Helping to Preserve Cultural Heritage Sites, One Byte at a Time

The Louvre has perfected the art of protecting the Mona Lisa. The British Museum safeguards mummies that have been entombed for thousands of years. But what about Mount Rushmore, or Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Jerash in Jordan? Heritage sites are a significant part of humanity’s collective memory, and we are losing them at an alarming rate. Earthquakes, climate change or war can destroy these irreplaceable cultural heritage sites at any time, and they are too large to simply be locked away.

So how can we ensure they are maintained for future generations? The solution is to digitally scan, recreate and preserve them forever. Seagate is partnering with CyArk, an international non-profit organization to make it happen.

Helping to Preserve Cultural Heritage Sites, One Byte at a Time

“Seagate's technology allows us to scale and optimize our process of digital heritage preservation." - Scott Lee, Director of Operations at CyArk

Centralizing and Archiving the World in 3D

Centralizing and Archiving the World in 3D

Over the next five years, CyArk will digitally preserve 500 key heritage sites around the world using 3D laser scanning and other advanced technologies. The major challenge is to accommodate steadily growing data storage needs, while also planning ahead for the organization’s future preservation aspirations.

Digitally preserving a real-life structure starts with creating a point cloud. Bouncing laser light off the surfaces at the site, 3D scanners measure millions of points a second to create a 3D data set, or point cloud.

The next step is to generate a 3D model. Individual data points are joined together via small triangles—connecting the dots to form a solid 3D model. The model is then colored to create a photo-real 3D model.

Lasers. Point Clouds. 3D Models. And a Simple Storage Solution.

Obviously, CyArk collects and stores an incredible amount of data for every project, so they need reliable backup and expandable storage space. Seagate's enterprise servers, intuitive business NAS systems, and rugged mobile hard drives enable CyArk to successfully capture, centralize and archive this massive data, allowing future generations to experience these incredible sites in a way never before possible.

The partnership with Seagate enables CyArk to scale operations and achieve ambitious goals—more than doubling their projects each year. Through redundancy, security and the embrace of ongoing data storage technology innovation, Seagate offers invaluable support for CyArk’s ambitious goals.

“To accomplish the 500 projects, we have international teams collecting massive data in rugged zones and transmitting that data securely back to headquarters,” said Scott Lee, Director of Operations at CyArk. “Seagate’s technology allows us to scale and optimize our process of digital heritage preservation.”

Exploiting Data to Protect Giant Pandas
Perfectly Preserving for the Next Millennium, Together

Perfectly Preserving for the Next Millennium, Together

Nearly 100 projects have already been completed, including Pompeii, Babylon, Mount Rushmore, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Titanic, the Sydney Opera House and the Tower of London. With robust storage capabilities in place, CyArk is set up to continue this very important work, and their priceless digital assets will be safe for the next millennium.

See how you can help. Nominate a site to be digitally archived or donate here.

How We Did It

At Headquarters

The LaCie 2big Thunderbolt™ 2 (12TB) lets post-production teams convert scans into 3D models much faster. A Seagate Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS gives CyArk an easy way to centralize operations as well as to share data externally.

In the Field

Seagate Backup Plus Fast and LaCie Rugged™ Thunderbolt portable drives turbocharge data transfers in the field. High capacity, reliability, and bus power allow field teams to load them with data twice as fast and reliably ship them to headquarters.