Artifact Digital Preservation
What if you could view that piece of history or discover treasure you never even knew existed from a public viewing area or even your computer? Digital preservation is making it possible to do just that.
Preserving art, historic documents and photos can limit access to these items. Sterile, temperature controlled rooms or buildings often prevent the majority of people from seeing beautiful artwork and important artifacts. Viewing art in a museum can be a wonderful experience. It can also be time consuming and expensive.
This article was originally written in 2011 but with recent talk about digital printing and the addition of a new touch screen display in the visitors center at Mount Rushmore, we thought we would reprint it.
CyArk, using Autodesk's 123D Catch technology has made it possible for digital preservation of objects of virtually any size and present then in a virtual environment. In other words, you can view the object(s) on your computer, iPod, or smart phone. Perhaps more interesting and exciting is that the digitally preserved pieces can be printed in 3D to scale or a percentage of scale.
OK . . . so now for the really amazing result of this work. Anyone can take a series of photographs, upload them using the 123dcatch product and have that photo converted back into a real object. It the video clip you can see a actual "print" of one of Dustin Baker's carvings.
Gutzon Borglum's vision is displayed in granite on a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Truly an extraordinary work of art. The artifacts of that work, of that area, and that era most certainly could be considered works of art as well. This year CyArk has been working closely with personnel at Mt Rushmore National Memorial to digitally preserve artifacts within the park's collection using photogrammetric techniques. Cyark, using laser scanning, digital modeling, and other state-of-the-art technologies ensure that future generations can access exact data relative to historic sites, tools and models. Exact replicas can be created through a process called 3D digital printing. These processes allow nearly everyone access to not only viewing, but also touching exact replicas of art and artifacts.