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FALL 2017





                                 An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) engaged in flight over the Tuscan countryside
                                        is capturing aerial data via thousands of high-definition photographs.





            Modern





                      History:





               DigITALlY Preserving the

               Ancient City of Volterra




      In June 2017, the mayor of an       The historic significance of Volterra is top   “The project appealed to CEC because of its
      ancient village went on a virtual walk   of mind for Mayor Buselli, as he has been   historic importance and because it provided
      through his domain as it appeared in   actively pursuing a World Heritage site   an opportunity for the firm to demonstrate
                                          classification from the United Nations   its expertise with cutting-edge Unmanned
      the first century BC. The ceremonious
                                          Educational, Scientific and Cultural   Aerial Vehicle (UAV), laser scanning, and
      voyage was the capstone of a nearly nine-
                                          Organization (UNESCO). Gathering data on   modeling technologies,” noted Sinclair,
      month endeavor that began in October 2016
                                          and documenting the details of this village   CEC’s Corporate CADD Technology Manager.
      with an international team of technicians,
                                          would likely support (and hopefully nudge
      software experts, architects, engineers,                                After settling into the Tuscan countryside
                                          along) the application process.
      and historians on a mission to help digitally                           and immersing themselves in its oft-
      preserve the city of Volterra, Italy.
                                          And so an initiative to collect critical and   romanticized culture, the team was charged
                                          comprehensive physical data about the    with capturing all of the necessary data
      This walled city has been continuously
                                          city was launched—championed by the   to complete three tasks: create a digital,
      inhabited for more than 3,000 years, with
                                          Volterra-Detroit Foundation, a previously   interactive 3D model of the city; create
      historic sites dating back to the fourth
                                          established collaboration between the city   Building Information Models (BIMs) for
      century BC. Its gateway, Porta all’Arco, is the
      oldest (and one of the last two standing)   of Volterra and the University of Detroit   historic buildings and architectural features;
      Etruscan arches in the world. The city is also   Mercy School of Architecture. Mark Dietrick,   and create 3D models of ancient artworks
      home to a spectacular example of a Roman   a board member for the Volterra-Detroit   and sculptures.
      theatre and a very recently uncovered   Foundation, secured sponsorship for the   Capturing physical data for the city would
                                          initiative from Case Technologies, Inc., a
      Roman amphitheater.                                                     enable a kind of digital historic preservation
                                          technology solutions provider for the A/E/C   and potentially serve as a preventive
      In 2014, the fragility and vulnerability of this   industry, where he serves as director of   measure against the effects of time and
      village—home not only to ancient structures   services. Case assembled an international   natural disasters. “If you capture data
      of historic significance but also to 7,000   team—including its partner, software   every few years or so, you can measure
      people—became palpably obvious when   developer Autodesk, Inc., and staff from   the shifting or deterioration that gradually
      part of the medieval wall collapsed due to   CEC—to bring diverse capabilities and   occurs over time,” said Dietrick.
      a landslide. This natural event likely was   expertise to the effort. Matt Bainbridge of
      not an anomaly, as earthquakes are known   CEC Bridgeport and Rick Celender and Rob   Terrestrial Light Detecting and Ranging
      to rock the relaxed Italian lifestyle, giving   Sinclair of CEC Pittsburgh would soon travel   (LiDAR) scanners were used inside historic
      pause to Volterra’s mayor, Marco Buselli,   across the ocean, and in some ways, back   buildings, such as the town hall, where the
      about the potential for future damage to his   in time to participate in the International   team captured millions of intelligent data
      village, both architecturally and culturally.  Reality Capture Workshop.  points about everything from the intricate
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