Digital copies of moai are created

Perspective of the moai on the Rano Raraku slopes created from laser | Photo: CyArk

The organization CyArk seeks to preserve  digitally the most important places of the world against the war, the deterioration and the impact of climate change.

We all know you have to make copies of our files and photos, but what about our castles and churches?

A nonprofit organization called CyArk has created digital copies of more than 100 of the world’s most famous monuments, including Roman ruins, ancient statues and traditional Easter Island moai. Now plans 400 more, with the aim to  preserve digitally the most important sites in the world against the war, the deterioration and the impact of climate change.


“There will never be enough time or money to preserve everything,” said Barbara Kacyra, cofounder of CyArk, during a visit at the Tower of London. “If you can not physically have something, the following better is preserve it digitally”.

The organization, based in Oakland, California, is using scanners and three-dimensional radars and other technologies to create detailed maps of famous monuments, from the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, measuring holes and incisions with pinpoint accuracy .

Not only lasers capture tiny damages invisible to most of the cameras, 3D data can be used to create hyper realistic models and exhibition programs of aerial views used by tourists and educators.

Master copies of the measures are saved by the company Iron Mountain, which stores the equivalent of about 2 petabytes of magnetic tape in his underground file at the bottom of an old limestone mine in Pennsylvania.

Kacyra explained that the project came after the Taliban destroyed the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in 2001. Meanwhile, Gustavo Araoz, a conservationist who works with CyArk compiling a list of the following 400 sites, said that a similar destruction is happening in slow motion across the planet.

Source: El Mercurio