Digitalisation of national cultural heritage – interactive 3D panoramic tour is a solution that the Ministry of European Integration wanted to offer as its contribution to marking 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage and join the EU member states in the mission of promoting the wealth of cultural diversity, heritage and intercultural dialogue.
The project of digitising restored cultural heritage buildings in Serbia that will continue to be implemented in the future has two objectives – to make buildings of exceptional cultural importance available to all internet users through developing virtual interactive 3D panoramic tours, and to demonstrate the importance of using EU funds in cultural heritage restoration in Serbia.
Through the national heritage digitalisation project, we have presented five important cultural monuments from the territory of Serbia, whose restoration was also financially assisted by the EU through four cross-border cooperation programmes: Hungary – Serbia, Serbia – Montenegro, Bulgaria – Serbia and Romania – Serbia.
The result of the project is an integral web platform that provides detailed presentations of five restored buildings – the Subotica Synagogue, the Pirot Fortress, Jablanica church complex, the Golubac Fortress, and the Bač Fortress. In addition to the information on the funds invested in their restoration and on their history, each building has its own special virtual interactive panoramic tour, which now allows you to visit these buildings with just a few clicks.
The results of the Subotica Synagogue restoration can be seen through its digitised interior and exterior, making this gem of Central European architecture available to all internet users who can now closely explore it through a virtual panoramic tour made of 70 HDR frames in a 200-megapixel resolution.
The other projects are presented in a 100-megapixel resolution – the Pirot Fortress is presented in 23 panoramic frames, Jablanica church complex in 50, and the Bač Fortress in 46 frames. Due to the ongoing restoration works, the Golubac Fortress is currently presented in 9 frames, but additional shooting is planned after the completion of the reconstruction.
All panoramic tours have been uploaded and verified on the Google Maps platform. From September 2018, when the first tour was uploaded to Google Maps, to mid-February 2019, the number of views per building is the following: 2,073 (Jablanica church complex), 6,986 (Pirot Fortress), 7,354 (Bač Fortress), 10.149 (Golubac Fortress) and 28,170 (Subotica Synagogue).
The importance of the national heritage digitalisation project is manifold: it introduces the public with cultural heritage buildings of Serbia that are not physically available to everyone; it presents development potentials of EU cross-border programmes; and it has an effect on raising awareness of the citizens of Serbia and the region about the benefits Serbia has from implementing EU financed projects and about the EU funds available in Serbia. Finally, this platform contributes to establishing new standards in the area of digitalisation and use of modern technologies and tools in Serbian public administration.
Added value of this project is the number and the quality of shares of the platform on other public digital servers – on the official website of the EU Delegation to Serbia (special banner titled Cultural Heritage Digitisation placed) with accompanying digital campaign (on Facebook and Twitter); on the official websites and social media (Facebook and Twitter) of cross-border cooperation programmes Interreg IPA CBC Hungary – Serbia, Serbia – Montenegro, Bulgaria – Serbia and Romania – Serbia; at the level of local self-governments, placed as a special banner titled Cultural Heritage Digitisation on the official websites of the City of Subotica, City of Užice, City of Pirot, Municipality of Bač, Regional Development Agency Zlatibor, on the web presentation of the Golubac Fortress and websites of partner organisations involved in the project Golubac Fortress.