Recording the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore – online presentation

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venezia
plus Sep, 2727 2021

September 27th – 2 hours online presentation from 4.30 to 6.30 pm


Participating in the celebrations for the 70th birthday of Fondazione Giorgio Cini, on September 27th Adam Lowe and Frédéric Kaplan will present the methods and technologies in use for the monitoring and recording of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

This presentation would explain the 3D recording methods and the data processing actions to the audience in the context of ARCHiVe Online Academy 2021 programme, introducing the possibilities offered by these innovative techniques. The topic of 3D recording systems will be deepened in October and November during a course held by Factum Foundation.


The presentation will be held in English.


YouTube link to the recording of the event:


The project

From 6th to 17th July 2020, a team from Factum Foundation spent twelve days in Venice recording the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. This ground-breaking ARCHiVe project, linked with EPFL’s DHLab/Venice Time Machine, involved the collaboration of Factum Foundation, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

The aim was to demonstrate that technologies such as aerial and ground-based photogrammetry and LiDAR recording could eventually be used to record the whole of Venice at millimetric and sub millimetric accuracy.

After the acqua alta in November 2019 reached the highest recorded level in fifty years, ARCHiVe’s aim was to efficiently and effectively record the island and its nearby waters to aid the preservation of Venice’s fragile cultural and natural heritage.

During July 2020, Factum’s team worked alongside three graduates from EPFL sharing information and comparing results. The selected focused areas for recording include:

– Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore

– Longhena Staircase and Refectory

– Library and Presidential Rooms

– Cloisters, Borges Labyrinth and Gardens



In 2021, the company Divirod joined the partner institutions, to focus on the monitorisation of the Island’s environment. Divirod, a US company based in Boulder, Colorado and founded by Javier Marti, have developed a radar sensor that uses satellites and locally recorded data to generate accurate hydrological models. In this case, a model of the tidal trends and movement of the water that surrounds the Island of San Giorgio, producing data accessible in real time on desktop computers and mobile devices.




Renata Codello, Secretary General of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini


Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Preservation


Frédéric Kaplan, chair of Digital Humanities Laboratory of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


Additional information:

Video of the first processing of the (unfinished) 3D model of the Longhena Staircase:

3D model of the bust of Ezra Pound by Henri Gaudier-Brezka (authorized copy by Isamu

Noguchi), one of the contemporary sculptures in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini courtyards: