PROJECT ANQA: PRESENTING THE BUILT HERITAGE OF DAMASCUS, SYRIA THROUGH DIGITALLY-ASSISTED STORYTELLING
Keywords: 3D documentation, Photogrammetry, Heritage places and data at risk, Virtual Museums, Syria, Middle East, Project Anqa
Abstract. There is a growing interest in using new technology to create high-quality 3D recordings of heritage sites at potential risk of damage from conflict or natural disaster. Project Anqa is a multi-partner initiative to digitally document and present seven such at-risk heritage sites, all of which are located in Damascus, Syria. Through a training program, we enabled Syrian locals to collect a variety of data from all seven sites. With this data - a combination of photographs, laser-scan data and audio interviews - we present a web-application that provides researchers and the public a visually rich experience that showcases these at-risk sites. We term this approach “digitally-assisted storytelling.” Our goal is to raise awareness of the need to document and preserve at-risk heritage in the Middle East while providing local professionals in the region with the skills to carry out these tasks. Furthermore, Project Anqa aims to be an educational resource for both researchers and the public. By allowing all collected data to be downloaded at no charge through an open access platform, we encourage the transfer of knowledge and information while preserving the digital longevity of this endeavour.