New Online Archive Brings the Ancient Maya City of Chichen Itza to Scholars’ Desktops


EMERYVILLE, CA.- This week a new archaeological data archive and web-based collaborative learning tool launches to provide researchers, educators, filmmakers and digital heritage enthusiasts with the most complete data to date of any ancient Maya site. The archive centerpiece is a priceless 3D record of the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza, recently voted one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” by an eponymous Swiss-based foundation. Computer visualization researchers at the Institute for the Study and Integration of Graphical Heritage Techniques (INSIGHT) generated the open source archaeological data archive on site in the Yucatan, through the use of 3D laser scanning equipment and digital photographs. The INSIGHT team then synthesized raw data into 3D computer models of the site today; the team also visualized the site as it may have looked in the past, paying meticulous attention to texture and light. Their data and tools are now available online. “This is the first