08.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Visualizing Venice: the City and the Lagoon


As part of their joint ‘Visualizing Venice’ project, Duke University, IUAV University of Venice and Venice International University (VIU), with the participation of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), are offering a 10-day Digital Visualization Workshop to teach students about the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the field of cultural heritage.

The course will be held between 3 and 13 June 2014 at VIU, on the island of San Servolo in Venice, with the financial support of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Participants will be provided with the technical skills necessary to map the changing urban landscape in Venice and its lagoon, using modern technological instruments to gain insight into the history of urban development. The course structure includes a historical introduction (and site visit) as well as classes in image processing, photogrammetry, laser scanning, geo-referencing of historical maps, data visualization and presentation, 3D modelling and augmented reality.

At the end of the course, students will have learned to engage with a range of digital tools that have useful applications in many different fields of research. More specifically, in the context of Venice, participants with an interest in art history, architecture and urban conservation will be able to observe how economic and social circumstances have conspired, over the centuries, to shape material space in the city.

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Visualizing Venice is an inter-disciplinary project initiated in 2009 by IUAV University of Venice, Venice International University (VIU) and Duke University that uses documents and archival sources to map the evolution of urban space in the city of Venice. The visualization of historical process in Venice by means of so-called ‘hyper-representation’ is of particular scientific value in a city so heavily affected by environmental factors such as global warming and rising sea-levels. It could also prove to be an important factor in keeping up to date with the latest digital trends in the field of tourism.

Over the last 4 years, the initiative has focused on specific case studies that are particularly representative of the city's urban fabric. San Giovanni e Paolo, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Arsenale and the Giardini della Biennale were stripped, layer after layer, to reveal the social and economic changes that had taken place over the centuries. The results of these studies were displayed in an exhibition hosted by the UNESCO Venice Office at Palazzo Zorzi, in April 2013, which reconstructed the last 3 years of Visualizing Venice’s research.

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