DWAAR - Digital Worldwide Access to Ancient Rome

The DWAAR project aims at giving access to the ancient culture of Rome to culturally underdeveloped people, by means of standard and interactive television. The production will be in charge of the students of Multimedia Languages and Technologies course (MediaFive project) of Cedel, helped by a TV news agency.

Funded by HP and supported by RAI


Cedel – cooperativa sociale educativa ELIS is a non profit institution dedicated to education, vocational training and mentoring. Among many other activities, it runs in Rome a residential two-year course on Multimedia Languages and Technologies dealing with digital terrestrial, satellite and mobile interactive TV. It is the first course in Italy with such a focus: 29 students started in October 2004 their lessons, given by technicians and experts of the major international ICT companies (Telecom Italia, HP, Cisco Systems, Vodafone, Nokia, etc.) and broadcasters (RAI, Mediaset, La7, Sky).

Active sites

Mausoleo di Santa Costanza

Work in progress

Catacombe di Sant'Alessandro


The teaching methodology includes a continuous project work on the production of audiovisual content using all kind of media: TV, iTV, Internet, palm computers. Cedel has a 34 Mbit connection to the Internet providing a high level of service for streaming and downloadable files.

RomeReports is an international project promoted by Fondazione Perseus, a non-profit Italian organization, which has been devoted to the promotion of audiovisual activities for the past twenty years. It relies on the cooperation of communication scholars and professionals from different countries. RomeReports is set up to meet the needs of numerous television broadcasting companies from all over the world that request more extensive information coming from Rome.

Project goal

The main goal of DWAAR is to give access to the ancient culture of Rome to culturally underdeveloped people. By producing short documentaries on the treasures of Rome, DWAAR will give everybody the chance of knowing the Empire which left an immense inheritance to all Europe.

The innovation comes out of the new interactive formats which will be created for the digital terrestrial TV and for the Internet.

The diffusion among public and private TV broadcasters will be in charge of RomeReports TV news agency. The films produced by DWAAR will be available in English, Spanish and Italian.

The DWAAR project follows the general goals of HP Philanthropy in terms of e-inclusion, creating new market opportunities, forging new kinds of partnerships among non-profit institutions and commercial firms, closing the gap between technology-empowered and technology-excluded communities.

The rapid spreading in Italy of digital terrestrial TV allows for a massive diffusion of the content prepared by DWAAR, addressing also those people who are not willing to read and study books on the ancient Roman culture and tradition.   


  • March 2005: planning the sites where the films will be shot
  • April-June 2005: filming in Rome
  • September 2005: film editing
  • October 2005: producing the iTV format

  • November 2005: producing the Internet format

  • December 2005: producing the Pocket PC format

  • March 2006: final report

Project activities

Planning the sites where the films will be shot

The first phase is the planning of the sites to be filmed. We envisage a selection of both the most famous ancient monuments and the most ignored ones.

Filming in Rome

RomeReports TV news agency will help in the shooting, but most of the work will be done by Cedel students using professional grade cameras donated by RAI. The students will use portable computers to record documentation on the spot and to pre-edit on the fly the video shots using firewire cards on the notebooks. This methodology will give them the chance of previewing the final effect of their shots in order to correct any error or to integrate the filmed material.

Film editing

Editing will be accomplished in Cedel laboratories by the students, using both an AVID machine, donated by RAI and many HP PC's equipped with specialized software.

Producing the iTV format

The Interactive TV format will be the main innovation of the DWAAR project. It will allow the viewer of the film to access a set of specific information regarding the topic. While watching the movie, he/she will browse resources to deepen on what he/she considers more important. The students in the Cedel multimedia laboratory will use a MHP authoring system donated by TXT Polymedia and RAI. A special attention will be paid to usability issues in order not to constitute a technological barrier for people less used to manipulating digital information (such as elderly or disabled people).

Producing the Internet format

The same filmed content will be converted in a suitable Internet format constituting an on-demand archive. Also this format will be interactive, with a wider choice of related textual and graphical material. The films will be stored on HP servers connected to the Internet through a 34 Mbit fiber donated by Telecom Italia.

Producing the Pocket PC format We suppose that when the students will start the production of a Pocket PC format, standards in video for palm computers will be widely adopted. Therefore the conversion of the films will be done in the suitable format for both streaming access via WLAN or download and play.

Project outcomes

DWAAR will produce short films for interactive TV, standard TV and websites, available to those people who are not able to access the Roman culture due to lower education and to the distance from Rome, which excludes a personal visit to the archaeological sites. All the films will be freely accessible over the Internet in both Internet and Pocket PC format.

All the results and the on-going process will be published on the website


  • Michele Crudele -
  • Giuseppe Tomeno -
  • Yago de la Cierva -