EM Features

The Extended Matrix  (EM) is an Open Science project that allows to create, visualize, explore and share online a complete 3D scene by using free and open source platforms (EMF) with the support of a community

EM allows you (expert of Cultural Heritage involved in a reconstrucruction process) to: 

Hereafter some features of the method...

Represent reliability with colours

The Extended Matrix represents the certainty of existence with a standardized color chart available both for renders and 3D environments

Draw reliability with nodes

The Extended Matrix is a node based language, within the EM graph every node has a specific shape and a different color (following the EM color chart)

Node-based paradata

A non-destructive pipeline allows Heritage experts to record and share within EM the whole process of reconstruction (which sources have been chosen? How sources have been used? What is the relation between sources and interpretations? How reliable is the reconstructive proposal? etc...). 

EM uses the GraphML file format (XML based) in order to be widely supported by other software tools and easily integrated in a custom workflow.

Knowledge network meets 3D

Extended Matrix means data interconnection!

EM connects different types of information (bibliographic references, images, 2D drawings, 3D objects, text files, urls etc..) within the same knowledge network

EM, with its specific tools, represents relevant information through 3D models both within the 3D modeling environment and online.

Create hypothesis with a new formal language

The lack of a shared language with which Heritage experts could store and communicate the reconstruction process is, probably, one of the reasons that identified archaeological virtual reconstructions as “artistic” or “aesthetic” endeavors. 

The goal of EM is to overstep this concept.

EM formal language allows to organise information during the data collection phase of the research

A five steps procedure has been tested to make the reconstructive process smoother, transparent and scientifically complete.

Based on standards

Stratigraphic reading, computer graphic, knowlegde networks and CIDOC-CRM (and CHARM) are the main references EM refers to.

EM was built with solid theoretical bases in order to create a robust method useful both for virtual reconstruction and for digital documentation on Cultural Heritage.

It offers easier data conversion tasks towards other metadata schemas or libraries.

Experience an open source ecosystem

The Extended Matrix Framework (EMF) is part of an Open Source ecosystem where different tools are shared with other communities.

EMF integrates EM and several digital tools.

EM is about scientific-driven content creation.

EMF is about technological-driven solutions. 

Based on solid archaeological principles

From an archaeological point of view, EM is based on the stratigraphic reading approach and aims to create a common framework connecting archaeological documentation, virtual reconstruction and survey.

Concepts and tools such as the Stratigraphic Unit (or Context), the Activity, and the Matrix of Harris have been “extended” to include and define both reconstructive elements (like “lost” columns, friezes, capitals, etc..) and all the sources useful for the reconstruction.

Scientific tool

EM was conceived to:

Annotate 3D models 

The Extended Matrix Framework (EMF) includes tools to semantically enrich both Reality Based models (3D data acquired with laser scanner or photogrammetry) and Source Based models ( 3D models, such as virtual reconstruction).

Turn 2D documentation into 3D

EM can:

Proxy models (i.e. simplified models used to represent reliability) allow to:

Tell a story

Virtual activities and Narrative units provide standardized solutions to communicate the story of a context both for experts and a wider public.

EM and Proxy models graphically describe the reliability of the reconstructive process through time and space.

Transparency and EM data representation

EM graph layout and EM color chart help Cultural Heritage experts to directly display both archaeological records and reconstruction information in:

Represent chronology

Proxy models can represent reliability and chronology through colors, this is possible in Blender, EMviq and multimedia contents. 

In Blender, using the open-source addon EMTools, users can  automatically connect the information stored in the EM graph with the Proxy models.

In EMviq, a 4D web-app which is part of the EMF, users can visualize, explore and interact with both the 3D scene and the Proxy models.

Add 4th dimension to your 3D reconstructive scene

In Cultural Heritage time is an essential element and drastically improves the effectiveness of visualization.

EM provides a solid framework, the EMF, for storing stratigraphic data and reconstruction hypothesis over time.

The chronological phases of a reconstruction can be observed in several modes, such as: a graph, a 3D scene (within a 3D software or a 3D web app), a multimedia content or a simple render.

Export data to Game Engines and 3D Web-viewers

EMF provides tools to easily export reconstruction dataset (documentation and reconstruction hypothesis) to your preferred Game Engine (Unity 3D, Unreal) as well as 3D web-viewers or 3D web-apps (such as EMviq

Data connection with GIS

Connect EM data with GIS.

A recent develeopment of EMF allows to connect pyArchInit, a plugin for Qgis that allows to manage a complete archaeological documentation of an excavation, with the Extended Matrix and also the entire framework (including EMTools and EMviq).

Share your reconstruction

As an Open Science project EM aims to share results with its community and the public.

For this reason, several EM datasets, with Creative Commons licences, have been shared within Zenodo, an online open source platform for storing information.

Collaborative scenarios

EM is not intended to replace already existing CIDOC-CRM data modelling tools. 

EM, as a common language, is focused on the involvment of experts (archaeologists, information scientists, digital archeologists, engineers etc...) within collaborative scenarios created during a reconstruction process (such as: data collection, analysis, visualisation, sharing etc..). 

Related approaches

EM and HBIM are part of the same large family

They are both useful for storing and visualizing data connected with a 3D model, but they satisfies different purposes.

Community and support

The Extended Matrix is an Open Science project not only developed by the DHILab of the CNR-ISPC of Rome, but also by a widespread community.

The EM community is made up of scholars, independent researchers, students, professional experts and much more.

Experimental features

Data connection with HBIM

An experimental feature, stil under development, will connect the Exteded Matrix with HBIM platform.

From graph to table

Soon an export tool will allow to transform an EM graph to a table.

This automatic process will accelarate the data entry phase.

By using table, non-experts users will be able to easily read and reach all the reconstructive data. 

New workflows

EMdb (version 0) to connect table databases with Extended Matrix

EMWgeo (version 0) to use EM within geophysics  applications