Brief Report | 27. May 2022

NFDI4Culture Forum "3D objects: digitisation, presentation and preservation" - Report

Binary code in blue and purple on black background

Binary code in blue and purple on black background

CC0 Creator: Gerd Altmann

The forum on 12th May 2022 focused on the topic of 3D objects, specifically their creation, presentation and sustainable digital preservation. The task areas "Data capture and enrichment of digital cultural assets" (Task Area 1) and "Data publication and data availability" (Task Area 4) thereby addressed the entire NFDI4Culture specialist community with the intention of providing a platform for researchers as well as for established and upcoming service providers to talk about their needs and ask questions.

The event started with Katja Sternitzke (SBB, Berlin), Zoe Schubert (SBB, Berlin) and Guido Heinz (RGZM) giving an introduction to 3D objects, 3D digitisation and capture as well as data processing. The presentation particularly addressed the challenges around 3D metadata as well as providing access to, sharing, publishing and archiving 3D objects. The latter was part of Jörg Heseler​​​​​​​'s (SLUB Dresden) talk about principles and methods of digital preservation which aim at archiving data correctly, long-term and in a reusable way by applying different preservation models (content and bitstream preservation) and procedures (format migration, emulation and hardware museum). It became clear that there is no simple answer to the question which formats are suitable for the digital preservation of 3D objects.
Current solutions for showcasing 3D objects include, for example, the kompakkt web viewer or the planned extension of the DFG Viewer. The multimedia online repository kompakkt with its viewer, presented by Zoe Schubert​​​​​​​ (SBB, Berlin), enables not only the publication but also the annotation of 3D objects. Each object can be registered with a DOI and equipped with kompakkt's own metadata format. This metadata format is based on the metadata standards of the Europeana initiative, the Open Annotation Collaboration as well as the W3C Web Annotation Data Model and is further compliant with CIDOC CRM. Moreover, developments for the integration of Wikibase and kompakkt are currently underway at TIB Hannover. Another possibility for the virtual presentation of 3D objects is currently being implemented at SLUB Dresden: An extension of the DFG Viewer will be able to show 3D objects which are stored at decentralised repositories. Sebastian Meyer (SLUB Dresden) presented the current status of the project.
The forum further addressed the challenge of 3D preservation. How data find their way into the digital archive was explained by Jörg Heseler (SLUB Dresden): Thereby, the focus was on how to determine the archival value and archivability, choosing a preservation model, identifying significant properties as well as on functional and technical aspects around the process of transferring data into a long-term digital archive.

Finally, five services for data publication and digital preservation, which are available for the NFDI4Culture community, were presented:, the digital preservation archive at SLUB Dresden, currently works on an extension feature to be able to offer archiving of 3D objects. With heiARCHIVE, Heidelberg University is in the process of building a dark archive; a trial operation of the service will start in a month. The long-term digital archive of TIB Hannover presented its collaboration with the specialist information service BAUdigital around archiving solutions. BAUdigital showcased their workbench for subject-specific research data management and curation. With RADAR4Culture a free research data publication service for material and immaterial cultural assets is available to the NFDI4Culture community since March 2022.

The final discussion focused on challenges when it comes to handling 3D objects and encouraged a lively exchange between participants, for instance, with regard to existing or planned services, suitability of data formats for archiving as well as which (metadata) standards should be used.

We were very glad about the great response and interesting exchange about this special topic and would like to thank everyone for their active participation. We look forward to receiving further suggestions and questions regarding the long-term digital preservation of 3D objects.

Here you can download all event materials, including the etherpad notes and a list of helpful links.