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An Open Source Approach to Cultural Heritage: Nu.M.E. Project and the Virtual Reconstruction of Bologna


Nu.M.E. (New Electronic Museum of the city of Bologna) is a multidisciplinary project involving historiography, museum studies, and computer science. Since the late 1990’s it has been answering complex methodological questions with the aim to concentrate, on a single digital platform, the results of many years of research in the field of urban history. The case study of Nu.M.E. is the city of Bologna, in Italy, and its millenary tradition of urbanization. In its 2009 release, the project strives for the definition of new methodologies of cultural transmission for the general public. Nu.M.E. 2009 also adopts a new perspective based on cutting edge, open source technologies. Such choices make it possible to demonstrate that 3D graphics, real-time engines, and interactive storytelling can be useful tools for philological representations of ancient urban landscapes. At the same time, our research evidences that these technologies are fundamental resources for contemporary museology. This paper surveys the problems that emerge in analysis and communication of the medieval urban landscape of thirteenth-century Bologna and will present a new method of interpretation, and visualization of historical data.

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