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Grant number like: HD-50633-09

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Paul Allen Kaiser
OpenEnded Group, LLC (New York, NY 10027-5857)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper]

$49,100 (approved)
$49,100 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Spatialising Photographic Archives

An open-source platform for reconstructing three-dimensional events using photographs, complemented by other forms of documentation (e.g. articles).

Recent computer research allows previously unforeseen analysis of photographic archives. For multiple shots of a scene, new digital techniques permit (1) the recovery of the location and angle, in 3D, of the camera that took each shot and (2) the reconstruction, in 3D, of much of the geometry of the original location. While the underlying algorithms of this approach are open source, the only available front-end to them is closed and proprietary. In this project, we will develop an open-source platform for experimentation with archives not previously thought of as 3D data-sets. As a constructive proof, we will analyze and re-interpret a key historical event as documented by a photojournalist, tying the spatial and visual components of the resulting data-set to contemporaneous text sources (news articles, etc) to form a uniquely hybrid form of scholarship. We will express these results in forms available to the computer science, visual arts, and photo-journalistic communities.