Benvenuto nel progetto Visas

The architecture of the integrated package of services provided by VISAS is depicted in Figure 1. The first step concerns the acquisition of optical and acoustic data which, according to the specific needs, can be carried out by scuba divers or by Remotely Operated underwater Vehicles (ROVs). Downstream of the process, there is the 3D reconstruction from which the geo-referenced 3D models are generated. These models are used for Virtual Dive Experience and Augmented Diving services delivery.

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 Figure 1: Architecture of the integrated package of services proposed by the VISAS project.

The main goal of the VISAS project is to improve the ability to generate value from a responsible and sustainable exploitation of underwater archaeological sites, enhancing the tourist-cultural offer related to the underwater archaeology. This strategic goal is structured in several operational goals aimed to develop an integrated package of services for improving the visitor experience and enjoyment of underwater archaeological sites. These services are intended, on one hand, to promote diving tourism by improving the divers' experience in the underwater site, on the other hand, to promote the induced tourist activity through the development of an innovative virtual tour of the site


The three services are:

  • UNDERWATER 3D RECONSTRUCTION: this service exploits the combined use of optical and acoustic techniques for the generation of multi-resolution textured 3D models of underwater sites, obtained by merging the results of surveys carried out with these two types of systems.

  • VIRTUAL DIVE EXPERIENCE: a VR system allows users to live a virtual experience inside the reconstructed 3D model of the underwater archaeological site. The software application provides also an interactive navigation within the virtual environment to plan the guided dives.

  • AUGMENTED DIVING: this service is intended for the divers that will visit the underwater site, allowing them to have a virtual guide that provides specific information about the artifacts and the area they are visiting. The service is based on a tablet properly equipped with a waterproof case and an integrated system for acoustic localization and inertial navigation.

The vast historical and naturalistic heritage that lies on the seabeds of the world is an important resource that needs to be protected and valued with a particular attention. It also stands as an interesting opportunity for tourism development in the coastal areas. In particular, underwater archaeological sites, be them shipwrecks or sunken cities, are considerably fascinating for the public, both for the sense of mystery that surrounds them and the symbiosis between the artifacts and the sea life.

Computer graphics techniques like 3D reconstructions and Virtual Reality (VR) have demonstrated to be effective in increasing the value of cultural heritage, but the possible applications for underwater archaeology have not been investigated enough. The potentialities of 3D graphics in cultural heritage exploitation are related to the possibility to de-materialize the heritage itself, so that it can be enjoyed without any constraint given by distance or time, allowing users to live an impressive learning experience with a high emotional impact. These potentialities may also be leveraged for the exploitation of the underwater cultural and naturalistic heritage, as the sites are accessible only to scuba divers.

Financing Body: Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)

Financial Support: PAC (Piano d’Azione e Coesione)

Action: "Start up"-Linea 2- Cultura ad impatto aumentato

Project start date: 01 April 2014

Expected completion date: 30 September 2016

Project Coordinator: Prof. Fabio Bruno (UNICAL)