Yifei Wang (2023 Spring)


CyArk is a nonprofit organization that digitally records, archives, and shares the world’s cultural heritage. It uses technologies such as laser scanning, photogrammetry, drone imagery, and virtual reality to create accurate and detailed 3D models of heritage sites that are at risk of damage or destruction. CyArk’s mission is to ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come.

CyArk was founded in 2003 by Ben Kacyra, an Iraqi expatriate and civil engineer who invented one of the first portable laser scanners. He was motivated by the destruction of cultural heritage in his homeland and around the world. CyArk has since partnered with various institutions such as UNESCO, Google Arts & Culture, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution, and World Monuments Fund to document over 200 sites in 40 countries.

CyArk also makes its data open source and available for anyone to use for research, education, or conservation purposes. It offers online access to its collections through its website and app. It also collaborates with educators and developers to create immersive experiences that bring heritage sites to life.


CyArk uses a variety of technologies to capture 3D data of cultural heritage sites. Some of these technologies are:

CyArk combines data from these sources to produce accurate and photorealistic models of heritage sites. It also uses software solutions such as Capturing Reality, which allows it to merge laser scan data and photogrammetric documentation. CyArk’s website uses technologies such as Google Maps, Facebook Sharer, and Google Maps API to display its collections online.

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CyArk is mainly available on website. You can access it through your browser.