Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cultural Heritage Imaging

1,204 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Management & Technical Assistance, Technology

Mission: Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) drives development and adoption of practical digital imaging and preservation solutions for people passionate about saving humanity's treasures today, before they are lost.

Results: The application of computational photography techniques for cultural heritage has seen a dramatic increase because of our programs over the last 15+ years. Better, more precise digital information has been and is continuing to be collected in support of monitoring, preservation, research, and education. For example, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) is a low-cost method for examining fine surface details of subjects. Because of our effort to absorb research and create user-friendly tools for this method, we have created a growing community of professionals who can support each other in applying the technique. In a similar vein, we provide guidance, training, and instructional materials on photogrammetry, a portable and powerful technique that yields extremely dense and precise 3D surface data. By now both RTI and photogrammetry are in broad use in art conservation, archaeology, the natural sciences, and other disciplines. More recently, we initiated our "Digital Lab Notebook" project to provide software tools and instructional materials that simplify the collection of scientific, standards-based metadata. This program is influencing the way cultural institutions conduct historic documentation and research.

Target demographics: All people who care about cultural, historic, and artistic treasures.

Direct beneficiaries per year: People all over the world who downloaded free software and user guides and participated in our free user forums. In addition, 40-100 people annually attend in-person training classes in imaging techniques. The website receives approximately 3000 visitors per month, and downloads average 500 per month (for all software and guides combined). Our instructional videos get over 1000 plays per month. Our free user forums site has over 1000 people registered. In the forums the community can ask and answer questions about the imaging technologies and how to deploy them.

Geographic areas served: We work internationally to produce scientific digital imaging tools and methodology.

Programs: CHI makes open source software, user guides, and instructional videos freely available on its website, materials that are broadly used by an international audience. We also offer training classes in advanced, scientific, yet easy-to-learn imaging techniques that are low cost and use off-the-shelf digital cameras.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

It has been terrific working with Cultural Heritage Imaging since 2015. They are a group of passionate, dedicated and detail-orientated people who want to make sure that you are able to gather the data that you need to support your research. They are both able to see the small details as well as the big picture, and work with you actively to develop a process that best fits your research needs. I truly could not be doing the work I am doing now without their expertise, and frankly, deep curiosity about how the work they do can support the work of others. I can't say enough about how extraordinarily patient they are, even with the most basic of questions, and how thoughtfully they can problem-solve even the most intractable problems.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had been experimenting with photogrammetry for about a year and I felt I had reached the limit of what I could learn on my own. The excellent tutorials on the CHI website had been one of the resources I had been using, but when I saw they offered a four-day photogrammetry class I said to my self, "why not learn from the pros?". I was not disappointed! Carla, Mark, and Marlin are amazing instructors, and the four-day class gave me a comprehensive understanding of how to best capture, process, and archive data derived from photogrammetry. It also went in to the theory and process of getting precise, accurate measurements from a data set. I highly recommend CHI for anyone interested in learning photogrammetry!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been working in the area of image-based assessment for a number of years and have had exposure to photogrammetry and received recommendations from a number of colleagues about CHI. After taking their training course I have a completely new perspective on the field of computational photography. Carla, Mark and Marlin delivered an excellent short-course on photogrammetry and demonstrated the value of capturing and preserving high-quality data. Great group to work with and I hope to find an opportunity to collaborate in the future. A+ team

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cultural Heritage Imaging is doing very important work in the field of heritage documentation. The pipelines they refine help make capture streamlined and reproducible, the precision/error of results calculable and data archivable. They strive to democratize their knowledge through teaching workshops, presenting at international conferences and offering free, open-source software and guides. I have had the pleasure of both hosting one of their RTI workshops and attending one of their photogrammetry workshops. They demonstrate a commitment to equipping others with the know how to perform computational photography on their own and are actively engaged in the field!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent instructors. I really appreciated their philosophy to make photogrammetry accessible to as many as possible.

3 SJ Miller

Client Served

Rating: 5

The folks at CHI were phenomenal! In a four-day workshop, they covered an incredible amount of material and hit a perfect balance between lecture and active learning. We learned so much from them, and, since they left, have continued to work with them to finish projects that were started during their time with us.

It was very clear from working with them that their goal is to make this technology available to everyone. We appreciate their work and hope to see them continue it!

2 Amanda L.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

The photogrammetry workshop was flexible and thorough! We enjoyed hearing about the work of the group, and the applications of the software for science and beauty. This was a great opportunity to build relationships between departments for folks working in preserving cultural and scientific materials.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Regular photography and video were just not effective for images of incised stones for my master’s project. I found CHI and made an appointment. Within the first ten minutes of discussing my needs with the team, I knew that not only could I work with CHI, but that I had made a very fortuitous decision to travel the 2200 miles round-trip from Montana!
The CHI team are superior art/artifact imaging strategy assessors, know how to listen and add suggestions, and excellent interviewers who draw out the client’s articulation of exact needs.
CHI wastes no time during the set-up and imaging. They are there to work, and work they do. Lastly, the team explained their processes in understandable language, and gave me valuable take-home tips on the RTI tools.
I support CHI wholeheartedly. They live by their mission credo of sharing technology for the imaging and preserving of all things art and artifact. CHI helped make my project a success, and I recommend them to any individual or group. I thank them for being genuine caring folks. Go Team CHI!


3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The team at Cultural Heritage Imaging are passionate about art, history, and science. You can see that passion whenever you hear them talk about project they have captured. The stories they tell about the work itself, the anecdotes about the shoot, and the demonstration of their work show you how much they love to share. That spirit of sharing is integral in democratizing the methodology and technology so anyone can participate in preserving the world's heritage.

I first met the CHI team through some volunteer work I did with them but I also had the opportunity to attend a 4-day training course on photogrammetry at CHI's headquarters in San Francisco. Having some experience prior to the class didn't stop me from learning so much more about scientifically rigorous capturing methods. They provided great foundational knowledge through lectures and reinforcement through hands-on capturing of small subjects in studio but also larger outdoor subjects.

I would recommend anyone interested in this field to connect with CHI through training, consulting, volunteering, or donating.

3 Jack H.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2017 I took CHI’s photogrammetry training during my senior year at Saint Olaf College. I had some experience with Agisoft and had made models in the past, but the training they provide was invaluable. I was later able to participate in the Illumination of material symposium at the MET due to the training I received. Since graduating I have worked in the Cultural Resource Management field, and continue to use CHI’s methods with great success. In short CHI’s training is practical and potent.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carla, Marlin and Mark are a fantastic team of instructors. They are very knowledgeable and communicate extremely well. I took their photogrammetry workshop in Jan 2019 and feel that the knowledge I acquired will be very valuable for a long time to come. 5 stars!

3 Veronica Cabrera

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Carla, Marlin and Mark are extremely knowledgeable and great instructors. I took their Photogrammetry course last month and it was the best decision I've made in regards to 3D photography. Their insight and teaching methods made it possible for even a complete photography novice to understand. They covered all processes and made sure you left prepared.
They are a necessary addition to Cultural Heritage preservation and a company all institutions can benefit from.

-Veronica

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cultural Heritage Imaging is firmly dedicated to provide the skills, knowledge, and tools to capture high quality data using easily accessible and economical tools. In their trainings they simultaneously help those coming from near zero background quickly get up and running, with methods to ensure reliable capture of data, as well as helping advanced and near expert users improve workflows and solve more complex problems. Additionally they are great friends of and advocates for the community, creating forums for sharing of knowledge and driving the creation of tools and software.

4 cciccone

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a collections photographer in the cultural heritage sector, I had been aware of CHI for some time before my institution hosted them to conduct a four day Photogrammetry workshop. The experience was outstanding. There is a bewildering amount of often contradictory material online regarding the techniques and uses of photogrammetry and photogrammetry software, but Carla and Mark from CHI gave us a thorough grounding in methodology for achieving scientifically sound results. They made the technique accessible in both practical and theoretical terms and provided excellent practical guidance. Highly recommended.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CHI in San Francisco is an invaluable resource for imaging professionals in museums who are working to preserve, and provide access to, the collections they serve. Advanced computational imaging is the next iteration of photography for cultural heritage institutions, and the methods, instruction, and guidance the team at CHI provides is helping to make that transition with accuracy and integrity. The photogrammetric models produced by CHI's methods are accurate to within 1/10th of a millimeter. In Cleveland we are undertaking the reconfiguration of a collection highlight, a large stone Cambodian Krishna holding up Mount Govardan. It was put together in the 1970s from various fragments and, due to new scholarship, our conservators are deconstructing it to remount it with a slightly different posture and with a crucial additional element left out of the prior effort. The photogrammetric model I made of the previous configuration has provided valuable metrics for the project. From the methods learned at CHI, the model was able to provide us with highly accurate volumes for both the overall object, and the various component pieces; and when those volumes were coupled to the density of the stone, accurate weights were produced which helped greatly in the decisions on mounting materials and methods. And then this model of the prior configuration will also provide an opportunity for next generation exhibition didactics to explain the entire process. None of this would be possible without the guidance of Carla, Mark, and the rest of the team at CHI. They provide lucid and well thought out instruction in their workshops, and enthusiastic and cheerful support afterwards. I recommend them highly.

Howard Agriesti
Chief Photographer
Head of Photographic and Digital Imaging
The Cleveland Museum of Art

4 Brian C.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've taken two training courses with CHI. I took their 4-day course on Photogrammetry in the fall of 2016, then took their Reflectance Transformation Imaging course in the summer of 2018. Both were fantastic. I feel far more confident and prepared to use these technologies in my work than I ever would have trying to teach myself. Their studio space is very well equipped, and the instructors were all very friendly, supportive, and extremely knowledgeable. There is just no substitute for the kinds of hands-on learning they offer. In addition to all of that, they are recognized leaders in advancing computation photography methods and practice. I cannot commend them and their work highly enough.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned so much from the CHI-led photogrammetry workshop I attended last year. A year later, they are still helping me by fielding questions and offering advice on equipment and methodology. I am a paleoanthropologist working on using photogrammetry to create scientific-quality 3D models of human and fossil hominin skeletal material, and could not do this without the help of the CHI team! In my work, the accuracy of the shape of the models is paramount, because we use the 3D models to compare measurements between species; CHI's method works great for this, leading to models comparable to or better than those created with various 3D scanners. I definitely would recommend their training and expertise to any scientist interested in making accurate 3D models.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a recent 4-day RTI workshop with CHI at their SF lab on behalf of my museum. We will be using RTI to support research on a global collection across a wide range of objects, from ancient coins to contemporary prints. The small size of the workshop group of 5 was great; we got tons of hands-on practice shooting small and large objects with vertical and horizontal setups. Mornings were given over to training and lecture in one of four areas (capture, processing, viewing + dissemination, and current research on/with RTI), and afternoons were for practice. In a typical afternoon, we would be able to setup and capture 1-2 objects in small teams, and then process and view the RTIs. Because CHI had multiple camera setups and loads of equipment for us to play with, we got to work in pairs and experiment with different equipment, different objects and materials (coins, boxes, masks, prints), and different setups each day. I came away from the training understanding not only the process but the underlying concepts of RTI and completely prepared to come back to my institution, begin using the technique right away, and train others in it as well. I would (and will) recommend CHI to my colleagues, and will hope to be able to come back for photogrammetry training.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

CHI's 4-day RTI training was exemplary in every way. The combination of lecture and hands-on experience was ideal for learning a new skill that is both conceptual and practical. Carla, Mark, and Merlin are all incredibly knowledgable and generous with their time and insights. Given the small class size (5 total), instruction was tailored to fit my individual interests, maximizing opportunities to practice capturing, processing, and viewing images like those I intend to generate as part of my doctoral research. As an art history student, computational photography training is hard to come by, and these four days have already proven to be absolutely essential for my current project and professional ambitions.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was not familiar with CHI until recently, when I attended a week-long workshop on photogrammetry. As a beginner in this technical area of cultural heritage, I could have felt overwhelmed but the CHI experts guided us all through the information at the level that suited each of our skill levels. I'm looking forwarding to putting the training into practice! I must also say that it is always great to learn from the experts who are not only up-to-date on the current practice but are pushing the envelope forwarding and innovating the field.