Conventions and Emerging Standards
A New Introduction to the London Charter
by Hugh Denard
At a Symposium held at the British Academy in London in February 2006, over 50 international delegates debated approaches to the issue of intellectual transparency in computer-based visualisation of historical research, at which it was agreed to that a charter should be drawn up which would seek to define the fundamental objectives and principles of the use of 3D visualisation methods in relation to intellectual integrity, reliability, intellectual transparency, documentation, standards, sustainability and access.
The London Charter, drafted by the author of this paper in response to the recommendations of the Symposium’s participants, and a subsequent AHRC ICT Methods Network Expert Seminar, does not aim to prescribe specific aims or methods, but rather to establish those broad principles for the use, in research and communication of cultural heritage, of 3D visualisation upon which the intellectual integrity of such methods and outcomes depend. Its principles are designed to be sufficiently focused to have an impact, but also to be sufficiently abstract so as to remain relevant as methods and technologies evolve.
The aims of this ‘New Introduction’ are: to provide a brief commentary on the current version of the London Charter, including what have been learned in the few years since we published Draft 1.1 of the Charter; to suggest the value of the Charter not only as an indicator of methodological rigour but also as a means of achieving significant efficiencies in teaching and training, as well as in the research and communication of cultural heritage; and finally to indicate some of the issues and opportunities that yet remain before us.