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Saturday, September 29, 2007

The End of Illegibility?

CMU professor Yang Cai has developed software that can decipher illegible inscriptions on ancient tombstones. He's testing it on stones at Old St. Luke's Church in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

During the past two weeks, Cai's research team trekked through the church's three-acre cemetery, scanning unreadable gravestones and then storing the images on laptops.

"We are exploring new 3-D reconstruction technology to decipher the gravestone names," said Cai. "Essentially, we reconstruct the tombstone surfaces by applying filtering and detection algorithms for revealing the words on the archaic surfaces," he said.

In addition to discovering who is buried in the church cemetery, Cai is developing a digital cemetery for Old St. Luke's Church. [Link]

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