Backup Ukraine

"Destroying a country's cultural heritage is the fastest way to undermine its national identity. Our mission in Blue Shield is to work before, during and after a catastrophe or armed conflict to help protect and rescue our shared heritage. As we have learned after World War II and many later conflicts, saving a country’s cultural heritage is the best path to reconstruction and revival of society. Total loss is our greatest fear, and Backup Ukraine provides a new and important tool that can prevent that." 

—Søren la Cour Jensen, chair of Blue Shield Denmark

What happens when your country is bombed? Apartment buildings crumble in moments. Cars are wiped out. People too. Office buildings become a blazing hulk. Churches and monuments that have been there for centuries are reduced to rubble in a flash. The story of your country disappears with them. Backup Ukraine lets anyone become an archivist. You can scan buildings and monuments as full 3D models using just your smartphone. And store them in an open, secure online archive — a place where no bombs can reach. To help preserve the biggest and most important cultural sites, Polycam has partnered with Skeiron, a team of passionate and skilled 3D scanning professionals in Ukraine using their own laser, photogrammetry and point cloud software for large scale scans. Bootstrapped but fearless and fiercely determined, Skeiron can capture the central masterpieces of Ukraine’s architectural and artistic heritage. The Church of Saints Andrew and Jehoshaphat, completed in 1630 in central Lviv, has one of the city's most stunning Baroque interiors, adorned with carved arches and frescoes. It has been scanned inside and out, with the interior scan of particular quality, documenting its exquisite and richly decorated black-and-gold interior. The capture of public works is limited to a volunteer corps with written permission from Ukrainian authorities. You must be physically located in Ukraine in order to volunteer. It is not recommended for other civilians to scan public works. A scan of the Church of Saints Andrew and Jehoshaphat in Lviv. Everything counts, from famous statues to local gathering places. Materials with lots of texture work particularly well — statues, murals, artwork. Shiny or transparent surfaces are harder for the reconstruction algorithm to deal with. Even large buildings can be scanned via drone. You can scan indoor locations, providing a historical document of life in shelters, for example. People also scan burned-out cars, wrecked Russian tanks—daily reminders of life in the war zone. Polycam 3D captures are dimensionally accurate down to approximately one inch. Captures are processed quickly and securely on the device itself — no internet connection required. Every capture tagged with Ukrainian coordinates is automatically saved to the Backup Ukraine database. A scan needs to be published in order to be saved. (The app will ask when uploading.) Location is turned on by default, but disabling it prevents your capture from being included in the database. All items marked "savable" will be available through the Creative Commons 4.0 license and shared with UNESCO and Blue Shield’s museum partners. This is enabled by default. Creators have the option to disable the savable option through the Polycam interface, retaining full rights if they wish. Doing this will prevent your captures from being preserved long-term. But the rights to all captured 3D data belong by default to the individual creator, not to Polycam. Polygram pledges to provide capture, usage, download and storage free of charge to anyone physically located in Ukraine for the duration of the Russia-Ukraine war. Polycam also commits to maintaining the online archive for a minimum of five years after the war has ended. Savable data will be freely accessible to all partner organizations and the general public directly from the Polycam Ukraine web page.