Providing a record for posterity

Today cultural heritage is at risk from a multitude of threats, from natural disasters to human conflict, urbanization and the ever increasing effects of climate change. CyArk's data can serve as a point in time record and can be used in recovery efforts following natural or human caused destruction or damage to a site. We archive the data using state of the art processes to ensure that this data continues to be available and usable tomorrow or decades in the future. CyArk’s founder Ben Kacyra, was moved to found the organization after the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001, of which there existed very little documentation.


CyArk maintains an archive of all raw and processed data in order to ensure a record is available for the future. Data is backed up in the field in triplicate before traveling back to the office where it is copied to the local server and the raw data is written to tape for an offsite backup. At the conclusion of a project, LiDAR scans and photogrammetric images are converted to non-proprietary and open exchange formats. The complete data set is then backed up to tape and this gold copy is sent to Iron Mountain’s secure underground facility in Boyers, PA.

Recovery in Action

Our work at Bagan started in May of 2016 when CyArk, in collaboration with Carleton University, the Myanmar Department of Archaeology (DoA) and the cultural unit of the UNESCO Bangkok Field Office worked to capture 3D data of several significant temples. Shortly following the fieldwork, a major earthquake struck, damaging numerous temples throughout the valley. In coordination with UNESCO and the DoA, CyArk and Carleton University returned to the site in late 2016 to conduct emergency documentation of (7) key temples with additional aerial survey of (2) temples. From our work at Bagan in Myanmar, we were able to create a detailed set of architectural drawings to support the stabilization and conservation efforts at the Ananda Ok Kyaung temple. The building is the focus of a UNESCO pilot project on how to best conserve monuments impacted by the 2016 earthquake. Derived from a photo-realistic 3D model, ortho-elevations and sections were presented in CAD and provided the foundation for analysis by a structural engineering firm that developed a strategy for the conservation of the building and its fragile murals.


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