Vietnam to accelerate heritage digitization

The digitization of heritage in Vietnam is an inevitable trend during the national digital transformation process. It is an effective way for these heritages to fight against the negative impacts of the nature and the cruel challenges of time and to maintain the best status possible for the next generations. However, the reality proves that besides determination, technological and financials aspects are two critical factors to this digitization.

Bach Tung, Giang Pham, and Le Dung are recording the story about rituals and traditional songs of the Cham community living in Binh Nghia Commune of Ninh Thuan Province.

After the success of digitizing the national heritage of Tien Le Temple (sited in Hoai Duc District of Hanoi), VR3D team bravely launches similar projects for the heritage of Hung Ky Pagoda (in Hanoi), the national treasure of A Di Da Statue in Phat Tich Pagoda (in Bac Ninh Province), Doc Bo Temple (in Nam Dinh Province), and Bao Ha Temple (in Lao Cai Province).

Nguyen Tri Dung, responsible for data administration and software development of VR3D, shared that 3D digitization of a heritage is not too hard or money-consuming if we just want an acceptable result. However, aiming for the perfect result requires much more effort and finance.

“We must master a synchronous technological procedure from the scanning step to the post-scanning processing one, and lastly to the selection of a reliable storage service for online display”, said Dung.

Sharing the same passion of saving the Vietnamese cultural values for the next generations, VR3D members have been able to digitize various heritages nationwide, some of which no longer exist now due to the harshness of time and carelessness in preservation tasks.

Dung analyzed that the most important factor in 3D digitization of a heritage is technology, which is rather costly and time-consuming to master. VR3D has invested much in this factor to develop a suitable web-based application for online heritage display.

In the end of 2021, the Prime Minister introduced Decision No.2026/QD-TTg approving the Program to Digitize Vietnamese Cultural Heritage in the 2021-2030 Period.

Sadly, as Dung stated, various units have been assigned the task in the last 20 years but not many have achieved a satisfactory result. At present, some objects are digitized and saved onto foreign servers as well as displaying via a solution specialized for e-commerce, which is rather ineffective.

“It is high time to focus on digitizing heritages since time is taking its toll onto these structures. It is critical to develop a user-friendly application that is automatic and strictly leveled. It is also necessary to provide sufficient consultation on suitable formats or data processing software to save cost and time”, stressed Dung.

One practical solution to digitize heritage economically is ‘heritage storytelling’, devised by a group of three young people, namely Bach Tung, Giang Pham, and Le Dung. This project encourages local residents, be they a normal person or a famous traditional artist, to retell any stories related to a heritage. This content will then be saved and used as a media product to spread the local cultural heritages.

Giang Pham said that it is inevitable to digitize heritages in the digital era. The smart point is to promote local residents to tell stories about themselves or their own community, which will become more attractive content to viewers and greatly facilitate the digitization process.

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