Seagate Partners with CyArk to Preserve Historic City of Ayutthaya

by Elizabeth Lee
June 29, 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand – June 21, 2017 – Seagate Technology® (NASDAQ: STX) today announced a partnership with CyArk, an international non-profit organization, to digitally preserve Wat Phra Si San Phet in the historic city of Ayutthaya, Thailand. Earlier this month, digital scanning and archiving of the UNESCO World Heritage site commenced – data and images from the field exercise will be turned into photo-real 3D models for future generations of students, tourists and cultural heritage enthusiasts to experience the site virtually anytime and anywhere in the coming weeks.

“This important project aligns with our plans for the Digital Transformation of Thailand, leveraging technology for the betterment of our lives and society,” said Dr. Pansak Siriruchatapong, vice minister, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society. “Digital Thailand envisions the country’s success in taking full advantage of digital technology to support our economic and social development, and Seagate and CyArk have extended that vision, using technology to preserve our landmarks and heritage.”

“We are at a pivotal point in history in which data capture, storage and processing technology are all advanced enough to digitally preserve some of our world’s most unique and historically significant locations,” said Tim Bucher, senior vice president, consumer solutions group at Seagate Technology. “In 2015, we became a supporter of CyArk. By leveraging Seagate’s storage solutions and technologies, CyArk is empowered to securely store and protect the data they collect throughout a project, from capturing and processing to archiving. This is culturally important work that will enable all sorts of new possibilities for future generations. We are excited to partner with CyArk again this year to initiate their very first project in Thailand and participate in this journey of cultural preservation.”

Wat Phra Si San Phet was selected by CyArk as part of their international program for digital preservation through aerial surveys conducted with drones, terrestrial laser scanning known as LiDAR, and photogrammetry exercises. Seagate supports CyArk both in the field and in the office with its data storage solutions such as the LaCie® Rugged® USB-C, Rugged RAID, 2big and 12big and Seagate’s Innov8®, IronWolf™ 8TB and other high capacity data storage products. These devices ensure that the massive 3D capture data files from the field are safely backed up, centralized, and ready for processing to create detailed maps and architectural drawings that aid in the conservation of heritage sites. The stored data is also used to create exciting, interactive virtual reality experiences for tourists and academics alike while helping to preserve the historical design and architecture of Ayutthaya’s ancient temples and buildings that are facing the ravages of time.

“The new technologies that Seagate and CyArk bring to Ayutthaya boost the preservation of Thailand’s cultural heritage while promoting the Historic City of Ayutthaya as a major tourist attraction for Thai and international visitors, said Mr. Prateep Phengtako, deputy director-general, fine arts department, Ministry of Culture. “Over time our national treasures are facing increasing dangers, either man-made or natural. We will increasingly depend on new technology and solutions to preserve our cherished historical heritage sites. I thank Seagate and CyArk for their invaluable contribution towards conserving these national treasures and allowing future generations to experience Ayutthaya in an entirely new manner.”

The Historic City of Ayutthaya, located in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province about 85km north of Bangkok, flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries as the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. During this time it was one of the world’s largest urban areas and a center of global diplomacy and commerce. The city was destroyed in 1767 leaving behind only stone monuments. Today the UNESCO World Heritage site is protected under Thai law and is an extensive archaeological park, a major tourism attraction, and an important center of Thailand’s heritage.

Since 2003, CyArk has amassed high-tech digital records of over 200 heritage sites in 40 countries, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

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CyArk and Seagate on site at Ayutthaya