Online Reflectance Transformational Imaging: Viewing Capabilities and Benefits in a Specialized Academic Digital Library

By Leta Hunt, Marilyn Lundberg and Bruce Zuckerman.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 25, 2014 $US5.00

The use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) has the potential to significantly advance the study of ancient inscriptions and artifacts. The opportunity to develop reliable interpretations depends on the capacity to extract meaningful data from ancient artifacts that have incurred physical damage. RTI involves capturing multiple images with light sources at a consistent distance from various angles evenly spaced around the targeted object. A program produces a master-image that is both dynamic and interactive, enabling researchers to move a virtual light (or lights) around the imaged artifact in real time and to employ a number of effects in order to view fine texture details of the imaged object in unprecedented detail. A significant obstacle inhibiting the use of RTI technology concerns easy broad access to RTI data. Researchers from a given institution are typically confined to employing RTI for study and analysis “in house,” without the means to broadly distribute high-resolution RTI images over the Internet. Hence, there is need for specialized repositories to distribute online high-resolution RTI images. This paper discusses the benefits of RTI technology and one example of online distribution of RTI images in a specialized academic digital library.

Keywords: InscriptiFact, West Semitic Research Project, Reflection Transformation Imaging, RTI, Near East, Inscriptions, Digital Library

Journal of Technologies in Society, Volume 10, Issue 1, July 2014, pp.57-71. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.766MB)).

Dr. Leta Hunt

Associate Director of the InscriptiFact Project, USC Libraries and Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, Altadena, CA, USA

Dr. Marilyn Lundberg

Associate Director of West Semitic Research Project and Associate Director for Ingest/Cataloguing of the InscriptiFact Project, School of Religion, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, Altadena, CA, USA

Dr. Bruce Zuckerman

Professor, School of Religion Director, Archaeological Research Collection Director, West Semitic Research & InscriptiFact Projects Director, Myron and Marian Casden Director, School of Religion, Dornsife Collecte of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, CA, USA