The development of new algorithms and software to process large-scale, data-intensive 3D models of cultural heritage materials on supercomputers.
Three-dimensional digital data capture techniques such as laser scanning hold great promise for preserving and studying cultural heritage objects. However, the immense size of many scanned datasets and the computationally demanding nature of geometric processing algorithms can overwhelm traditional desktop computing environments. To overcome this bottleneck, we will investigate the application of high performance supercomputing resources for processing and analyzing scanned 3D models of cultural heritage. We will develop new algorithms and software to utilize supercomputers for humanities scholarship, including methods for converting raw scan point cloud data to finished 3D surface models, and for automated re-assembly of fragmented archaeological artifacts. We will begin to apply these techniques to large raw scan datasets that we have previously acquired, including notable artistic statuary, important archaeological artifacts, and historical architectural sites.