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3D fossils in virtual museums

>>> "Pat Grant (Library: Serials Catalog" <PATG@vax2.concordia.ca>
03/11/99 12:07pm >>>
Personally I want to see 3-D rotating
zoom-able images of all dino bones, with option to view in stages of
preparation, articulated in situ and in vivo (the latter with and
without muscle and other tissues), and at least 3 or 4 different
artists' views of the living animal, and all of it available on the
museum premises or over the WWWeb.

Something like this is available/planned at the Museum of the Rockies
webpage, http://museum.montana.edu/
They are still in the preparatory stages of adding 3D stuff, but won't be
too long before the MOR 555 _T.rex_ bones that Celeste Horner and I scanned
years ago will appear there.  We have sonically-digitized, laser-scanned,
and soon splined versions, esp. of the delicious hindlimbs.  VRML versions
with zooming, rotating, etc. will be easy (i.e. a few clicks) once we get
the scans cleaned up and articulated, which is nearing completion.  The
other stuff you mention is possible but that's years down the line.

The UCMP is doing some similar stuff but we're a bit behind in implementing
the 3D images on the web; mostly we're using the 3D stuff for research,
e.g. the _T.rex_ mechanics stuff.

IIRC, the AMNH is getting some new facilities with laser-scanning, CT, etc.
that will enable similar projects.  I'm sure there are plenty of others,
including Chicago and UT-Austin's museums.  3D virtual museum sites are a
hot, hot topic lately.


                        John R. Hutchinson
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                  3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.
                University of California - Berkeley
                     Berkeley, CA 94720 - 3140
                      Phone:  (510) 643-2109
                      Fax:    (510) 642-1822