3D Collections Are the Future of Experiencing Your Heritage
January 02, 2014
How would you like to take a walk along the streets your ancestors used to tread, examine tools and objects they used, and virtually experience every aspect of life in another century as realistically as possible? These experiences may be closer than you think!
Today 3D scanning and printing of artifacts is revealing a whole new world of applications. Soon it will be possible to obtain a digital download of an entire museum, a village, or a furnished room, complete with a guided tour.
The Smithsonian is paving the way with over 137 million artifacts in its collection, but only room to display a small percentage to the public; they plan to preserve their entire collection using 3D scanning. Using a 3D explorer tool that has been developed for their project will make data available for study in a variety of ways, all without harming the original object which may be fragile or deteriorating. Teachers may also find ways to use the data in the classroom, and there are many other intriguing uses for this tool.
Since it is an overwhelming task to digitally preserve so many artifacts, there are ways that you can help! Your phone can be used to capture data, which can help create 3D models of real objects and locations by taking pictures from many different angles.
There is a project to preserve cultural heritage sites by CyArk. They would like to preserve 500 sites during the next five years, especially sites that are in danger due to war, climate change, other severe weather threats, or geographical change like earthquakes.
Imagine finding a download of your ancestor’s village as it was several centuries ago. Then imagine being able to enter a dwelling and explore every item within; then you could take a walk around the countryside, the farms, and other buildings exactly as they would have experienced! It’s not quite the ‘holodeck’ on the Starship Enterprise, but that future may be right around the corner!
Midwest Genealogy Center