An intersection of digital historical preservation and heritage tourism: Prince Frederik's Battery, Virgin Islands National Park


  • Chad T. Keller Georgia State University
  • Sarah Dylla Atlanta History Center
  • Patrick J. Holladay Troy University


digital preservation, heritage, tourism, Virgin Islands


Prince Frederik’s Battery was identified as significant to interpretation and preservation. In light of this, the St. Thomas Historical Trust was the recipient of an American Battlefield Protection Program Grant to assist with the documentation and preservation of this 18th century fortification. This paper focuses on the virtual restoration of Prince Frederick's Battery. Researchers recorded extant ruins using a laser scanner and registration of the point clouds, then reverse-engineered the scan data to create two-dimensional drawings. These were used to create a three-dimensional model of the site and a rendered animation. This project generated digital documentation for posterity and narratives that play an actual and virtual role for heritage tourism and a valuable connection to the local population—one that aligns with the unique heritage of the Virgin Islands.

Author Biographies

Chad T. Keller, Georgia State University

Chad Keller is the Director of the Heritage Preservation Program at Georgia State University. His research and teaching focuses on the integration of newer digital technologies into the investigative and documentation process of cultural heritage sites and objects. Keller has conducted numerous 3D visualization projects involving historic reconstructions, including several interactive 3D models of historic sites and 3D scanning campaigns at notable organizations such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon, USVI National Park, Dresden State Museum, and Vatican Museums.

Sarah Dylla, Atlanta History Center

Sarah Dylla’s research explores modes of access to history, art, and culture. Through exhibition development, site interpretation, and digital projects, she aims to shed light on lesser known narratives and activate historical records. During the time of the research reported in this paper, she served as a Cultural Landscape Planner for Virgin Islands National Park. Sarah holds degrees in Art and Architectural History from the University of Virginia (B.A., '09) and Public Humanities (M.A., '16) from Brown University.

Patrick J. Holladay, Troy University

Patrick Holladay is an Associate Professor in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management at Troy University. His research focuses on sustainability, resilience, and community development. His work is conducted largely through the lens of tourism but crosses into areas like agriculture, food security, natural resources and faith/spirituality. He has worked in tourism, conservation, national park management, sustainability and community development in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Southeast Asia and the United States.




How to Cite

Keller, C. T., Dylla, S. and Holladay, P. J. (2019) “An intersection of digital historical preservation and heritage tourism: Prince Frederik’s Battery, Virgin Islands National Park”, e-Review of Tourism Research, 16(4). Available at: (Accessed: 26 September 2023).