China\'s Summer Palace goes high-tech for protection

China's most famous royal garden, the Summer Palace, will usher in advanced technologies such as real-time monitoring to collect data as part of its world heritage protection efforts.

The Summer Palace World Cultural Heritage Monitoring Center was set up on Thursday in the garden, which was first constructed in 1750 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) as an imperial summer resort.

The center will carry out real-time monitoring over all aspects of the garden such as its architecture, natural and artificial environments and even microorganisms in the lake and soil.

The data collected through real-time monitoring will be used to guide the protection of the garden.

Since 2009, authorities have been collecting data on the resort's ancient buildings through modern technologies such as electronic mapping systems and three-dimensional scanning.

The center will use 3D data to build digital mechanical models for each ancient building.

Located in Beijing's northwest, the Summer Palace covers more than 300 hectares, dominated by the Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake.

Its 73,000 square meters of buildings feature a variety of palaces, gardens and other ancient-style architectural structures.

Also known for its collection of about 40,000 pieces of cultural relics, the Summer Palace was listed in 1998 as a world heritage site by the UNESCO and was placed under state-level protection.