October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Paper: Imag(n)ing Shuilu'an

Harlan Wallach, Architect for Media Technologies, Northwestern University, USA


This paper describes the Imag(n)ing Shuilu’an project, its goals and its results. The goals of this project were multifold, and were designed to produce both a lasting archive of the Shuilu’an temple, train the Xi’an Center for Conservation in imaging techniques, and explore the methods of 3-D capture and application. This project also worked to develop a prototype of a unified annotation and presentation toolset to explore networked based presentation models of the combined deliverable components, and to explore and evaluate the scholarly use and value of the 2-D and 3-D datasets.

The datasets developed encompassed very high-resolution documentary photographic textures of each of the interior surfaces, panoramic VR nodes, a 3D scan of one of the interior walls, to-scale floor plans and vertical sections and technical and descriptive metadata about all of the objects, from the large composite textures to each of the individual acquisition photographic captures. A Web based annotation application was develop that allowed the Xian team to provide metadata and region-based metadata on the photographic textures. A dimensional metadata tagging system was created in able to develop a unified browse and search interface that sought to preserve the spatial relationships inherent in the actual structure, informing the digitized components in a fashion that would otherwise not be experienced in a network mediated presentation model.

The acquisition phase began in October 2005 and ended in May 2007 with a culminating conference in Xian, China. It was a collaborative project between Northwestern University and the Xian center for Conservation and Restoration, and was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

Keywords: digitization, cultural heritage, high resolution photography, 3D scanning


Imag(n)ing Shuilu’an is a project designed to deliver results across a broad range of goals, both practical and conceptual in addressing the development of a rich, complex multimedia archival repository. The American side of the collaborative project was funded by the Andrew W Mellon foundation and Northwestern University. The Chinese side of the collaborative project was funded by the appropriate government agencies associated with the preservation of Cultural relics in China, at the local, regional and national level. The project produced a complete two-dimensional, high-resolution photographic record of the Shuilu’an temple while conducting experimental three-dimensional acquisition in a variety of formats, methods and procedures. It was designed to bring and disseminate the digital acquisition expertise, techniques and research efforts pioneered at Northwestern University to the Chinese partner institution, the Xi’an Center for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics A network mediated model was created for the development of descriptive metadata associated with the media content. Lastly it was designed to explore and evaluate the scholarly use of a unified network based interface. This interface enables the exploration of the different acquired data sets in context with the physical relationships of the original objects, and preserves those relationships as they reside in the temple. As such, this project in its entirety can be described as being use-neutral. Use-neutral meaning - Each aspect of the component phases of this project; acquisition, production, preservation and presentation, can be demonstrated to be useful across a broad range of disciplines. This paper will describe each of the developed data sets, and the tools developed to build the metadata and the prototype site to present the unified data set.

The Shuilu’an Temple is a freestanding temple located about 60 kilometers east of Xi’an.  The site is composed of a small temple compound with five buildings.  The target building, the main Buddha hall, is the only remaining structure on the site with any period art that survived the Cultural Revolution. There are apocryphal stories about why this happened. Either through specific intervention of local villagers, or the protection of soldiers from a local air base, one of the five buildings on the site has survived into the present intact. The main Buddha hall is a Tang era structure with Ming dynasty (15th century) sculptures completely lining the interior of the structure. Often referred to as “Little Dunhuang”, it is more accurately described as “Little Dunhuang in 3-D,” as if the mural iconography of the Mogao Grottos were realized in dimensional sculpture. The entire interior of the temple is encrusted with polychrome terra-cotta sculptures that range in size from one and a half meter freestanding guardian figures on the ground of the northern and southern sides of the temple to bas relief figures a few centimeters high with fine incised detail adhered to the walls. The polychrome paint surface of the sculptures is still largely intact though it is now close to 500 years old. There are around 3500 separate figures representing the many different iterations and forms of the Buddha as well as many scenes of the Buddha’s life.  This site is at particular risk due to the fragility of the clay and the age of the structure.  In the interior of the temple, some figurines have separated from the walls and collapsed. The complexity and detailed nature of the sculpture means that as one piece falls it affects surrounding areas of the temple. To protect the site, it was not opened to the public until recently, in deference to the fragility of the unfired terra-cotta structures. This leads to the last unique aspect of this site, it is to date, without bibliography.

2D Photography

The foundation of the digitization effort at Shuilu’an Temple is the 2D image as it was both the highest resolution and completely comprehensive.  The entirety of the main temple interior was captured photographically generating thousands of images during the project’s acquisition phase.  These images resulted in three data sets: the 2D High-Resolution Composite Images, Virtual Reality Movies, and imagery for mapping  photographic textures on to 3-D models.

2D High-resolution Composite Photography

The composite photography for the Shuilu’an Temple was achieved with a series of 2D images captured on a high-resolution digital camera, which were configured to document the entirety of each surface. All of the images for a texture were captured at the same relative distance from the surface in a large grid layout, which was later assembled in post-production to re-create the texture in its entirety, as a single unified piece.

The camera was positioned so that the lens was directly perpendicular to the portion of the texture in front of it.  The camera moved across the wall at intervals, so that each frame overlapped the one preceding it by approximately 50%.  Using this technique and then raising the camera by a 50% vertical frame interval from row to row, it was possible to photograph the entire wall in extremely high detail from the same perspective, even close to all surface edges and corners.

With the exceptionally large number of files created during the imaging of the temple, it was extremely important to keep a well-organized and systematic workflow in managing  the data.  A data manager oversaw the entire process- Starting before any image was captured when he helped determine the shooting marks and rows, continuing through the capture process, the transfer of images to the computer, checking the image quality and data sets, and finally backing them up for dissemination and transport.

Using Photoshop, the stitching process re-assembled the entire photographed texture as it had been sectioned out into small, overlapping blocks during production, back into one coherent piece, representing every photographed detail.  The resulting stitched texture is a view of the wall which is impossible to see in real life, as it depicts every point of the texture as it is seen when viewed head-on, with virtually microscopic detail, from the   lowest point near the floor, to the highest figure at the ceiling, and everything in between.

Virtual Reality Photography

In addition to the high-resolution 2D composite photography, Virtual Reality movies (or VR’s) were created of both the temple interior and selected exterior spaces.  Acquisition for each VR began with a series of still photos shot in a 360-degree rotation from a single point at the optical center of the camera.  Each individual photo overlapped the adjacent photos by approximately 25%, so that once the images were loaded into the VR processing software, the redundant data in each photo could be automatically overlaid and stitched together to create one continuous panorama.

Each VR was covered in full horizontal 360 degrees (6 captures) with the vertical tilt of the camera set to 0 degrees (parallel to the ground), an upward angle (between 30 and 60 degrees), and a downward angle (between -30 or -60 degrees).  Additionally, a single shot was captured with a vertical camera tilt of 90 degrees and -90 degrees.  With this selection of angles, spherical panoramas, which give the user both a horizontal and vertical 360-degree perspective, were created. 

As the VR is a viewing of a space from a single point, choosing the proper camera placement for each node was critical.  Since the most effective panoramas are photographed with the widest lens possible, this means that to get sufficient detail, the camera must be positioned fairly close to the main focal texture of the panorama.  When deciding the number of panoramas and location of each node within the Shuilu’an Temple, the photographer evaluated both the details of specific objects throughout that were suited to the presentation form of the individual VR movie, as well as the overall layout and sense of space within the entire temple, in order to most accurately and seamlessly represent the whole of the site.

RealViz Stitcher was used to assemble and render the panoramic TIF files.  VR specialists arranged overlapping images into position.  The software then automatically stitched the images together by identifying similar or identical lines where each photograph overlapped.  This, was rarely an error-free process, and after the panorama was rendered and “unwrapped” into a TIF file, the VR specialist patched the rendered file with sections of the original source images to correct errors such as doubling or non-continuous lines, as well as insert properly exposed doorways and floor shots that exclude the tripod and VR head.  Once the TIF was completely corrected, it was then “wrapped” again into the .mov format and viewed as a completed and corrected FLASH format VR file.

Texture Photography for Mapping

The images that were used for mapping textures onto the 3-D models were acquired independently from those used for VR panoramas and coverage. The process was linked to the movement of the 3-D optical scanner and was designed to provide as much imagery as possible within the available space, which due to the complexity of the sculptures precluded 360-degree views. The attachment of the bulk of the sculptures to the supporting wall and their fragility meant that total coverage was not possible, like the scanning itself, textures were only captured on the surfaces available form the front of the sculptures and without endangering the objects. At each location point of the scanner nine separate images were acquired from nine separate angles. These images were also independently lit specifically for creating a set of files that when combined on to the mesh would result in the highest quality effect, given the limited file size that could be developed to allow for a reasonable transfer via the web.

Exif metadata

The first stage of developing the metadata for the project was in the act of photography itself. The Exif data generated by the digital cameras at the point of acquisition became the first component of the technical metadata. This data remains attached to the images throughout the postproduction process and is made available as a component when viewing the source images.

3D Data

To expand upon the 2D image work, select statuary and relief elements of the Shuilu’an

Temple were digitized as 3 dimensional models.  Additionally, the entirety of the main temple was surveyed to create site cross-sections at millimeter accuracy.  This work resulted in stand-alone end products and also created a framework for the virtual site coordinate system used to reintroduce spatial context to the acquired assets in the final presentation model.

3D Model Production and Site Survey

Linsinger Kultur of Austria was contracted to carry out the acquisition and initial stages of post-production for the 3D modeling and temple surveying.  3D model development began with the acquisition of data through photogrammetry, a process in which a grid is projected onto a physical object and photographed by a camera positioned at an angle to the projector.  For each statue and relief scene, photogrammetry captures were taken from numerous positions, with captures overlapping to allow for alignment.  This process was repeated until the entirety of the visible surface of the object was captured from numerous angles.  Finally, hi-resolution photographs were also taken of each object for texture mapping.  A total of twelve figures and six relief scenes from the North wall were scanned with this method, and 3D models were made of them.

During the acquisition process, Linsinger Kultur used the point data to created 3D meshes by converting all recorded points to a unified coordinate system.  Due to the intricacy of the surfaces scanned and their physical integration into the temple wall, objects often contained small areas which could not be reached by the scanning process.  These areas lacked point data and had to be modeled by eye in post-production.

 Once the meshes were complete, photographic textures were mapped to the models by visually matching landmarks.  The textured models were then exported as VRML files which were imported into 3D Studio and optimized for web-delivery.  Meshes were welded to form complete, combined textures and then reduced in size.  Finally, the models were converted to Director Shockwave format, and viewer manipulation scripts were applied to allow for navigation of each model.

Spatial Metadata

Traditionally, cultural and archaeological site digitization efforts have resulted in disparate digital artifacts that are exhibited according to attributes of the finished media rather than the logic of the original site.  To re-introduce site context to the data, the Imag(n)ing Shuilu’an web interface was designed to expose both the array of digital artifacts and, more importantly, the spatial relationships present in the physical site.  To achieve this, a virtual site coordinate system was established based on the temple cross-sections.  For the on-site temple survey, an origin point was defined at the lower, exterior, southeast corner of the central temple space, and measurements were indicated in meters.  These characteristics served as the basis for the development of the virtual spatial framework.

For the virtual site coordinate system, each digital asset was assigned center point coordinates and bounds for ‘depth’, ‘width’, and ‘elevation’.  The coordinates were relative to the common origin point (0, 0, 0) for the temple model and expressed distance in meters from this point in the x, y, and z planes.  The bounds  described the distance in each plane from the center point coordinates that the digital object represented in physical space.  The coordinates described the center of the bounding box.  This spatial metadata was used as the foundation for a spatial browser interface that allows users to navigate a 3D model and floor plan of the Shuilu’an Temple.

Web-Based High-Resolution Image Annotation Tool

The image annotation tool was developed to allow for collaboration between experts working in China and the US. Teams working in the United States and China each brought particular areas of expertise to the process.   To connect these groups, the Online Annotator was developed.  The software allowed image specialists in Chicago to provide completed media to content specialists in Xi’an over the Internet.  The Xi’an team was then able to mark the high-resolution 2D images with annotations and metadata. There were two level of descriptive metadata developed. The fist was associated with the entire composite image of each surface. This was accomplished with a form attached to the image viewer with common fields. The region-based annotator could then be used to enter image information about specific details present in the images once they had been enlarged. 

The tool lets content experts explore high-resolution photographs in a zooming viewer and attach notes to specific image features. Annotations indicate interpretation of features, translations, and notes on condition and restoration. It is important to note that regions can be adjusted by the user to highlight features at any scale from small scratches to large sections of a scene.

The tool supports the use of multi-language controlled vocabularies to tag image features. Users select terms (in one or more languages) from a categorized tree and drag them into a list of terms attached to an image note. The tool supports user-defined forms for fielded information such as materials, measurements, dynasty, and translations. This could of course be modified on the basis of the experts and the type of mark up requested by different applications. In this particular instance the conservation and restoration specialists at the Xi’an Center provided the controlled vocabulary for these areas of their expertise.

The tool is implemented as a Flash / Actionscript 2 application embedded in the Plone content management system. The system supports easy sharing of annotations among a group of researchers that may be separated geographically. Sharing, full text search, and RSS notification of changes are all provided by this system. The goal of this tool is to put these high resolution images onto the screens of cultural specialists regardless of physical location of the original object or the location of the scholar. In our case post production on the images was conducted on site at Northwestern University, descriptive metadata was added at the Center for Conservation ans Restoration in Xi’an China.

Web-Based Scholarly Database and Viewing Tool

The Shuilu’an digitization project produced high-resolution images, panoramic VR movies, navigable 3D models, architectural floor plan and cross-sections, and descriptive and technical metadata. A rich collection of disparate datasets in two languages. This bilingual web application provides a mechanism for navigating the database and easy-to-use browser for these materials. The goal of developing this prototype interface was to be able to maintain the physical context of the objects, and enable exploring the representations of the actual objects while preserving the existing physical relationships.The prototype Scholarly Web Interface achieves this by locating all data spatially.  User s navigate using a floor plan and 3D model of the temple space. Each artifact and  representation is shown as a marker in the space. The user can obtain information about each media item or artifact (thumbnail and description) by holding the mouse pointer over the marker.

Each item page includes tabs for displaying:

  • A viewer (depending on the media type) for images, 3D models, and panoramic VR
  • The metadata tab, showing artifact and technical metadata
  • The related items tab, showing the artifacts that are depicted and items that are spatially related to the item. Each link appears as a thumbnail that can be used to navigate to the item's page.
  • The sources tab, allowing access to the source media that went into making the product.

The Scholarly Database is a Zope 3 web application with the addition of Flash and Director / Shockwave client software. High-resolution images and surface annotations are  displayed using the Northwestern University developed  zooming image viewer and image preparation software.

Dissemination of Results

As part of the development of this project, a relatively large dataset was developed. In its entirety, it represented about 660 gigabytes of storage. Beyond the development of the work related to the prototype presentation model, the actual data was delivered in its entirety to both the Xi’an Center for Restoration and Artstor, for archival storage and appropriate dissemination. The developed pictorial data will be available for scholarly purposes with in the education community via subscription. One lasting result was the further development of the cooperative relationship associated with the digitization of Cultural relics in China.  In May 2007, as part of the final report and delivery of the digital content a conference was called to report on the results. We were privileged to take part in the Chinese system of evaluation, which after a fashion, is structured to bring together a set of experts of various disciplines that in effect put the project on trial. After presentations on the results of the project, the experts convene, separate from the participants, and author a declaration on the project. The project was determined by the evaluation committee to be a success and there were many positive suggestions to come out of this activity. One is that progress is under way to publish the photographic results of the project in a large format Wenwu publishing house book in 2008. Another was to pursue ways in which the development of the prototype presentation model might be turned into both a permanent online presence and a potential field tool for future fieldwork.

An interesting aspect of this joint project was the respective ongoing efforts associated with the parallel tracks required for administrative approvals in each of the two participants in this international project. The name of this project, Imag(n)ing Shuilu’an, is only applicable to the Andrew W. Mellon grant to Northwestern University. The project that provided funding for the extensive participation of the Chinese team was titled “Applications of 3-D Scanning and Digital Image Production at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian” and involved an equally extensive long term effort at navigating the administrative and logistical components at all levels of the effort. As an illustration of this collaboration, this paper will conclude with the project timeline as developed by both   the American and the Chinese team for presentation at the concluding conference.

Chronology of the Sino-American Joint Project:  Imag(n)ing Shuilu’an and Applications of 3-D scanning and digital image production technology at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian

September 2, 2003

Zhng Tinghao, Director of the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics, Li Bin, head of the Bureau’s Department of External Affairs, and Wang Daowu, deputy director and a research fellow of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, meet with Harlan Wallach, Director of NUAMPS, department of Academic Technologies, Northwestern University, and June Mei, representing the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of the U.S.A.  They examined the clay sculptures of the Shuilu’an, the relics of the tomb of Anjia in the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology, and the Tang dynasty tomb murals in the Shaanxi Provincial Historical Museum, to explore possibilities for a cooperative project on the high-resolution digitization of cultural relics. A report on the possible options for a cooperative effort was then submitted by the Americans to Don Waters, program officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of the U.S.A.

September 4, 2003

The Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics makes a request to the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics and to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to initiate a project on the “Applications of 3-D scanning and digital image production technology at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian”.

October 13, 2003

After a site visit to see the clay sculptures in the Shuilu’an, Mr. Don Waters, Program Officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, meets with Zhang Tinghao, Director of the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics, representatives of the relevant offices of the Bureau, and with leaders of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics to confirm the possibilities of moving forward with a project.

March 27, 2004

An officers grant application to explore feasibility of a larger digitization and implementation grant is submitted to the the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation by Northwestern University. The application is titled “Support, training and dispersal of high-resolution photographic techniques, and research towards initiating three-dimensional capture of sculptural objects in Gansu and Shaanxi Province, China.” The goal of this grant application was to continue the educational collaboration associated with development of these techniques and provide initial support for further exploration of the relationship between the acquisition of high-resolution surface textures and three-dimensional structures of the painted clay sculptures.

May 28, 2004

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation formally agrees to support the project on “Applications of 3-D scanning and digital image production technology at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian.”

June 3, 2004

With approval from the National Administration of Cultural heritage, Wang Daowu and Yan Min of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics go to Shanxi Province to transport the rig and some of the equipment used in an earlier project on digital photography which was supported by Northwestern University in a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

June 10, 2004

Through an exchange of e-mails, the Chinese and American sides confirm the equipment list required for preliminary technical training and for on-site photography, and add components to make up for some shortages.

June 21, 2004

Wang Daowu and Wang Zhan of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics go to Dunhuang to learn about the cooperative project on high-resolution digitization there between the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Dunhuang Research Academy.

June 28, 2004

The Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics establishes its project team for the Sino-American joint project on digital imaging.

Team leader: Wang Daowu

Team members: Wang Zhan, Yang Guibao, Zhen Gang and Li Bo. This is reported to the provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics.

July 6, 2004

Harlan Wallach of Northwestern University and other specialists conduct two days of preliminary training in Xi’an for the Chinese technical staff.

July 8, 2004

Harlan Wallach of Northwestern University and other specialists and the Chinese technical staff conduct two days of on-site experimental photography at the Shuilu’an in Lantian.

August 8-10, 2004

Processing of part of the images from the experimental photography of the interior north wall of the Shuilu Pavilion.

November 15, 2004

Harlan Wallach and other specialists spend four days in Shaanxi to sum up the results of the experimental photography, and to further lay out plans for the collaboration.  Both sides begin to draft the text of an agreement

January 1-9, 2005

Application documents and the text of the agreement on collaboration are formally submitted to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics and the Xi’an Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics.

March 25, 2005

A final report on the successful result of the Officers Grant is submitted to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation by Northwestern University.

June 30, 2005

An imaging and digitization grant proposal titled “Imag(n)ing Shuiluan: Applications of 3-D scanning and digital image production technology at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian” is submitted to the Andrew W. Mellon foundation by Harlan Wallach of Northwestern University to provide support for a collaborative imaging project between Northwestern University and the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics. This imaging project proposed to completely document in high-resolution digital imagery the interior of the Shuilu’an Temple, Lantian, Xi’an, China. A parallel effort to the imaging of the temple is an experimental acquisition of a partial 3-D dataset. The work plan also includes development of related software.

September 2, 2005

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage gives approval for the commencement of this collaborative project.

September 8, 2005

William G. Bowen, legal representative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Hou Weidong, legal representative of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, execute the official agreement.

September 19, 2005

The Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics and the Xi’an Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics give approvals for the commencement and implementation of this collaborative project.

September 19, 2005

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation approves the grant request from Northwestern University for “Imag(n)ing Shuiluan: Applications of 3-D scanning and digital image production technology at the Shuilu’an Temple in Lantian”

September, 2005: The Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics approves a grant for project expenses.

September 25, 2005

Leaders of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, the Xi’an Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics, the Lantian County Office of Cultural Relics and Tourism, the Shuilu’an Office of Cultural Relics Management, and the Chinese project team convene a coordination meeting to study project implementation and execution plans.

October 10-12, 2005

After completion of all preparatory work for the digital photography at the Shuilu’an, the American specialists bring a large quantity of advanced equipment.  On October 14, the Chinese and American project teams go to the Shuilu’an and commence work on 2-D high-resolution digital photography, VR’s, 3-D surveying and measuring, and 3-D scanning. This requires some 30+ person-trips for on-site work by Chinese and foreign experts.

With the strong support of the Lantian County Office of Cultural Relics and Tourism and the Shuilu’an Office of Cultural Relics Management, on site work continues for three months.  During this time, leaders from the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics and the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, as well as leaders from the Dunhuang Research Academy, visit the site to inspect and to offer guidance for the ongoing work. Liu Gang, director of the Digitization Center of the Dunhuang Research Academy, and photographer Sun Hongcai assist in the work.

January to December, 2006

Postproduction work on 2-D high-resolution photography, VR’s, 3-D surveys and measurements, and 3-D scanning; collection of metadata; establishment of database.

May 12, 2006

First working conference call between the Chinese and American project teams regarding postproduction and database development, to ensure coordination of concepts and technical paths. The Image annotator developed by Northwestern University is presented.

June 13, 2006

Second working conference call between the Chinese and American project teams regarding postproduction and database development, to explore solutions to technical problems.

July 19, 2006

Harlan Wallach and other specialists come to Shaanxi for four days.  The Chinese and American project teams summarize the work done in the previous phase, and discuss the development of the database and metadata input. Hou Weidong and Qi Yang, leaders of the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, participate in the discussions and resolution of problems.

August 2006

Wang Daowu and Wang Zhan of the Chinese project team begin to research, collect, organize and input metadata. Zhou Qimin, Fan Weiyue and Zhang Weijun of Lantian County provide support and assistance.

October 2006

The Chinese project team makes reports on the preliminary results of the project at a conference of the digital information committee of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, and at a working conference on cultural relics digitization work of relics institutions and museums under the direct jurisdiction of the Shaanxi provincial Bureau of Relics.  The reports are very favorably received by leaders and experts.

November 28, 2006:

Harlan Wallach of Northwestern University, USA, Stefan Linsinger of Austria, and other experts come to Shaanxi for five days.  The Chinese and American sides sum up the previous stage of work, and give a comprehensive technical report on the various digitization techniques used at Shuilu’an for the Chinese side.  Liu Yunhui, Vice director of the provincial Bureau of Relics, Zhou Kuiying, head of the Relics Department of the Bureau, relics specialist Kong Yu, and Hou Weidong, Qi Yang and Ma Tao, leaders the Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics hear the reports, affirm the results of this collaboration, and offer guidance on initiating new collaboration in the future.

November 29, 2006

Both sides come to some preliminary conclusions on the dissemination and application of the results achieved through this collaboration, on the publication of the project’s results, and on exploring a new joint project. They also discuss organizing a conference to report on the project results, as well as an evaluation session.

May 21, 2007

Culminating conference for the project in Xi’an, China.

Project Personnel

Northwestern University (U.S.A.) Project Team

  • Harlan Wallach, P.I. USA Project Director, Architect for Media Technologies, Academic Technologies, Northwestern University
  • Jonathan Smith, Architect for Distributed Education. Academic Technologies, Northwestern University
  • Bill Parod, Architect for Scholarly Repositories, Academic Technologies, Northwestern University
  • Robert Taylor, Director, Academic Technologies, Northwestern University

Acquisition & Media Development

  • Stefani Foster, US Project Manager, Photographer
  • Lars Hubrich, European Project Manager
  • Jeremy Brunjes, Image Specialist
  • James Prinz, Image Specialist
  • Lauren Holliday, 3D Model Specialist, Production Assistant
  • Mitchell Wu, Image Specialist
  • Stefan Linsinger, Linsinger Kultur, 3D Scans, Site Survey

Web Interface

  • Jonathan Smith, Software Architect. User Interface, Web Site, and Database Design; Web Application Programming; High Resolution Image Viewing and Annotation Tools.
  • Academic Technologies, Northwestern University
  • Joseph Paris, Systems Engineer, 3D Model Developer
  • Christopher Wallace, Post Production Content Management
  • Jonathan Fernandez, Graphic Designer


  • June Mei, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Facilitator and Consultant
  • Limin Teh, Translator
  • Allison Larsen, Grant Administrator

Chinese Project Team

Director In Charge For The Xi’an Center For The Conservation And Restoration Of Cultural Relics

  • Deputy Director and Associate Research Fellow Qi Yang (Associate Professor)

Xi’an Center For The Conservation And Restoration Of Cultural Relics Project Team

Team leader:

  • Research Fellow (Professor) Wang Daowu

Team members

  • Wang Zhan, engineer; Yang Guibao, photographer; Zhen Gang, photographer; Li Bo, assistant engineer

External Affairs Secretary for Sino-foreign joint cooperative projects, Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics

  • Yan Min

Cite as:

Wallach, H., Imag(n)ing Shuilu'an , in International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting (ICHIM07): Proceedings, J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. 2007. Published October 24, 2007 at http://www.archimuse.com/ichim07/papers/wallach/wallach.html