Professor Wins Award for Digital Epigraphy Toolbox

Digital Worlds Professor, Angelos Barmpoutis, and his team placed 2nd in an international competition on Digital Humanities with the Digital Epigraphy Toolbox project.

The University of Leipzig in Germany, a new and innovative e-humanities center funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, organized this competition for the E-humanities award. Those involved with the project were invited to present it at the University of Leipzig Seminar Series on Dec. 19, 2012.

Digital Epigraphy Toolbox, placed second with the first place team being a project from the Netherlands and the third place from University of California, Berkeley.

This project is a collaborative work from Digital Worlds and the Department of Classics. The goal of the project is to develop new scientific tools for humanities and apply concepts from digital and interactive media and computer science to Archaeology and Classics. This scientific tool allows archaeologists and epigraphists to create 3D digitalization of inscriptions based on epigraphic squeezes in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

“Our technology offers solutions to two different problems in the field of archaeology,” said Barmpoutis. “The first problem is the digitization or digital preservation of inscriptions. Our method can accurately scan the 3D anaglyph of an inscribed surface and store its 3D model in the form of a digital file that can be saved to any computer. The key advantage of this technology is that it utilizes a regular office scanner and it does not require expensive equipment.”

This overcomes the limitations of the current methods for digitalizing epigraphic data in 2-dimensions only.

“The current technologies available have major limitations: high cost and lack of portability,” said Barmpoutis. “For example, laser scanners can capture very fine detail 3D shapes, but their cost prohibits their use in the area of humanities.”

Both Matthew Carroll, a graduate of Digital World’s MADAS program, and Michael Baksh, a current MADAS student, contributed to the design of the graphical user interfaces as well as the processing of 3D scans.

For more information about the Digital Epigraphy Toolbox visit http://www.digitalepigraphy.org/ or contact Barmpoutis at angelos@digitalworlds.ufl.edu