Westhill Digital Heritage

Preserving heritage sites through innovative interpretation.

Through interpretation; education.
Through education; appreciation.
Through appreciation; protection.
                    - Freeman Tilden

Westhill Digital Heritage delivers innovative site interpretation using online virtual access, providing a way to reach out beyond site boundaries, connecting your site to a motivated public. In this way we digitally preserve at-risk historic sites, buildings, structures and landscapes.

A new generation of interpretive tools have grown to be recognized as a must-have by heritage site managers. Innovation that allows off-site visitors to explore and freely interact with a heritage site, allowing visitors to learn at ones own pace, relating through ones own interests. We have identified the qualities required for a more immersive exploration, an experience that can build audience appreciation and ultimately greater support for your site.

We have developed state-of-the art methods to produce our interpretive tools. First, an unusually rich information set is recorded, resulting in a detailed snapshot of your site. Next, supporting information is gathered. Finally, the story of your heritage site is brought to life. Our goal is to preserve our at-risk heritage sites before they can be lost to history.

Click on the link below to explore an example, in this case using 360-degree interactive panoramas. The example illustrates one of many ways to present interpretive information for heritage sites.

Historic Log Cabin

We also use 3D laser scanning to document heritage sites. Read this PDF to learn the benefits of this approach.

3D Laser Scanning for Heritage

How are sites digitally preserved?

A survey is performed at the site, the collected data is processed, analyzed and prepared for many possible deliverables ranging from interpretive materials to conservation resources for site management use. See the sections below for more detail.

Information Capture

A detailed and multi-faceted snapshot of the site is captured. Measurable 3D spatial information is collected using survey-grade laser scanning, photogrammetry, GPS, and other remote sensing tools. Specialized forms of photography are used for detailed 2D visualization, and photography can be used for the purpose of creating 3D models. Historic data in the form of text, drawings, photography, maps, public records, and oral history is collected. Research uncovers the pieces required to tell the whole story.


Process & Analyze

Next, collected information is processed and analyzed. Digital analysis tools provide a new look at information that was once hidden or fragmented. A new synthesis of old information can reveal new insights. A Geographic Information System can be created to hold and analyze spatial information. Analysis of remote sensing data can allow us to see objects and locations we could not see before. Together these components form the basis for many deliverables that can serve conservation and dissemination purposes for heritage sites.


A rich dataset supports many deliverables.

Information collected for interpretive tools can be used for so much more. The same detailed information set can be used for archival purposes, and to create conservation and other dissemination deliverables. Typical conservation and site management deliverables include as-built 2D CAD drawings, standardized reports for documentation, maps, and spatial information for change analysis.

Measurable Drawings

Common measured deliverables are 2D plan and elevation CAD drawings. Orthophotos, interactive TruViews, and GIS deliverables are also measurable. All of these are created from the 3D spatial and image data that was captured at the site.

Standardized Documentation

Heritage site documentation is typically delivered in a standard form such as the Historic American Building Survey, National Register of Historic Places, and in California, the DPR 523. These standard forms can be created using digitally collected data.

An Ultimate Archive

What do you have if you choose to capture data only? Store that data and you will have the ultimate archive for future use. The deeply-rich snapshot can be mined at a later time for measurable 2D drawings and 3D models.

Westhill Digital Heritage

Digitally preserving our heritage resources.

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