Research team launches project to preserve images of Great Wall and ensure sustainable use of data

December 16, 2023
Updated 2023/12/16 at 6:56 PM
2 Min Read

Li Zhe prepares to fly a drone during a field survey in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 3, 2023.

Li Zhe, 45, guest researcher at the School of Architecture at Tianjin University, dedicates his time to preserving images of the Great Wall, a cultural relic.

In an effort to preserve the images of the Great Wall and ensure the sustainable use of the data, a research team with the School of Architecture at Tianjin University initiated a project in late 2018 that involves the use of the latest technology as drones to collect “the most complete possible real-scene three-dimensional images of the Great Wall”. By capturing successive scanning-quality images and utilizing software to create three-dimensional models, this project produces indepth revelation of the relic site that can be applied in various research fields as discovery of hidden resources, showcasing cultural relics, investigating areas of damage, and analyzing the causes of harm.

Over the past four years, Li Zhe and his team members have generated 40 terabyte of data consisting of more than three million high-definition images captured during a 20,000-kilometer drone flight. Using centimeter-definition images, the team has documented over 90 percent of the Ming Dynasty’s Great Wall.

In early 2023, the team organized an exhibition in Tianjin Museum showcasing the digital outcomes of their efforts through immersive multimedia displays, 3D printed objects, and historical scene restoration.

“The Great Wall is a monumental epic of the Chinese people,” said Li Zhe. “We hope that our research will not only provide support for the protection and monitoring of the Great Wall, but also showcase a more authentic and well-preserved Great Wall, enhancing its cultural allure.” (Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo)


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