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Scotland plays host to international digital conference

9 April 2009

The use of cutting edge laser technology to survey and interpret heritage structures will be discussed at an international conference in Scotland this month (April 22 and 23), organised by Glasgow School of Art and Historic Scotland.

The 2009 Digital Documentation Conference - to be attended by leading experts from around the world – will also address the practical use of 3D laser scanners, high-resolution digital photography and digital visualisation.

Scotland’s Culture Minister, Michael Russell, will give the opening address.

The conference will bring together specialists from the United States, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the UK to present current documentation projects and to consider future applications to the benefit of conservationists and the built environment.

Organised by the Digital Design Studio at the Glasgow School of Art, the event will consist of presentations focussing on the applied use of laser scanning and digital survey, particularly looking at heritage documentation

Douglas Pritchard, Head of Visualisation, Digital Design Studio at the Glasgow School of Art and Chairman of the event, said: “This is an exceptionally unique event. Rarely do you have so many world-leading experts in heritage documentation at one place. This is a first for Scotland, perhaps even Europe. Anyone involved in the heritage or built environment sectors will find the conference both engaging and informative. All of the presentations utilise leading-edge technology that will become the standard in the years to come.”

David Mitchell, director of Historic Scotland’s Technical Conservation Group (TCG) who has co-organised and sponsored the event, said: “This conference gives Scotland the chance to celebrate our success in laser scanning and visualisation in the heritage sector, and we are very fortunate to have the world class expertise of Glasgow School of Art here in Scotland.

“It is exciting that so many international experts are coming to Scotland for this event and we hope to continue to build our expertise in this area. While still considered cutting edge technology, capturing the built environment digitally and using the data for recording, understanding and caring for our built heritage will increasingly become the norm. We aspire to have Scotland at the heart of this research field.”

The speakers at the event include Gustavo Araoz, the President of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and Ben Kacyra of the CyArk Foundation who created the first viable laser scanner and has become known as the ‘John Logie Baird’ of digital documentation. His Foundation seeks to digitally capture world heritage sites to create a lasting record of historic sites.

The Conference will be held at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow's Merchant City on 22 and 23 April. For further information on bookings, speaker schedule, exhibitors and venue, please refer to the official site: . Tickets are priced at £65 for one-day and £100 for the two-day conference.

Notes for editors

  • To attend the event or organise an interview with the organisers or keynote speakers, please use the contact details below and we will handle media bids as soon as possible  Biographies of speakers are attached

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is one of the United Kingdom’s (UK) most successful higher education institutions specialising in architecture, design and fine art.  It has an established reputation world wide for high quality education and search which is demonstrated by the outstanding successes of its students and graduates and the professional standing of its staff.  It is home to an international community of 1700 undergraduate and postgraduate students studying  in the schools of Architecture, Design and Fine Art, or at the Digital Design Studio

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations

For further information on GSA please contact: Alison Hunter on 0141 353 4443 or

For further information

Lisa Nicholson
Communications and Media Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8852 or 07500 065 438