Accessibility Tools




Patias P., Kaimaris D., Roustanis T.

Paper in Book-Volume “Stellar Ventures: From the shores of Crete to the plains of Macedonia”, Publisher INSTAP Academic Press, Institute of Aegean Prehistory. In Press.


In this paper the objectives and implementation stages of the project entitled "Development of a prototype for smart visualization of invisible antiquities [SMART EYE]", which was included in the funding program (NSRF 2014-2020) of the research projects of the Action "Open Innovation in Culture” are developed. The project started at the beginning of 2020 and will be completed in 2023. It aims at the prototype development and operation, in real conditions, of an innovative system, which allows the visualization of the covered, invisible monuments and findings of the excavation. The visitor of an archeological site can observe the covered antiquities on the screen of the mobile device, making the best use of the modern technology and its tools. The testing and evaluation of the system takes place at the archaeological site of Thermi (Prefecture of Thessaloniki). To verify its functionality in a different location, the system will be additionally tested in a small part of the ongoing university excavation in Toumpa, Thessaloniki. It is built in six (6) work packages with twenty-three (23) deliverables, while it is implemented in three (3) interconnected phases. The methodology and algorithms that will be developed can be extended and applied in other areas, such as tourism, marine archaeological sites, etc.


Stamnas Anastasios, Kaimaris Dimitrios, Georgiadis Charalampos, Patias Petros

The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XLVI-M-1-2021
28th CIPA Symposium “Great Learning & Digital Emotion”, 28 August–1 September 2021, Beijing, China


Nowadays, there are many methods and techniques for the documentation and the restoration of historic structures and historical artifacts that are commonly used due to their completeness, accuracy and fastness. The use of advanced 3D measurement technologies, by either using terrestrial or aerial means of acquiring digital data, has become an efficient and reliable documentation tool. Within this context, this study focuses on combining terrestrial laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicle photogrammetry, close-range photogrammetry and topographic surveying, and comparing the associated digital data for archaeological fieldwork documentation. The data collected during the Thessaloniki Toumba Excavation (Greece) provided accurate digital surface models and photo-realistic three-dimensional outputs of archaeological trenches. The data elaboration enabled new inferences and knowledge to be gained through the implementation of advanced technologies in heritage documentation.

Aligning positioning and Navigation of smart mobile devices to AR/VR environments

Kaimaris, D., Roustanis, Th., Karolos, I. A., Klimantakis, K., Patias, P.

The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XLVI-M-1-2021
28th CIPA Symposium “Great Learning & Digital Emotion”, 28 August–1 September 2021, Beijing, China


Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) technology offers novel and excited experiences to visitors of cultural sites. Extended recent technological advances in smart communication devices made the connection of the real to the virtual worlds more affordable and effective. In spite of the rapid development and availability of the AR/VR applications to cultural heritage, there still exist gaps and challenges in accurate positioning and navigation of visitors’ smart devices in both out-doors archaeological spaces as well as in in-doors museum spaces. Recent technology smart devices embody GNSS positioning sensors, which in best cases, provide 1-meter positioning accuracies in open spaces, while are unable to work in-doors. Such accuracies and restrictions lead to gaps in fetching visitor’s position in AR environments and mis-positions with regard to the rest AR/VR objects as visualized in smart screens, while the problem gets worse when dealing with real-time videoing, when elapse times and refresh rates lead to additional mispositionings.
In this paper, effort is made to present and evaluate the most recent and widely used tools for positioning and navigation of smart devices in in- and out-doors CH sites.

Possibilities of spatial correlation of 3D models in an archaeological augmented reality application

Kaimaris, D., Roustanis, Th., Klimantakis, K., Karolos, I. A., Patias, P.

The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XLVI-M-1-2021
28th CIPA Symposium “Great Learning & Digital Emotion”, 28 August–1 September 2021, Beijing, China


The use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology is widespread in countless archaeological sites and a variety of applications. Archaeological excavations lead to archaeological finds, some of which are transported for preservation and then for exhibition in museums (jewelry, vases, etc.), while another part of them is documented in detail and remains in situ (eg building walls), roads, grave covers, etc.). However, after the registration of the archaeological finds, it is impossible to observe them. As part of our research project, we will develop for the first time AR methodology and procedures for the observation of covered archaeological finds on mobile devices (smart phones, tablets), which were registered after their documentation. AR technology in recent years has seen great growth in terms of implementation platforms and available software, as well as the tools developed to support it. These tools either make their appearance in the form of frameworks, extending the capabilities of an existing engine, or function as independent services. At the same time, progress has been made in the field of sensors of mobile devices, which makes the compatibility of hardware and software another issue to be researched. As part of the development of the above application for mobile devices, an evaluation is made of the most widespread AR Frameworks that support the Unity3d Game Engine and the compatibility / interoperability with the sensors of different categories of mobile devices. The frameworks were checked and evaluated for placement and tracking of the positions of the 3D covered objects. In this paper also, methodologies and techniques used in space detection and tracking are presented and evaluated.

Deploying legacy data through digital technologies for the reconstruction of the building history of House B at Thessaloniki Toumba (Εργασία υπο αξιολόγηση)

K. Efkleidou, M. Karantoni, S. Triantaphyllou, S. Andreou, D. Kaimaris, Μ. Tassopoulou, A. Stamnas, and N. Kouidis



Thessaloniki Toumba is a multi-period mound settlement in Central Macedonia, Greece, founded during the Bronze Age and inhabited until the Hellenistic period. Continued re-building, occasional clearance episodes, and, finally, the establishment of a burial ground on the top during the Byzantine era resulted in a highly complex stratigraphy. In the context of a project aimed at presenting the site effectively to the public, different episodes of the history of House B were reconstructed and presented in 3D based exclusively on legacy data compiled over 25 years of excavations. The need for more extensive use of legacy data in archaeology, especially in cases of presenting old excavations to the public, has been repeatedly highlighted because of the huge amounts of information that has been amassing underexploited in archaeological archives since the early days of scientific excavations. The issue persists primarily because of the variable quality of the data in terms of extent and accuracy and of the obsolete form they are preserved in. This paper presents the workflow implemented for the operationalization of the legacy data collection available from the excavations conducted at the site of Thessaloniki Toumba between 1988 and 2013 with the aim to reconstruct and present to the public the biography of House B.

Τα πρώτα αποτελέσματα της έρευνας ενός πρότυπου συστήματος έξυπνης οπτικοποίησης μη ορατών αρχαιοτήτων

Δημήτριος Καϊμάρης, Πέτρος Πατιάς, Μαρία Τσιάπαλη, Στυλιανός Ανδρέου, Μαρία Παππά, Νικόλαος Κουϊδής, Θεμιστοκλής Ρουστάνης, Καλλιόπη Ευκλείδου, Αναστάσιος Σταμνάς, Μαρία Τασσοπούλου, Ιωάννης Ραφαήλ Χριστοφορίδης, Ίων Αναστάσιος Κάρολος, Γιώργος Πατιάς, Γεωργιάδης Χαράλαμπος, Σεβαστή Τριανταφύλλου, Νικόλαος Τρυβιζιδάκης, Αταλάντη Μπέτσιου, Δημήτρης Παπαδέλης, Νικόλαος Καραμόσχος, Ιωάννης Οικονόμου

34η ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΗ 10-12 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ 2022


Στην εργασία θα παρουσιαστούν τα στάδια υλοποίησης και τα αποτελέσματα μέχρι σήμερα του έργου με τίτλο «Ανάπτυξη πρότυπου συστήματος έξυπνης οπτικοποίησης μη ορατών αρχαιοτήτων (SMART EYE)», το οποίο εντάχθηκε στο πρόγραμμα χρηματοδότησης (ΕΣΠΑ 2014-2020) των ερευνητικών έργων της Δράσης «Ανοιχτή Καινοτομία στον Πολιτισμό». Το έργο ξεκίνησε στις αρχές του 2020 και θα ολοκληρωθεί το 2023. Στόχος είναι η ανάπτυξη και λειτουργία, σε πραγματικές συνθήκες ενός καινοτόμου συστήματος, που θα επιτρέπει την παρατήρηση στην οθόνη μιας φορητής συσκευής των καλυμμένων από το έδαφος μη ορατών μνημείων και ευρημάτων της ανασκαφικής έρευνας, αξιοποιώντας βέλτιστα τη σύγχρονη τεχνολογία και τα εργαλεία της (επαυξημένη πραγματικότητα, παγκόσμιο σύστημα εντοπισμού θέσης, αδρανειακό σύστημα, μη επανδρωμένα εναέρια οχήματα συλλογής εικόνων, κ.ά.). Η δοκιμή και αξιολόγηση του συστήματος πραγματοποιείται στον αρχαιολογικό χώρο της Θέρμης (Θεσσαλονίκη) και επιπρόσθετα σε ένα μικρό τμήμα της εν εξελίξει πανεπιστημιακής ανασκαφής του ΑΠΘ στην Τούμπα της Θεσσαλονίκης, δίνοντας αξιόλογα αποτελέσματα.

Use of archaeological archives: 3D visualization of old two-dimensional drawings

Kaimaris, D., Patias, P., Roustanis, T., Stamnas, A., Tassopoulou, M., Georgiadis, C., Klimantakis, K., Pappa, M., Andreou, S., Efkleidou, K., & Kouidis, N. (2022). Use of archaeological archives: 3D visualization of old two-dimensional drawings. In A. Tsorlini & C. Boutoura (Eds.), Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage (pp. 230–243). AUTH CartoGeoLab., ISSN 2459-3893


The two-dimensional plans of older archeological excavations describe unique historical phases, giving a wealth of information about them. These plans, implemented by hand, are supplemented by photographs and diary descriptions of the excavations. Today, archival material is being digitized and provides a unique source of knowledge about both history and science of archeology over time.
As part of the Smart Eye research project, the old two-dimensional plans (horizontal and vertical sections) of the archeological trenches of the Toumba and Thermi excavations in Thessaloniki (Greece) were first digitized in order to be integrated into an Augmented Reality (AR) application which will provide information to future users about the archaeological activity that has taken place in these areas in the past. Then, the three-dimensional models of archeological excavations or even wider areas in which archaeological researches have been carried out, were created and texture was applied to these models. Various methodologies and software programs were tested to finally select the most suitable one for introducing textured models into the Augmented Reality application.
In this regard, legacy excavation documentation data can be better used, presented to a wider audience, not necessarily scientific, or even compared to other contemporary data obtained with modern technologies of collecting, processing and displaying 3D information (e.g., laser scanning, UAV and close-range photogrammetry).

Smart Eye: An Application for In Situ Accessibility to “Invisible” Heritage Sites

Kalliopi Efkleidou , Dimitrios Kaimaris, Themistoklis Roustanis, Petros Patias, Stelios Andreou, Kostas Klimantakis, Ionas-Anastasios Karolos, Maria Pappa, Nikos Kouidis (2022). Smart Eye: An Application for In Situ Accessibility to “Invisible” 
Heritage Sites
Journal of Computer Applications in Archeology


The Smart Eye Application is an augmented reality app for mobile devices that enables the in-situ 3D visualization of underground and inaccessible to the public archaeological sites and monuments.
Accessibility to excavated archaeological sites and monuments is often hindered for reasons of preservation or urban development. Portable finds are transferred and, in some cases, exhibited in local museums, but the non-portable remains of ancient structures become eventually effaced from the landscape and the collective memory of local communities. The Smart Eye app provides an “x-ray” type view of excavation sites that have been backfilled and are now invisible. While common practice in heritage sites’ digital dissemination to the general public uses 2D or 3D reconstructions in augmented or virtual reality environments, the Smart Eye app presents archaeological remains in the shape and form they were found in by archaeologists supplemented with augmented reality markers that provide simplified textual and visual information aimed toward a non-scholarly public. The aim is to re-instate these heritage sites into the interactive relationship that people have with their landscape and their history.
The present paper discusses the chaîne-opératoire of developing the app, from the acquisition of primary documentation data of the excavation sites to the methodology used for the production of the 3D models of the archaeological sites and the development of the app itself and the technical equipment used. Finally, we discuss the results of the preliminary evaluation of the application and future steps to improve it before final testing by the local communities where the archaeological sites are located.

SMART EYE - AR και καλυμμένα μνημεία πολιτισμού

Δ. Καϊμάρης, Π. Πατιάς, Μ. Τσιάπαλη, Σ. Ανδρέου, Μ. Παππά, Ν. Κουϊδής, Ν. Τριβυζαδάκης, Κ. Ευκλείδου
Ημερίδα “Προοπτικές για την Ψηφιακή Πολιτιστική Κληρονομιά”, 24.02.2023, Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θεσσαλονίκης, Θεσσαλονίκη, Ελλάδα.

A workflow for validation and evaluation of a dynamic visualization platform for underground antiquities

D. Kaimaris, P. Patias, Ch. Georgiadis, T. Roustanis, I-A Karolos, S. Chalkidou, N. Trivizadakis

CIPA2023 Symposium "Documenting, Understanding, Preserving Cultural Heritage: Humanities and Digital technologies for Shaping the Future", Florence, Italy, June 25-30. Proceedings in ISPRS, The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (in press).


Smart Eye is a research project focused on developing and operating, in real-time, an innovative system, that allows the visualization of invisible, known, covered by the ground or by constructions, monuments and finds in an archaeological site, using an Augmented Reality (AR) environment. The visitors of an archaeological site will be able to observe the covered antiquities (3D models and descriptive information) on the screen of their mobile device (smart phone and/or tablet). The system integrates mobile positioning and pose estimation technologies, AR algorithms, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial databases. The AR application is implemented by IT scientists and is subsequently evaluated in the field to identify both technical problems (e.g. are files uploaded at high speed?) and problems identified by the average user of the AR application (e.g. would it be better if the button to display the 3D model of the archaeological excavation was larger on the screen or of a different color?). The paper will present, on one hand, the validation and evaluation protocols according to the relevant literature, and on the other, the exact evaluation methodology of the Smart Eye system. In addition, the problems identified and the way they were solved during the 1st evaluation of the application will be presented, as well as the problems identified during the 2nd evaluation.