our senses to the mere detriment of our vision. A possible solution could be achieved by simply visiting the studied site, however when visiting a particular place it is hard to visualize in one simple application environment, all previously pursued analysis. This is necessary in order to discover the meaning of a specific structure and to propose new theories. Augmented reality in this sense could bridge the gap that exist when looking at this particular problem. This can be achieved with the creation of a visual tool that will serve archaeo-astronomers and modern cosmologists as an aid deployed on site during their research stage, and for the final dissemination of their results to the non-specialist audience.
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