The first Roman Emperor, Augustus, allegedly claimed to have transformed Rome from brick to marble. Explorations of this statement have previously examined literary sources, archaeological evidence, and two-dimensional maps. A team from UCLA is reverse engineeringthe ancient capital using an integrated software platform for procedural modeling to evaluatethe boast in four-dimensions. A methodology more than a technology, procedural modelingrequires the textual expression of decision-making based on semantic rules that emphasize part-to-whole relationships. Once articulated, the set of coded attributes and parameters inform the nimble generation of an entire cityscape.
For the Augustan Rome Project, the team is collating data on over 400 known early-imperial tructures, and consulting diverse ancient materials to inform the generation of over 9000 in fill uildings. The resulting simulations of multiple “Augustan Romes” are useful visualizations that facilitate the assessment of building and material distributions, viewsheds, constructionscapes, and urban circulation routes in time and space.