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Behind the 3D scene: A GIS approach for managing the chronological information of historic buildings
Historic buildings are representations of cultural systems throughout time. Thus, it is important to shed light on any given historic building’s chronological information by means of restitution, that is, the descriptions of different (re)compositions of a building for different historical states. However, the representation of information beyond the geometric, spatial, and physical characteristics of a historic building carries a crucial importance in the holistic understanding of historical changes. This requirement consists of representation, archival, assessment, and management aspects. Nevertheless, covering all these aspects is still quite challenging. Thus, three-dimensional (3D) visualization in digital platforms is considered, which indeed seems to be the most desirable way today. This article proposes a methodology through adopting an approach based on the Geographical Information System (GIS) and further develops a digital “container” as a 3D digital model for the archiving of a building’s chronological information. This does not only cover the geometric and spatial aspects, but also the historical resources and their reliability. The paper concludes that the developed prototype may lessen the future investigation effort of heritage specialists by making the chronological information of a historical building more integrated and coherent, through increased readability, accessibility, and visibility. This, in turn, supports the planning of restoration projects, as well as provides a static and comprehensive archive. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.