Culturally significant sites like the Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu need protection, or the world stands to lose them to natural disasters, war, terrorism and other threats, warns CyArk, a non-profit charity.
CyArk uses laser scanners to create accurate digital copies of these sites for preservation and educational purposes.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 200 at the Tower of London, CyArk launched an ambitious initiative to digitally preserve 500 heritage sites within the next five years and unveiled a new fund to help finance the effort.
It urged the assembly, which included foreign ambassadors, government officials, cultural representatives, corporate executives and others from 35 countries, to support the newly created CyArk 500 Challenge through the CyArk 500 Fund.
CyArk uses 3D-laser scanners to create digital copies of heritage sites like the pyramid El Castillo at Chichen Itza in Mexico
Governments and individuals can nominate sites for preservation and donate money to support the cause via the organization’s website.
Heritage sites will then be reviewed for selection and funding consideration by an international advisory council of heritage experts assembled by CyArk.
“Our mission is to create a 3D-digital library of the world’s most important heritage sites,” said Ben Kacyra, who co-founded CyArk along with his wife Barbara.
CyArk made this announcement Monday, Oct. 21.
Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with European operations in Edinburgh, Scotland, CyArk captures billions of data points with each heritage project. That can mean as much as 10 terabytes of information per project.
To protect this data, CyArk relies on Iron Mountain, the information storage and management company that became a charitable partner in 2012.