Google Arts and Culture and CyArk have come together to build a virtual reality tour for monuments which are damaged or are at the risk of an irreversible demolition. The collaboration is called the Open Heritage Project.
CyArk is a laser scanning technology, which digitally restores the monument. This restoration includes outward and inward tour of these places using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology. The Google Arts and Culture app comes with this new feature that includes VR tours of these digitally restored monuments. Here, the user can have a look at the monument on the desktop or on their mobiles, or even with the help of a virtual reality headset.
According to a Verge report, the Google Arts and Culture digital archaeologist Chance Coughenour said that all the monuments would be measured with precision. Here with the help of laser scanners, these digital archaeologists would be able to record the color, texture and the geometry of the monument with precision. He claims that through this technology they can also find the areas of damage for restoration.
CyArk was formed in 2003 when Ben Kaycra observed how the Taliban had bombed the monuments in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley or the ruins of Mesopotamia in Mosul which happened to be his hometown. These childhood memories gave him the idea to conserve the monuments with the help of LiDAR technology. He began using the LiDAR technology to reserve the monuments all over the world.
Some of their work includes Bagan in Myanmar, to help conserve the architectural drawings in the temples of these areas. Other monuments include Wat Phra Si San Phet at Ayutthaya in Thailand.