Restore the legend: a call for the exchange of open data that can help in the restoration of Notre Dame

    Microsoft and Iconem, an innovative startup specializing in 3D recreation of endangered cultural heritage sites, launched the Open Notre-Dame initiative. The two companies are joining forces to contribute to the restoration of Notre Dame through a project for open data exchange.

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    The medieval Notre Dame Cathedral, built over 675 years ago, has captivated millions of people with its incomparable beauty. Everything from the legendary stained-glass windows to the towering spire is considered one of the most stunning examples of medieval architecture.

    This is an internationally recognized icon of architectural style and one of the main Parisian attractions, so the recent tragedy, when the cathedral was engulfed in flames, shocked not only Parisians, but also people from all over the world. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the cult spire, oak rafters and lead tiles were lost.

    Reconstruction and repair of damage is a priority task that must be completed within five years. One of the factors that can provide significant assistance in this matter is the huge amount of documents, descriptions and other data about Notre Dame. This information has been collected and recorded by many people for decades.

    Open Notre Dame is an open visual representation of data designed to better understand and analyze the cathedral in a historical context. This initiative will help not only to collect and analyze as many existing documents about Notre Dame as possible, but also to create 3D models accessible to everyone. With this project, Iconem and Microsoft intend to contribute to the preservation and promotion of the French heritage.

    Notre Dame Cathedral

    Iconem has already created detailed three-dimensional models of other architectural monuments in France, including  Mont Saint-Michel , and the company's specialists can use the archival plans, photographs and other collected information to track the history of the changes that took place with the cathedral before the fire, increasing the accuracy of modeling and reconstructing the roof structure.

    Temporary models of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral will be available on GitHub, the world's leading software development platform. The open data available through GitHub will be directly used in the work of other initiatives and specialists, including the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School (EPFL), which creates dynamic models of cities, and Inria, the Humanun consortium (CNRS and Archeovision). All scientific research related to the cathedral will be based on these data. Many partners are already contributing to the project by providing their measurements, images and plans that will serve as the basis for these open models. Yann Artyus-Bertrand, TSVP, provided aerial photographs, Cornis and Iconem - very high resolution images, Ubisoft - thousands of documents.

    If we continue to work together and share our knowledge, the great Notre Dame Cathedral will be restored and will regain its former glory.

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