Vid Petrovic

Vid Petrovic

Software Developer

letting different eyes see different things

meet vid

Vid Petrovic is a researcher with the Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative and the Dronelab at Qualcomm Institute. He is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests span computer graphics, scientific visualization, machine learning, and GIS, with a focus on the challenges of the accelerating collection and accumulation of site data in marine ecology, digital archaeology, and cultural heritage. He is the principal developer of the Viscore platform, a software environment for integrating collected site data and performing virtual fieldwork.

letting different eyes see different things
Nominated by: Sam Meacham FI'00
Class of 2022 Location USA

I work to help make virtual exploration of remote sites practical and useful. Drawing on experience in digital documentation of archeological sites in Jordan and on digital augmented fieldwork in Florence, Italy, which is part of a search for a lost DaVinci wall painting, I have been developing tools and techniques for performing fieldwork digitally, especially on sites that are difficult to access. An underwater cave system such as the Sac Actun in the Yucatan is inaccessible except to highly skilled divers. Remote reefs such as the Palmyra Atoll do not require as much diving skill, but still present logistical barriers to a frequent, thorough study. In either case, opportunities for in-person exploration are constrained by the realities of underwater work. To get around this, we can use the limited time in the field to digitize the site through systematic imaging and surveying so that it can be explored virtually.

“Virtual fieldwork now plays an essential, everyday role in these projects, allowing researchers to explore remote sites at will.”

- Vid Petrovic

Site digitization is just the first step, which is merely shifting the bulk of the work from the physical site to its digital representation. After this step, our ability to explore the site is mediated and constrained by the characteristics of the digitization technology and also by the tools we use to access and manipulate the representation. My work has focused on developing a platform and toolset suitable for virtual exploration and fieldwork with such digital site representations. This is done largely by evolving the platform in support of specific projects and expeditions in close collaboration with divers, archaeologists, ecologists, and other scientists and experts. Virtual fieldwork now plays an essential, everyday role in these projects, allowing researchers to explore remote sites at will. The next step is to scale up to make the platform more widely available and make sites accessible to communities outside their home projects. Different eyes see different things!

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