Thursday, August 24, 2006

Digital hieroglyphs

http://tinyurl.com/qzj9b (alphagalileo.org)
News resource AlphaGalileo reports on an article about digitization of hieroglyphs in the latest edition of New Scientist: "The hieroglyphics that cover the columns and walls of Egyptian temples are in danger of washing away. Groundwater constantly seeps into the stone on which they are engraved, depositing a corrosive layer of salt on the surface as it evaporates. Yet despite the danger that the precious inscriptions could soon be lost, Egyptologists still trace them by hand – a laborious and time consuming process. . . . Now researchers working at Amun-Re are hoping a simple software tool developed by a team led by √Člise Meyer of the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Strasbourg, France, will speed up the process. . . . To transcribe the engravings, the system first transforms photographs of the object taken from different angles into a flattened, head-on image of its surface, using a technique commonly used to turn aerial images into maps. The Egyptologist then uses an adapted version of the AutoCAD 3D drawing program to record the hieroglyphic."
See the above page for the full report.

For those of you who have access to the print edition of New Scientist, you'll find the original feature on page 28 of the latest edition.

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