Comparing 2D Pictures with 3D Replicas for the Digital Preservation and Analysis of Tangible Heritage

Fabrizio Galeazzi, Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, Justin L. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present two experiments designed to compare 2D digital pictures and 3D digital replicas of artifacts, to understand how differently these media facilitate the perception and understanding of our past. Archeologists and museum experts have commonly used 2D digital pictures to preserve and study artifacts. Recently, these scholars have also started to use 3D digital archives for their studies. Yet, we still need to determine how these two formats (2D vs. 3D) affect the perception of our past. Results of our experiments point to 3D digital replicas of artifacts as more effective means to digitally preserve tangible cultural heritage, since 3D multi-visualization augments the perception of physical characteristics of the artifacts allowing a more embodied experience with these objects. Our experiments also suggest that multi-visualization (i.e., point-cloud, mesh, and color information) helps the viewers to overcome their personal conceptualization of specific objects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Early online date30 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • 2D digital pictures
  • 3D digital replicas
  • perception
  • digital archives
  • cognition
  • artifacts

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