"Digital techniques don't replace traditional analog methods and skills. They are another tool in the belt."
Chad Keller is a professor of historic preservation at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He recently joined the faculty after serving as a multimedia designer at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) and as an adjunct professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia (UVA). Keller's research and teaching focus at SCAD involves the integration of newer digital technologies into the research and documentation process of cultural heritage sites.
AT UVA and SCAD, Keller has developed courses that expose students to digital technologies that aid their research in historic preservation. These hands-on courses give students the opportunity to work directly with tools and technologies and learn how to implement them in the field. They cover technologies such as 3D modeling, 3D scanning, geographic information systems, digital photogrammetry, and database design.
Keller has been involved with many notable projects and presented his findings at national and international conferences. He worked on Rome Reborn, a 3D digital modeling project to re-create the urban form of ancient Rome circa A.D. 320, and presented the results at the Computer Applications in Archaeology conference in Berlin, Germany. He worked on two digital scanning projects, which involved the documentation, analysis, and reconstruction of prominent sculptures. One was in partnership with the Vatican Museum and used laser scan technology to compare the original ancient marble statue of "Laocon and His Sons" with a plaster cast taken in 1957.
Keller also assisted in developing an interactive 3D digital model of historic Colonial Williamsburg circa 1776. Keller's most recent project involved the digital documentation and reconstruction of Old Sheldon Church, an 18th-century Anglican ruin in South Carolina. The results were presented at the 2012 3D Digital Documentation Summit.
Keller holds a master's degree in historic preservation from SCAD and an undergraduate degree in historic geography from the Pennsylvania State University.