Experiencing Ancient Buildings from a 3D GIS Perspective: a Case Drawn from the Swedish Pompeii Project

  • Nicoló Dell’Unto
  • Giacomo Landeschi
  • Anne-Marie Leander Touati
  • Matteo Dellepiane
  • Marco Callieri
  • Daniele Ferdani


In recent times, archaeological documentation strategies have been considerably improved by the use of advanced 3D acquisition systems. Laser scanning, photogrammetry and computer vision techniques provide archaeologists with new opportunities to investigate and document the archaeological record. In spite of this, the amount of data collected and the geometrical complexity of the models resulting from such acquisition processes have always prevented their systematic integration into a geographic information systems (GIS) environment. Recent technological advances occurred in the visualization of 3D contents, led us to overcome the aforementioned limitations and set up a work pipeline in which was possible to put the 3D models not only in the context of data visualization but also in the frame of spatial analysis. The case study described is a part of the Swedish Pompeii Project, a research and fieldwork activity started in 2000 with the purpose of recording and investigating an entire Pompeian city block, Insula V 1. As an additional part of the research, a laser scanning acquisition campaign was conducted in the last few years. The resulting models were thus meant to be used to develop further research lines: Among these, a 3D GIS system was expected to be set up with the purpose to (i) collect in the same geo-referenced environment, different typologies of documentation gathered in the context of the Swedish Pompeii Project; (ii) inter-connect 3D models with the project website; (iii) use the third dimension as a further analytical field of investigation, in the form of spatial analysis and cognitive simulation.


Pompeii 3D GIS Digital archaeology Virtual archaeology Visualscape analysis 



This research activity was funded by the Swedish Research Council Grant (340-2012-5751) Archaeological information in the digital society (ARKDIS), by Fondazione Famiglia Rausing, by C.M. Lerici Foundation and by Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. The authors also would like to thank Renée Forsell for her precious consultancy during all the phases of the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicoló Dell’Unto
    • 1
  • Giacomo Landeschi
    • 1
  • Anne-Marie Leander Touati
    • 1
  • Matteo Dellepiane
    • 2
  • Marco Callieri
    • 2
  • Daniele Ferdani
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and Ancient HistoryLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Visual Computing LaboratoryISTI-CNRPisaItaly
  3. 3.Istituto per le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni CulturaliCNRRomeItaly

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