Friday, January 29, 2016

Zamani Project

Zamani Project

The project attempts to capture the spatial domain of heritage, with a current focus on Africa, by accurately recording its physical and architectural structures , their dimensions and their positions. Sites are seen in the context of their physical environment, and  wherever possible,  the topography of landscapes surrounding the documented sites is  mapped based on satellite images and aerial photography. The documentation project was initiated to increase international awareness of Africa’s heritage and to provide material for research and education while, at the same time, creating a permanent metrically accurate record of important sites for restoration and conservation purposes. Data generated by the  project have been, and are currently , used for conservation interventions in a number of sites.

The project is based on state-of-the art data acquisition and presentation technology which are used to generate Geographic Information Systems, 3D computer models and other spatial data. The data are captured during, often complex and difficult, field campaigns of the project team. The team has completed documentation work in Ghana, Mali, Cameroon, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Algeria, and South Africa as well as in Abu Dhabi and Jordan. Further documentation work is planned for other African sites. The heritage collection is conceptualised as an integrated and interactive model, in which contextual data are closely linked to spatial data. It is the vision of the documentation project that the Zamani Project will not only be used as an information source but that the spatial data and representation of the sites will form the basis for additional site documentation and contribute to site management.

The Zamani Project was initiated in 2004 in the Geomatics Division of the University of Cape Town and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2004 until 2012. Presently the project is funded through the independent “Zamani African Cultural Heritage Sites Trust", which was established by the Philanthropist and UCT Alumni Duncan Saville.


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