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Virtual reality dinos (+ von Daniken)
>interest to the dinosaur museums in the near future:
> This is a re-dredge up of a thread started by Larry Smith a while back.
>In the latest issue of _Discover_ magazine, (their annual "best innovations"
>issue May?, 1995), they report on a new laser scanner/software package that has
>potential implications for paleontology (or at least I infer it would).
> Dr. Tony DeRose, professor of computer science and engineering at the
>University of Washington in Seattle, has refined a computer/laser
>scanner/software package that scans 3D surface outlines of any physical
>object, even complex ones with curves and multiple edges or planes. The
>software then reconstructs the image in 3D-space in computer memory.
>Virtual reality software can rotate the image in any direction for any
> Questions: If fossil collections ever get scanned into this system, would
>they/should they be transmitted over the internet?
>Should museum curators maintain tight control over who can study these
>images? (considering that hi-res rotatable 3D images will be nearly as good as
>the real bones).
>Should museums maintain some type of copyright on the images of fossils in
>If a researcher studies comparative specimens in virtual reality, rather
>than travelling to the museum, would that constitute officially "personally
>examining the specimen"? (essentially, this is how researchers are now
>working with the Hubble Space Telescope. They don't have to travel to the
>control room in Maryland to use Hubble; they can do it all from their home
>And for Dr. Farlow: Got $50K on you?
>This should also brighten the futures of those who study fossil trackways,
>because if this 3-D scanner ever becomes portable, it could make plaster
>casts of fossil tracks less necessary. You could have a track set stored on
>an optical disk. Takes up less space (less filling)- Tastes great.
>The down-side: Dr. DeRose claims that the laser prototype presently costs
>$50K. Price will come down, but by how much, who knows?
Well we did talk about this awhile ago. If you remember Betty (I think)
mentioned that bandnwidth is the real problem. To construct a 3D image so
that the "touchy/feely" of the bone is evident, one needs to look at more
than an order of magnitudebetter images than we have now with all the
attendent bandwidth problems of stowage and transmission. Your 14,400 modem
would have to be on the order of 200,000 or so etc,etc.
This will take a bet of engineering and perhaps science. My suggestion at
the time was to put together a NSF grant request that combined the users
(you guys), computer science folks and what ever else is needed. This is a
cross discipline job and will effect many other areas of science as well.
Therefore I would think that it would have a pretty good chance of success.
I'd want to get the thinking machine people on it as well as some good data
reduction/compression folks as well. ARPA might be a good source of funds
for this also and they have done some very good computer science. The
National Labs (in DOE) are looking for this sort of thing esp Los Alamos.
paul w. sparks Psparks@cerfnet.com
"over the heather the wet wind blows
I've lice in my tunic and a cold in my nose."