What We Do

About Our Research Projects and Library Digital Collections

The CDHGI is an interdisciplinary research initiative designed to meet the growing need for coordination and collaboration of education, research, and outreach efforts in the rapidly evolving areas of reality capture, geomatics, three-dimensional digital technologies, visualization, and Global Information Systems (GIS). CDHGI specializes in the application of these combined techniques relating to heritage sites, land management integration, and museum and collection documentation. These areas of specialization span the natural and social sciences, and emphasize cross-disciplinary engagement and research. More broadly, our methods and approaches are supportive of technology learning and high demand workplace skills, useful across domains and including strong global impact.

The CDHGI works to preserve and protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage through education and global engagement by creating interdisciplinary approaches to 3D research and curriculum that address real world issues and concerns. Our primary research areas focus on cultural and natural heritage digitization with emphasis on projects relating to climate change impacts on heritage, environmental integrated management, rock art and stone architecture digitization, museum collection 3D strategies, historic preservation and condition assessments, karst and cave site documentation, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) spatial database and digitization research support, and research relating to ethics, standards, and interpretation initiatives relating to 3D and Geographic Information Science (GIS) applications.

The CDHGI leverages the latest in terrestrial laser scanning and imaging tools, GIS, GPS and field survey technologies, along with VR, AR, and visualization strategies, to document heritage sites, landscapes, and objects. These approaches are brought together to create digital learning tools and online collections, made available through the USF Libraries. Our work is developing and supporting new means of research and inquiry using these technologies, workflows, and approaches.

Transforming information access and solving real-world challenges that promote stewardship, preservation, and sustainability.


The Center For Digital Heritage And Geospatial Information (CDHGI) in the USF Libraries, uses the latest in Reality Capture, 3D, and spatial documentation strategies to record heritage sites, landscapes, and objects from around the world. We are creating digital learning tools and library collections from these data that promote heritage preservation, research, education, and tourism interpretation strategies.

Our work in applied historic preservation, leverages digital technologies to rapidly record, analyze, visualize, and share 3D, GIS, and imaging information. Our projects are having local, regional, national, and international impact – increasing stewardship and conservation, and helping guide 3D and spatial data research standards and ethics into the future with actionable results.


Much of the world’s cultural and natural heritage is endangered or imperiled.


Climate change, illicit trafficking and looting, natural catastrophes, war and conflict, over-visitation, and development pressures, all can cause damages that may be irreversible. Even objects thought protected and preserved in museums can be susceptible to loss. Working with agencies, governments, communities, and the public and private sector, USF’s Center For Digital Heritage And Geospatial Information is meeting these preservation challenges through the use of advanced spatial and imaging technologies.

We are digitizing the world around us in ways that promote research, education, and new means of exploring and visualizing heritage through the development of library archival collections and applications.

Along with collaborators and partners around the world, we are assisting with the rapid need for digitization of imperiled heritage and with the science of historic preservation, archaeological visualization, and museum and library science studies.We bring the past to life for classroom, and are developing new ways for libraries library collections and applications development.

Learn more about CDHGI

Our Technology

The CDHGI team uses the latest kit in 3D, Imaging, and spatial data capture tools- from terrestrial laser scanners that scan landscapes, to high-end imaging and structured light scanners to digitize artifacts and objects. Our imaging gear includes 360, spherical, and VR kit, and we also use drone-based videography, imaging, and spatial mapping in our data capture workflows. Global Positioning Systems and GIS mapping technologies are additionally integrated into our documentation approach. Numerous 3D, GIS, image based software packages allow for the post-processing, visualization, and sharing of our project data. Our 3D Print Lab supports the use of 3D data for tactile and visualization development, and our VizLab and VR Studio allows for immersive and shared experiences and research.

Our Team

Our faculty, staff, and student team members are responsible for ensuring the preservation of historical landmarks and artifacts through documentation of digitally rendered 3D models. Meet and read about the talented team behind the Center For Digital Heritage And Geospatial Information, and the work that they do.

Exploring and documenting the world around us in 3D

All Images Copyright © 2024 University of South Florida Libraries, Center For Digital Heritage And Geospatial Information

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All Images Copyright © 2024 University of South Florida Libraries, Center For Digital Heritage And Geospatial Information

Website designed by:

 Mighty Fine Design Co.

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