Microsoft's Open Notre Dame initiative calls for sharing of open data in restoration effort

On April 15, a disastrous fire ravaged the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in France. In the wake of the episode, tech companies, such as Apple, announced that they would be donating to help in rebuilding efforts. On the other hand, some companies, like Ubisoft, took a different approach to support the restorations that followed.

A few days ago, Microsoft and Iconem announced the "Open Notre Dame" initiative to contribute towards the restoration of the 'Lady of Paris'. The open data project is said to help gather and analyze existing documents on the monument, while simultaneously producing and sharing its 3D models. Today, the company has once again detailed the workings of this initiative, along with a call for the sharing of open data to help quicken the restoration efforts.

Microsoft believes that Iconem, as creator of numerous 3D models of other French heritage sites, is supremely positioned to improving the accuracy of the monument's general model, and more specifically, its roof structure. Iconem's access to third-party data for the cathedral will help prove beneficial for this endeavor.

GitHub will host temporal models of the building, which can then be easily shared to and accessed by various other initiatives in a concerted effort to maintain accuracy as much as possible. Many companies, including Ubisoft, have already provided data that will help form the foundation for these open source models. More details regarding the project can be obtained on the original blog post.

Although the pledge undertaken by French President Emmanuel Macron to complete repair work on the Notre-Dame in five years is considered 'impossible' by some experts, Microsoft does seem to believe in the goal set forward. However, for the desired result to be converted to reality, the tech giant has called for a consolidated effort in the following words, "If we continue to work together and sharing our knowledge, the great cathedral of Notre-Dame will be restored to its former glory once again."

It will be interesting to follow the progress of the massive project, with increasing support being offered to it as the days pass.

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