Laser scanning comes to Mount Rushmore

August 25, 2009--The use of laser scanners and computers to create three-dimensional (3-D) virtual models of a place has proven to be an extremely useful tool for forensic investigation of, for instance, a murder scene or accident location. While this type of laser scanning has been popularized by various TV shows, perhaps less well-known is the use of similar scanning technology to create virtual 3-D maps of world heritage sites.

Aug 25th, 2009

August 25, 2009--The use of laser scanners and computers to create three-dimensional (3-D) virtual models of a place has proven to be an extremely useful tool for forensic investigation of, for instance, a murder scene or accident location. While this type of laser scanning has been popularized by various TV shows, perhaps less well-known is the use of similar scanning technology to create virtual 3-D maps of world heritage sites.

Starting next month scientists from Scotland will team with those from CyArk--a California-based nonprofit organization--and start digital mapping of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The idea is preservation. CyArk works worldwide to digitally preserve
cultural heritage sites using laser scanning and other technologies. Creating these models gives archaeologists a 3-D "blueprint" of a given site that's accurate to within a few millimeters. And if the site is ever damaged by an attack, an earthquake, or some other calamity the 3-D record can be used for reconstruction or repair of the site.

Mount Rushmore's digital model will available to the public for viewing on the CyArk website and will give the US National Park Service the ability to develop a realistic interactive model of Mount Rushmore for education and interpretive use including potential "virtual tours" of the Memorial.


--Posted by Steve Anderson, stevega@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

More in Research