IIACD has been entrusted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India to design and build the technology platform to archive and organise the Digital Hampi Knowledge Bank (2013-2016) in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Studies. A large volume of 2D and 3D content with still and moving images, digital tools (algorithms and heuristics), demos have been generated and presented at workshops and conferences over the past 5 years by multidisciplinary teams from over twenty institutions around the country. The aim of the Knowledge Bank (KB) project co-conceptualized by Prof. Settar (NIAS) and Prof. Vijay Chandru (IIACD) is to “bank” and make accessible to scholars and wider public the assets created under DST’s Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) initiative by these institutions.

The ultimate uses of the knowledge bank can be in several forms:

  • Archival and Preservation (Digital Warehouse)
  • Academic Study and Research (Digital Library)
  • Virtual Tourism, Education (Virtual Museums)

The Digital Warehouse forms the foundational archive which has to reside on dependable and robust hardware and software platforms. Search and retrieval of information and objects in a large archive is critical utility for scholarly research. The challenge is to ensure search and retrieval work efficiently and the secret is better curation and organization of the archive. The HAI team led by Prof. Chandru at IIACD will initially focus on the creation of the platforms for the digital archive and build the archive based on contributions of content from the multi-institutional IDH investigator teams. Prof. Settar will organise and curate the content towards creation of a Digital Library that can be effectively used by scholars to investigate and formulate new conjectures.

The value of any digital archive is that others can follow in new locations and in alternate formats. In the case of visually challenged and non literate communities there are other challenges that must also be addressed. IIACD’s multidisciplinary HAI team at the Centre for Cultural Heritage and Tourism Studies aims to facilitate wider public including visually challenged, non literate communities in accessing and learning more about their heritage from scholarly sources in the Knowledge Bank. The “Digital Hampi Workshop and Exhibition” held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi in November 2014 was an initial attempt to showcase their work to the other scholars and wider public by the IDH Technology and Humanities investigators.

The Knowledge Bank will act as the repository of the Digital Heritage of Hampi and will remain an active resource for creation of Virtual Museums of Hampi’s tangible and intangible heritage for years to come.