The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad is planning to introduce a digital heritage preservation project. City's Golconda Fort, one of the most famous and the biggest fortress in the Deccan plateau, will be it's first project.
According to its Director Prof U B Desai, IIT Hyderabad has received funding from the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to start a design innovation centre, which would be spearheaded by the Design Department but also involve faculty from all other departments.
This is a hub and spoke collaborative centre, with IITH being the hub and International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIIT-Hyderabad), IIIT Chittoor and Indian Institute of Information Technology Design & Manufacturing Kancheepuram being the spoke.
One of the major activity is digital heritage preservation. "Funding is approximately Rs 10 crore", said Desai. He said the plan is start the initiative with digital preservation of Golconda fort here within a year. "Currently, we are in the process of getting all the required infrastructure ready like various cameras, laser scanners and software which can stitch things together in a nice and flamboyant manner", Desai said.
"Today we have technology for digitally preserving things". The idea is to complete digital preservation of couple of heritage sites on a pilot basis and demonstrate that "we can do it," he said, adding, thereafter the country can take forward such an activity to cover many more heritage sites.
Desai underlined the need to preserve heritage sites, noting that things like natural calamities and extreme heat have the potential to damage them. Digitisation ensures that these sites are preserved "forever".
Noting that "people in the West have done it (preservation of heritage sites), he spoke about such an initiative done on 'Statue of David' by Stanford University, and 'Rani Ki Vav' in Gujarat by a foreign team. The whole idea is to create an "experiential feeling" so that anybody with internet access can take a tour of the site which has been digitally preserved, Desai said.