Dr. Heinz Rüther, University of Cape Town

The presentation introduces the African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes Data Base of the Zamani Research group at the University of Cape Town. Professor Rüther will discuss the use of state-of-the-art technologies, such as terrestrial laser scanning , 3D modeling, GIS and panoramic photography. Advantages, shortcomings and misconceptions associated with these technologies will be highlighted.

The Zamani project has documented some 40 sites in Africa and the Middle East and scanned and modeled well over 100 architectural structures, rock shelters and landscapes. This talk will present examples of these documentation projects and explore potential areas of co-operation between Harvard and UCT in  disciplines related to African Studies, Archaeology, heritage documentation, visualization and other related areas.

About Dr. Heinz Rüther:

Emeritus Professor Heinz Rüther graduated in 1969 with the Degree of Diplom–Ingenieur at the University of Bonn, joined the University of Cape Town in 1972 and obtained his Ph.D. in Photogrammetry at UCT in 1982. He is a Fellow of the University of Cape Town, a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers, a Member of the South African Academy of Science and an Honorary Member of SAGI. He is a past Council Member of ISPRS, and former Chair of the Financial Commission of ISPRS as well as former Vice President of the African Association for Remote Sensing of Environment. From 1990 to his retirement in 2007, he was the Head of the Geomatics Department/Division at the University of Cape Town and Scientific Coordinator of the Lake Rukwa Basin Integrated Project in Tanzania from 2004 to 2007. Since 2005 he leads the African Cultural heritage Sites and Landscapes Project as Principal Investigator. After his retirement he continued lecturing and supervising research students. His principal activity, however, is his work as Principal Coordinator of the African Heritage project. He is a member of the Governing Board of HIST, International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage, a category-II centre under the auspices of UNESCO based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences .

Professor Rüther has worked on photogrammetric and surveying projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and especially Africa. He has extensive experience in the areas of digital photogrammetry, close range photogrammetry, precise engineering surveying and deformation analysis. He has supervised numerous MSc and PhD research projects and published more than 100 papers in scientific journals and at international conferences.

For the past years Professor Rüther’s special interest has been focused on the area of digital spatial documentation of architectural structures, heritage sites and historical landscapes with a special emphasis on Africa. He served on the executive of CIPA (the International Committee for Photogrammetry in Architecture) and is at present ISPRS representative on the CIPA committee, National CIPA delegate for South Africa and a member of ICOMOS South Africa.