Photo software to ‘rebuild’ ancient Shanghai

Shanghai, March 21 (IANS) Architectural conservationists will create a 3-D digital replica of a historic area of Shanghai using photo-based modeling technology, the media reported on Monday.

Liantang old town in Qingpu district, dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), the China Daily reported.

However, over the years a large part has disappeared.

As the local government looks to restore the area, experts at Shanghai Jiao Tong University will use old photos and modern technology to create Liantang digitally.

“Part of the core area has been demolished, so we had a talk with the government about using our photo-based modeling techniques to help restore the original appearance of the destroyed buildings,” said Cao Yongkang, director of the college’s International Research Centre for Architectural Heritage Conservation.

Cao’s team uses software that analyses old images of structures, as well as shots of the surrounding area to produce accurate spatial data that can guide any restoration work.

The technology is still in the early stages and was first used here in 2001, when the centre was asked to help with research into restoring the tomb of Xu Guangqi, a mathematician and scientist in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), in Shanghai’s Xujiahui area.

“Our system can improve heritage protection, and we’re working toward creating a complete archive,” Cao added.

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