Update: 16:16 | 20/04/2019
The tomb of Emperor Tu Duc of the Nguyen Dynasty has become the first Vietnamese site to feature in Google’s Open Heritage.
What could be found on Open Heritage about the tomb, which has the scale of a park with lots of temples, ponds and green space in real life, are 2D and 3D photos, videos and information about how it was built, as well as Tu Duc's history.
Part of the tomb of Tu Duc in Hue, Vietnam's former imperial citadel.
Tu Duc was an emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last imperial family of Vietnam (1802-1945), ruling from 1847 to 1883.
A collaborative project with American non-profit organization CyArk, Open Heritage was launched last year and has since been adding information and videos with 3D views of monuments.
CyArk was founded in 2003 as a response to the increasing threat of destruction, looting and encroachment to cultural heritage sites as well as from natural forces such as earthquakes, fires and floods.
In June last year the organization started documenting Tu Duc’s tomb at the Hue Monuments Complex, using the same methods it has used at over 200 other sites around the world.
It uses laser scanning and drone cameras to create high resolution imagery from the ground and above and then processes and combines those images into accurate 3D surface models of the heritage sites.
It also partnered with Seagate, an American data storage facility, and the Hue Monuments Conservation Center for the tomb project.
CyArk completed photogrammetry of the interior and exterior of the monuments and also covered aerial views using drones.
Besides the tomb, CyArk also chose An Dinh Palace, home to Vietnam's last Nguyen kings, and is still working on collecting data and photos of the palace.
Established as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802, Hue was not only the political seat of power but also the cultural and religious hub under the Nguyen Dynasty.
The Hue Monuments Complex has suffered from the effects of wars as well as modern development and expanding human settlements.
More than 4.3 million visitors visited Hue last year, up 14 percent from 2017.