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One of the things about digital data files (whether images, text documents or 3D models) is that they cannot be found, used or kept for posterity without some information about them and the way they were created.

CARARE project logoCARARE was a three-year project (from February 2010 to January  2013) which was funded to make digital content captured by archaeology and architecture heritage organisations available to the user of Europeana. It worked mainly with national heritage agencies, which hold records describing archaeological monuments and historic buildings, images, plans and other materials.

CARARE established a metadata schema based on existing standards used in this domain, such as MIDAS Heritage, LIDO, CIDOC CRM and the Council of Europe’s core data standard for historic buildings and CIDOC’s core data standard for archaeological monuments.  The CARARE project partners used version 1.0 of the metadata schema to prepare their data for delivery to Europeana, by mapping their native metadata to the elements in the CARARE schema.  The project then provided a routine to transfer the CARARE data into the metadata format used in the Europeana portal, EDM.

Using EDM, CARARE modelled a network of connections between heritage assets (archaeological monuments and historic buildings) and other digital resources such as images, text documents, videos and some 3D models. See the CARARE to EDM case study.  The project learnt a lot both from the experience of mapping the CARARE schema to EDM and from providing 2 million records to the Europeana portal.

When 3D ICONS project logo3D ICONS, a project funded by the European Commission, started it was a chance to look again at the CARARE metadata schema.  3D ICONS brought together partners expert in 3D digitization of the archaeological and architectural heritage with as main objectives the quality control of 3D data and establishing a metadata schema to support quality assurance of 3D models.  Building on previous work on the CIDOC CRMdig schema and the principles of the London Charter on the provenance and paradata needed for 3D models, and the CARARE experience of providing data to Europeana, 3D ICONS prepared a second version of the CARARE metadata schema.  The aim is to foster the adoption of a clearer approach to describing the features of cultural object, the techniques and the methodologies chosen for the digitization and the motivation behind the creation of a 3D model.

This work has been published in a paper prepared for Digital Heritage 2013, Marseilles.


D’Andrea, A. and Fernie, K., 2013, CARARE 2.0: A metadata schema for 3D cultural objects, Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage), 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4799-3168-2