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 artefacts, to understand how differently these media facilitate the perception and understanding of our past. Archaeologists and museum experts have commonly used 2D digital pictures to preserve and study artefacts. 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 to 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 languageAmerican English
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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

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