Tourists Can Experience India’s Monuments All in One Place with 3D Technologies

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The Taj Mahal [Image: UNESCO]

India is full of beautiful historic monuments, but it would be tough to see them all – it’s a big country. How convenient would it be if you could put several of them in one place? Convenient, sure, but not exactly feasible – or right. But with 3D technology, people can soon go to Delhi and explore 20 of India’s monuments for themselves, without ever leaving the city.

“By 3D printing we can create Taj Mahal, Ghats of Benares, Buddhist circuit and any heritage or any monument. So tourists coming in can see and decide what they like and where they want to go,” said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST) while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM International Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Along with 3D printing, which will allow visitors to see reproductions of the monuments, artificial intelligence and virtual reality will allow them to actually explore inside of them as though they were there in person. With help from a laser, visitors will be able to choose their own paths and will be given information from a virtual tour guide.

“You can stop, climb up, can change the perspective, or the sky be it morning or night sky as it depends on how you are going to view it,” said Sharma.

The Ghats of Banaras [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Since it’s not always feasible to travel to visit numerous monuments in person, the technology can serve as a replacement, allowing visitors and tourists to see and explore the monuments all in one place. However, there’s nothing quite like physically visiting a famous, historic and beautiful place, so having so many of these monuments reproduced and readily available can help visitors to decide which of them they’d like to make the effort to travel to in person.

3D printing and 3D scanning technology have been used to reproduce historic monuments and works of art before, such as the Palmyra Arch and other locations and items threatened or destroyed by terrorism and war. The monuments to be reproduced in Delhi aren’t under any particular threat, at least no more so than any other ancient creations still standing on Earth, but they’re being reproduced to make them more accessible and to give people as full an experience of actually visiting them as possible – without actually traveling to them. If those reproductions can inspire people to travel to the real locations, that’s even better – the project is being launched with the goal of drawing tourists to India.

Sharma also announced that the Indian government is going to be launching a three-layered mission on cyber physical systems that will involve 25 centers of excellence focused on each sector.

“This mission will cover from basic fundamental knowledge generation R&D to technology development, translational aspects, incubators, start-ups in this particular area thereby commercialising the technology which comes out of there,” he said. “When we started thinking about AI in the DST about two and a half years ago, we started in a modest way by putting in couple of hundred crores and now we are going to scale up those efforts on several thousand crores level in a very holistic way in the entire spectrum of AI that covers everything from theme knowledge generation in AI areas of deep learning, machine learning, contextual learning and all varieties of AI that one can think about.”

In addition, the DST has started a project involving smart sensors for air and water quality, and another involving infrared sensing to test soil and crop quality. The government has also committed to making the data gathered by the Survey of India available to every citizen so that they can better compare data on climate, environmental changes and other factors.

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