Dr. Maurizio Forte is Professor of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts at the University of California, Merced. His research focuses multidisciplinary approachs to the development of virtual heritage, with the goal of integrating technology with field work data from cultural heritage sites. Forte defines “virtual heritage” as digital information derived from a physical site, whether it is an object, monument, territory, or landscape. His work helps build the bridge between global and virtual heritage as constituted by information processes: we communicate what we perceive and learn; the ontology of information is much more important than the technological aspect, because it concerns the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary transmission. In this sense, “virtual heritage” can be said to be an ontology of cultural heritage. It represents more than the physical item because it is able to contextualize the global heritage. This information must be processed both by computer programs but also, and more importantly, by our perceptions, interpretations, knowledge and finally communicated through dissemination.
Forte’s research begins with the reconstruction of archaeological and ancient landscapes in a virtual format, using digital technologies such as 3d documentation, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, spatial technologies and open software WEB-VRGIS. Having created a virtual recreation, his efforts are then directed to the epistemology of this form of presentation, one aspect of eco-anthropological thinking.
Professor Forte received his Ph.D. (Archeology) in 1991 from the University of Rome, has studied at the University of Bologna, and is Professor of “Virtual Environments for Cultural Heritage”
at the University of Lugano. He has coordinated research projects in Italy, India, Turkey Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Kazakhstan, Peru, China, Oman, and Mexico. He is editor and author of several books including “Virtual Archaeology”, “Virtual Reality in Archaeology”, and 200 scientific papers. Topics: virtual reality in archaeology, spatial technologies, 3D documentation, and virtual reconstruction of archaeological landscapes. Awards: Best paper award VSMM2002; 2005 E-content Award; Best Paper Award, VSMM2008; 2008E-content Award e-learning; 2008E-content Award Italy, E-culture; 2009 Tartessos Prize.