Multi-Sensor HR Mass Data Models toward Multi-Temporal-Layered Digital Twins: Maintenance, Design and XR Informed Tour of the Multi-Stratified Appian Way (PAAA)

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Oct 18;23(20):8556. doi: 10.3390/s23208556.


The article provides an overview of the digitisation project conducted by the Parco Archeologico dell'Appia Antica (PAAA) in Rome, focusing on an 11.7 km section of the Appian Way. This effort is part of the "Appia Regina Viarum" project, supporting the UNESCO heritage site candidacy of the Appian Way. Advanced sensor technologies, including the Mobile Mapping System (MMS), 360° Cameras, Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS), digital cameras, and drones, are employed to collect extensive data sets. The primary goal is to create highly accurate three-dimensional (3D) models for knowledge enhancement, conservation, and communication purposes. Innovative tools are introduced to manage High Resolution 3D textured models, improving maintenance, management, and design processes over traditional CAD methods. The project aims to develop multi-temporal Digital Twins integrated with historical documentation, such as Piranesi's imaginary views and architect Canina's monument reconstructions. These informative models function as nodes within the DT, serving the PAAA's geographic hub by means of an eXtended Reality (XR) platform: the paper proposes bridging the physical object and virtual models, contributing to supporting the operators in the maintenance planning as well as information dissemination and public awareness, offering an immersive experience beyond conventional reality.

Keywords: 3D landscape; Appian Way; Digital Twin; Mobile Mapping System; archaeological preservation; cultural routes; eXtended reality; infrastructure archaeology; multi-stratified; spherical cameras.

Grants and funding

Research and Consultancy Contract between Politecnico di Milano (Proff. Brumana, Banfi, Previtali) and the Public Administration MIC, Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica (PAAA), 2021–2022, “Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica, tratto demaniale della Via Appia Antica, tratto Capo di Bove civico 195—Frattocchie (circa 11.4 km), Digitalizzazione Scan-to-XR. Rilevamento laser scanner, restituzione geometrica 3D interoperabile webgis/XR finalizzata alla realizzazione di un Digital Twin di supporto alla conoscenza e alla progettazione”.