The Zamani Project

I am working on a more in-depth article for an upcoming LiDAR News Magazine on the Zamani Project, but I wanted to get the word out sooner rather than later. This impressive effort which is also known asĀ The African Cultural Heritage and Landscape Database is lead by by Professor Heinz Ruther at the University of Cape Town.

To date they have documented more than 40 important African heritage sites in 13 countries. It is the objective of the documentation to create spatial data for restoration, conservation, education, research, site management and as a record for future generations.

The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is also supported by Z+F, Trimble, Leica GeoSystems and Faro.

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4 Responses to The Zamani Project

  1. Hernande Pereira says:

    I desire more details about project.

  2. Amazing project. Competition for CyArk.

  3. Reginald Nwachukwu says:

    When I first read about the Zamani Project on GIM International, I was looking for an opportunity to express my heart beat for Prof. Heinz Ruther and his creative and ingenous project of mapping most African Heritage. In the near future, the work of Prof Heinz and his team will turn to digital sites where research, learning and knowledge about Africa will reside. I wish to be on Heinz team…

  4. Joe Evans says:

    Hi! As one of the resident anthropologists around, I thought it’d be great to start with what “zamani” and it’s sister-term “sasha” mean to Central and Eastern Africans and how that applies to the 3D scanning of African cultural heritage sites. “Sasha” speaks of a recent time–either past or present–in which people know of or have had direct impact with; be they spirits or other events. “Zamani” represents time and spirits who are not known by anyone currently alive, such as the last person alive to see WWI. The Sasha are the recent past, while Zamani represent a limitless past. Essentially, “People must learn from the past to act wisely in the present to create a good future (Loewen 1995).”

    The Zamani project, therefore, is one concerned with preserving the tangible and intangible aspects of Aftrican cultural heritage, and as John Mbiti states “[Zumani] absorbs, holds, and stores all the events that have ever occurred” which is exactly like a digital database and a pretty fitting name for the project!
    People, places, and the things that they represent are very important to people, especially within central and eastern Africa. Considering the rate at which known World Heritage Sites are being destroyed (such as those in Mali) I dont see this or any of Ruther’s projects as being in competition with CyArk, but as two entities working towards the same goal: digitally documenting and recording these places and the people that created them, for all time.

    If you’re interested, the Zamani project is only a component of Ruther’s larger “” database, which is very fascinating.

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