Quasi–Mixed Reality in Digital Cultural Heritage. Combining 3D Reconstructions with Real Structures on Location—The Case of Ancient Phalasarna



Traditional Mixed Reality as it is currently experienced on popular mobile devices has its obvious limitations in the context of Cultural Heritage. Neither the sensor fusion approach nor the pattern recognition solutions are precise or stable enough to provide a satisfactory visual match between the live video feed and the graphical layer of digital information. The fundamental incompatibility between 2D live video and dynamic 3D graphics also makes this a short–lived solution in a long–range perspective. While we are waiting for sustainable solutions for real time 3D capture and display on mobile and wearable devices it is pertinent to employ and evaluate transitional alternatives for effective use on location . In the research and development reported here we created a static 3D version of the current archaeological site based on photogrammetry. This is done in order to test how it may serve as an intermediate level of representation for increased precision when combining the real present with the reconstructed past. In this chapter we present and discuss the experiences we have gained exploring this type of Indirect Augmented Reality, which we have named ‘Quasi–Mixed Reality’, on location at the archaeological site of Ancient Phalasarna on western Crete.


Quasi–mixed reality Indirect augmented reality Mixed reality Situated simulations Sitsim Ancient Phalasarna Photogrammetry 



Thanks to Tomas Stenarson founder of CodeGrind AB, Šarūnas Ledas co-founder of Tag of Joy, as well as the students at MEVIT3810, University of Oslo, for making this version of the Phalasarna sitsim possible.


  1. 1.
    Dai, A., Niesser, M., Zollhöfer, M., Izadi, S., Theobalt, C. (2017) ‘BundleFusion: Real–Time Globally Consistent 3D Reconstruction Using ON–the–Fly Surface Reintegration’ in ACM Transactions on Graphics, Vol. 36, No. 3, Article 24, pp. 24:1–18. Publication date: May 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nurminen, A., Järvi, J., and Lehtonen, M. (2014) ‘A Mixed Reality Interface for Real Time Tracked Public Transportation’, paper presented at the 10th ITS European Congress, Helsinki, Finland 16–19 June, (2014).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Côté, S., Trudel, P., Desbiens, M. A., Giguère, M. & Snyder, R. (2013). ‘Live mobile panoramic high accuracy augmented reality for engineering and construction.’ In: N. Dawood and M. Kassem (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, 30–31 October 2013, London, UK.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    MacIntyre, B., Lohse, M., Bolter, J. D. & Moreno, E. (2001) ‘Ghosts in the Machine: Integrating 2D Video Actors into a 3D AR System’ in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Mixed Reality, pp 189–202.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wither, J.,  Tsai, J.-T. and  Azuma, R. (2011) ‘Indirect augmented reality’, Computer and Graphics, 35(4): 810–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bolter, J. D., Engberg, M. & MacIntyre, B. (2013.) Media studies, mobile augmented reality, and interaction design. Interactions 20, 1 (January 2013), 36–45. DOI=
  7. 7.
    Madsen, J. B. & Madsen, C. (2013). ‘An interactive visualization of the past using a situated simulation approach.’ in Proceeding of Digital Heritage Congress, pp. 307–314.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liestøl, G. & Morrison, A. (2013) ‘Views, Alignment and Incongruity in Indirect Augmented Reality’ in Proceedings of ISMAR 2013, IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality - Arts, Media and Humanities. 1–4 Oct. 2013, pp 23–28.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liestøl, G., Rasmussen, T. and Stenarson, T. (2011) ‘Mobile Innovation: Designing & Evaluating Situated Simulations’ in Digital Creativity 2011, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 172–184. Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (2011).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Liestøl, G. (2014) ‘Along the Appian Way. Storytelling and Memory across Time and Space in Mobile Augmented Reality’, in M. Ioannides et al. (Eds.) Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, pp 248–257.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Liestøl, G. (2018) ‘Storytelling with mobile augmented reality on Omaha Beach: Design considerations when reconstructing an historical event in situ.’ MW18: MW 2018. Published February 16, 2018. Consulted April 28, 2018.
  12. 12.
    Hadjidaki, E. (1988). ‘Preliminary Report of Excavations at the Harbor of Phalasarna in West Crete’. American Journal of Archaeology, 92(4), 463–479. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hadjidaki, E. (2001) The Roman destruction of Phalasarna. In Higham, N.J. (ed.) Archeology of The Roman Empire, A tribute to the life and works of Professor Barri Jones. BAR International Series, vol. 940, pp. 155–166.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    A video of the system in use is available at.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media & CommunicationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Association for Ancient PhalasarnaPhalasarnaGreece

Personalised recommendations