Edinburgh Castle 3D model gives ‘visitors’ a virtual tour
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is offering a great way for everyone to appreciate the scale and magnificence of Edinburgh Castle – by creating a 3D model of the world famous and iconic fortress. People can log on and discover 40 different historic areas of the Castle including the historic siege cannon Mons Meg with its 20-inch-wide barrel, the statue of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig on the famous esplanade and St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. Led by HES’s Digital Innovation and Digital Documentation Teams based at the Engine Shed in Stirling and working with Interpretation colleagues, the 3D model has been populated with information which will fascinate and educate. The model gives the virtual visitor an immersive digital tour of the Castle and gives the chance to explore hidden areas. Virtual tours are a great way to visit landmarks whilst in lockdown. HES have been working on the model of the Castle for seven years as part of the Rae Project. The Rae project – named in tribute to 19th Century polar explorer John Rae – is a Scotland-wide project working with cutting edge digital technology to create accurate 3D models of historic objects and historic places. The list of 3D projects includes Caerlaverock Castle – the only fully intact triangular one of its kind in Scotland – near Dumfries, Bar Hill Fort on the Antonine Wall, the Poltalloch Enclosure in Kilmartin Churchyard at Lochgilphead and Sueno’s Stone is a gigantic Pictish cross-slab measuring 7m tall, carved between the mid-800s and early 900s and located in Forres in Morayshire. Edinburgh Castle is one of the latest sites to be added. Created with incredible detail, the model is made up of 350K polygons with 100 different materials and textures. The model was created using laser scan data captured as part of the Rae project which aims to accurately digitally document over 300 heritage sites and collections in HES’ care for the nation. These digital innovations are crucial in helping to understand, conserve and tell the stories of our historic sites. As well as over 40,000 objects, Historic Environment Scotland is documenting 336 buildings across Scotland.