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main-11I love traveling. If I had unlimited funds, I’d probably be on the road at least half of the year. I’ve spent some time abroad, and have visited roughly half of the 50 states, but my bucket list demands that I visit all 50 of them, and, ideally, every continent (except maybe Antarctica). I’m not a huge fan of tourist attractions; I prefer to find my own way around a new place and discover what makes it special for me. I am, however, an obnoxiously obsessive travel photographer. Anyone who travels with me gets warned beforehand: we will be moving very slowly and stopping frequently so I can photograph cityscapes, people, architecture from artistic angles, and anything else that I find remotely interesting. I’ve driven my travel companions crazy, but I refuse to change my ways.

Gayer-Anderson Cat, British Museum, London

Gayer-Anderson Cat, British Museum, London

When I read about the MyMiniFactory Scan the World travel competition, I thought to myself, “Finally, people who understand me!”

The competition, which is being offered for the second time, is part of Scan the World, an initiative to digitally archive as many monuments, sculptures, and landmarks around the world as possible. In 2014, MyMiniFactory, which is building a library of 3D printable files for free download, decided that it needed to amp up its crowdsourcing efforts.

The company offered a tantalizing challenge: show us your photography skills by taking scannable images of a local sculpture, submit it along with a brief description of where you’d like to travel and why, and, if you’re chosen as a winner, we’ll pay for you to go anywhere in the world to take pictures.

Odisha Figure, South Asia at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

Odisha Figure, South Asia at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

The 2014 competition was hugely successful, with so many submissions that the company decided to offer the challenge again this year. The rules are the same; take 40-50 pictures of a local sculpture, with good enough quality so that the images can be compiled into a full 3D scan, and submit them with your travel proposal.

This year’s winner will be chosen at random, and there is no limit to how many entries one person can submit, so MyMiniFactory encourages entrants to flood its mailboxes with scans and ideas. Last year’s winner was a Canadian student named Renaud Delaquis, who kept a blog of his 30-day road trip across the United States. His entries are being released a week at a time on MyMiniFactory.

Renaud Delaquis' winning entry: statue of Maurice Richard at Jacques Cartier Park, Quebec

Renaud Delaquis’ winning entry: statue of Maurice Richard at Jacques Cartier Park, Quebec

Although there may be only one winner, no entry goes unacknowledged. If your local-sculpture photographs are usable, My Mini Factory will send you a free 3D print of your submission, as a thank you for your contribution to the archives. Already, My Mini Factory has built up an impressive collection of images from Scan the World participants. If they continue to reach out to travelers and photographers, they may reach their goal of cataloging the planet’s landmarks before too long.

Will you be taking part in this initiative?  Let us know in the Scan The World forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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