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:
support your reconstructive pipeline;
organizes the complexity of your reasonings;
map the amount of sources employed;
declare the reliability of your final proposals;
present your final results both with a graph and a 3D model;
... and much more.
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):
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.
EM was conceived to:
make as closer as possible the virtual reconstruction record to the archaeological one;
offer “data creators” (Heritage experts) the simpliest possible experience by proposing a really usable metadata creation tool (based on few nodes);
be recognised, by archaeologists, as an extension of field documentation activities;
be used, by 3D modelers, as a tool for supporting 3D content creation phase;
be compliant with both digital data (such as, digital 3D survey) and archaeological records (documentation of old excavation campaigns) reducing human digitalisation errors during the ingestion.
Turn 2D documentation into 3D
map the reconstructive process;
graphically represent data connection.
Proxy models (i.e. simplified models used to represent reliability) allow to:
create 3D representations from drawings or other 2D documents;
easily connect the original source, stored within EM, to the correspondent 3D model.
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:
3D environment (Blender);
3D web-app (EMviq);
multimedia contents (video, renders).
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.
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.
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..).
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.
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.
EMdb (version 0) to connect table databases with Extended Matrix
EMWgeo (version 0) to use EM within geophysics applications