January 23, 2022

Virtual Reality: Cyber Archaeology Project Opens Inside UCSD’s Geisel Library

From The Guardian (U. of California, San Diego Student Newspaper):

The opening of the At-Risk World Heritage and Cyber Archaeology project at Geisel Library Monday morning marked the initiation of the Digital Media Lab’s first virtual reality experience. The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, or CAVE kiosk, located in Geisel East, represents the halfway point in a two-year cyber-archaeology program that combines the efforts of UCSD, UCLA, UC Merced and UC Berkeley.

The kiosk features six 4K resolution television screens, each displaying part of a vivid image showcasing archaeological sites from Greece, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and other at-risk cultural sites. All students and visitors can navigate the dig sites in virtual reality through the use of an Oculus Rift headset and an Xbox controller.

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Learn More About the Project and CAVE Kiosk (via Geisel Library, UCSD)

In addition to Geisel Library, 3-D kiosks are being installed at UC Merced’s Kolligian Library, UC Berkeley’s Phoebe Hearst Museum, and UCLA’s Fowler Museum—the latter two in 2017, said [Professor Tom] Levy. While the project’s most urgent goal is to preserve at-risk cultural heritage data and digital artifacts, the plethora of 3-D archaeological data will also be used to study, forecast and model the effects of human conflict, climate change, natural disasters and technological and cultural changes on these sites and landscapes.

“We are thrilled to have the 3-D CAVEkiosk in Geisel Library,” said Brian Schottlaender, UC San Diego’s University Librarian. “The Library is a place for discovery, collaboration, and creativity, and the hundreds of students who come to Geisel each day will be stimulated and inspired by what Tom Levy and his UC partners are trying to accomplish. I’m also pleased that the Library’s Research Data Curation team is in on the ground floor of this important effort, and is preserving these vast amounts of data in our long-term digital preservation repository.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.