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Scotland's Heritage in 3D

22 April 2009

Groundbreaking 3D visual documentation of Scottish historical landmarks including Rosslyn Chapel and Stirling Castle was unveiled today (Wednesday, 22nd April) by Culture Minister Michael Russell MSP at the 2009 Digital Documentation Conference.

The cutting edge laser technology can survey and interpret heritage structures in 3D and provides - for the first time – a lasting, digital record of the country’s most important buildings. It also offers a new method for researching and conserving Scotland’s built environment.

Speaking at the opening of the Glasgow conference, organised by Glasgow School of Art and Historic Scotland, Culture Minister said: “Today we have witnessed a great achievement where the digital world meets the historical. Scotland is hosting a world-wide event which brings to the fore a unique method of digitally visualising and understanding historic landmarks.

“The projects on show are world class and are testament to great innovation and technical expertise. It is a celebration of what the industry has achieved. And is a chance for Scotland to share – and influence – heritage documentation in the years ahead.

“This event offers people the chance to see iconic sites such as Stirling Castle and Rosslyn Chapel like never before. It also offers great potential for tourism, education, gaming technology and survey sectors. It is unique and demonstrates the quality of research and technical expertise at Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art.”

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.”

Speakers at the 2009 Digital Documentation Conference - held at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow's Merchant City on 22 and 23 April - 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.

Notes for editors
  • To 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 available.

  • 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. For more information visit

  • 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. For further information:

  • 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

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