DFG 3D-Viewer

While web-based GIS functionalities for processing and visualizing 2D geometries can be realized with standardized services and formats, corresponding techniques for managing and analyzing 3D data have not yet been established. Similarly, previous web-based 3D viewers such as sketchfab.com or 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com are commercial services and offer neither legal security nor verified long-term data availability or scientific reproducibility. Widely accepted minimum standards for 3D model documentation and licensing are lacking.

The development of a digital 3D viewer infrastructure for historical 3D reconstructions should offer for the first time as a permanent infrastructure on the one hand a sustainable accessibility as well as archiving of raw data sets and meta information, on the other hand by the generation of 3D web models from common data types a collaboration as well as a professional discourse on the virtual model enable.

The overall goal of the project is to develop a digital 3D viewer for digital, source-based 3D reconstructions. Subgoals are:

  • Creation of an interdisciplinary application profile
  • Workflow for the delivery of a 3D model in the repository
  • 3D presentation in the DFG viewer
  • Establishment of a 3D repository
  • Rights concept
  • Dissemination

Duration: 01.04.2021 - 31.03.2023

Alpha Version

Since July 2022, a first alpha version of the DFG 3D Viewer is publicly available. For illustration purposes, there is the possibility to view prototypical 3D models in an external repository.

The DFG 3D Viewer is a media-typological extension of the DFG Viewer and currently accessible at SLUB Dresden at his link. It is still based on Kitodo.Presentation,, which has been extended by a 3D viewer component realized with three.js. The source code of the entire DFG viewer and all components is open source and can be found on GitHub.

The repository with prototypical 3D models can be found here. It is an instance of the virtual research environment WissKIunder construction at Mainz University of Applied Sciences.

Project participants

The focus of the Junior Professorship igital Humanities at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is on high-caliber, international as well as interdisciplinary research and teaching on image- and object-based knowledge media and processes in the fields of Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage. The range of topics includes the study of information behavior, information systems as well as aspects of museum mediation and pictorial knowledge representation. The junior professorship also deals with the theoretical reflection and systematization of the Digital Humanities as well as teaching research in order to build digital competencies.

Prof. Dr. Sander Münster (Project Management)

His fields of work are digital 3D reconstructions, 3D digitization of cultural heritage, information systems for 3D models, science analysis and informetrics and the field of visual research processes and visual perception.

Clemens Beck (Project Coordination)

His main research interests are in the field of Digital Humanities/Digital History and Historical Network Analysis as well as in the field of Medieval History and Basic Historical Sciences.

The Institute of Architecture of the University of Applied Science Mainz focuses on the requirements of a scientific documentation of a computer-aided 3D modeling on the one hand, and on the web-based visualization of digital 3D models of destroyed or unrealized buildings on the other hand. The FAIR data principles are in the foreground of the work.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Piotr Kuroczyński (project leader).

Since 2001 he has been working on computer-aided 3D reconstruction of cultural heritage. His focus is on data modeling, interoperability and visualization of scientific (digital) findings.

The Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden (SLUB) is one of the largest academic libraries in Germany. As a classical state library, it comprehensively collects and archives publications about Saxony as well as publications subject to delivery in Saxony. As the library of the Technische Universität Dresden, it is responsible for the information supply of a research-intensive comprehensive university with a particularly broad spectrum of subjects. As a state library, the SLUB fulfills important coordination and service functions for the libraries in the Free State of Saxony and beyond.

Sebastian Meyer (Project Coordination)

Project coordinator for externally funded projects in the IT department and staff unit for IT strategy. Since 2009, developer of the DFG-Viewers and the underlying framework Kitodo.Presentation  as a reference implementation of METS-based application profiles of the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft.