Saturday, June 18, 2022

Backup Ukraine

According to Ukraine's Ministry of Culture Russia has already destroyed over 300 buildings and sites of cultural importance in Ukraine. This includes the total destruction of 9 cultural heritage sites in the Donetsk, Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv regions. 

In response to this destruction of Ukraine's cultural and historical heritage the Backup Ukraine project is helping volunteers to capture and create 3D models of important cultural artifacts & buildings before they are destroyed by Russian missiles. Simply by using the popular Polycam app on a mobile phone anybody can scan a building or monument and upload the resulting 3D model to the Backup Ukraine website. 

3D model of a statue in Lutsk

You can explore the 3D models already uploaded to Backup Ukraine on a handy interactive map. Click on a model's location on this map and you can view the 3D model directly in your browser. Each model includes a share button which enables anyone to embed the model on their own website or blog (as I've done with the statue above).

As well as capturing 3D scans of important cultural & historical artifacts & buildings Ukrainians have been using the app to capture 3D models of more personal items, such as children's toys and family pets. The app has also been used to document destroyed tanks and vehicles.

You can also explore some of the terrible destruction inflicted by the invading Russian army through the incredible 3D models created by Hidenori Watanave on his Satellite Images of Ukraine and 3D Data & 360 Panoramas Map of Ukraine.

These maps use data from images and videos captured in Ukraine to recreate incredible 3D models of some of the devastation caused by the Russian army. 3D photogrammetric models have been created of buildings and vehicles which have been destroyed during the war using drone captured imagery and photos taken on the ground. The result is two shocking interactive 3D maps which allow you to view some of the devastating destruction in Ukraine from an almost first person perspective. 

The official website of the Department of Tourism of the Kyiv Oblast State Administration are also determined to record and document the destruction being caused in their region. In order that no-one is ever able to forgot the crimes committed in the Kyiv region they have established a Virtual Museum of War Memory

The main exhibit in the Virtual Museum of War is a number of custom made Street View panoramas. These 360 degree panoramic images, taken at different locations in the Kyiv Oblast, allow you to take a virtual walk through some of the horrific destruction inflicted by the invading forces. 

The Street View images for each of these virtual tours have also been added to Google Maps. This means that while exploring one of the museum's virtual tours you can click on the 'View on Google Maps' link to reveal the exact location on Google Maps. The 'i' information icon in the top right hand corner of the Street View image also reveals the name of the town where the panorama was taken.

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