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Re: laser scanning fossils
I had replied to this privately, but might as well make it more direct.
There is laser-scanning technology, but it ain't cheap. The system consists of
a box-shaped scanner on a tripod, a built-in digital camera, and a rotating
plateform upon which the fossil sits (other systems have the camera move and
the fossil stationary). The object rotates and the laser bounces off the
surface (cylindrical scan). Since the fossil is a partial 3-D, (the part of the
fossil is lying on the platform is hidden), software is used to patch the two
recordings together (matching landmarks) into one 3-D object that can be
rotated on the screen.
The resolution is much better than looking like "candy" since the data can be
used to replicate the fossil in extrudible plastic (some systems scan down in
the tens of microns range). However, that fine detail is not necessary when the
point of the talk at SVP is how the neck (for example) moves. Also, more
detailed resolution takes a LONNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGEEEEERRRRR time.
Systems cost tens of thousands (US) dollars, the software not being cheap. If
interested in more detail, I suggest that you do a Google search using 'Optical
Digitizing laser' as the search words.
>>>>>>> Saw examples of same at the SVP conference. Resolution is the
issue, apparently, because the examples shown looked like candy. But the
great thing about it is that skewed fossils can become unskewed through
a graphic reversal process.
I was wondering if anyone could help me, I have a few questions about
technology and the recording of fossils. I'm currently doing my PhD on
fossisl proteciton in Australia, and I was wondering if there are any
examples of important specimens (such as hlotypes) being held in
hands but are recorded in a registry? Also, with regards to holotypes,
there much use of laser technology to record details? ie scanning the
fossils, and using that as a database instead of physically holding the
specimen. Is this feasible?
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