Keeping Data Alive Supporting reuse & repurposing of 3D data in the humanities


Keeping Data Alive (KDA) is building workflows and tools to help researchers track components in procedural models to support comparative studies and research on alternate trajectories to urbanization.

3D models can be simple

Keeping track of how people combine and remix 3D models to create new worlds is not so simple

Sharing and preserving the decisions behind compositions made from 3D models is not so simple

How we are getting there

No standards and few best practices exist for 3D models, so we are researching 3D file formats, metadata models, and 3D web visualizations that can facilitate preservation, access, and reuse.

We are developing and testing workflows to export and import 3D procedural models along with metadata, paradata (i.e. modeling choices) and descriptive data for use on multiple platforms.

We are designing a beta-infrastructure to store and make accessible 3D procedural models using an open source database framework that makes these models and their associated meta- and paradata readily accessible, reusable, and citable.

Why citability is important for 3D data and models

Cite-ability is critical to encouraging scholars to take full advantage of the richness of the 3D data medium as part of academic publications, and to encouraging data reuse.

Our long-term vision is to contribute to innovative methods of materials analysis and new modes of discourse using interactive 3D web visualizations.

Want more information on our infrastructure choices?

Choosing an Infrastructure

Principal Investigators


Funded by NEH-funded Tier I Research and Development Grant from the Division of Preservation and Access (PR-253389-17).