The potential of 3D internet in the cultural heritage domain
Europe is rich in cultural heritage but unfortunately much of the tens of millions of artifacts remain in archives. Many of these resources have been collected to preserve our history and to understand their historical context. Nevertheless, CH institutions are neither able to document all the collected resources nor to exhibit them. Additionally, many of these CH resources are unique, and will be on public display only occasionally. Hence, access to and engagement with this kind of cultural resources is important for European culture and the legacy of future generations. However, the technology needed to economically mass digitize and annotate 3D artifacts in analogy to the digitization and annotation of books and paintings has yet to be developed. Likewise approaches to semantic enrichment and storage of 3D models along with meta-data are just emerging. This paper presents challenges and trends to overcome the latter issues and demonstrates latest developments for annotation of 3D artifacts and their subsequent export to European a, the European digital library, for integrated, interactive 3D visualization within regular web browsers taking advantage of technologies such as WebGl and X3D.