Consideration to posterity is a powerful human motivator. It’s not only that we want to give to future generations, it’s that we want to know they remember us and what was also important to our ancestors. It’s important that future generations be able to look back on the beauty, value, and significance of historical sites that may one day be gone due to a variety of hazards that time and reality — not to mention gravity — present.
CyArk is in the business of preserving world history for ongoing generations, and they’ve teamed up with Artec, famed for their 3D scanning products and services, to preserve some pretty large pieces of cultural heritage. Big real estate calls for big technology, so in calling upon Artec, CyArk was exploring how such a large digital preservation process could be possible.
Due to their concern about so many factors that can destroy or denigrate sites of cultural heritage such as Mt. Rushmore, the Titanic, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pompeii, and many more, CyArk is involved in the mammoth digital recording of these sites, with a project titled The CyArk 500 Challenge. So far they have nominated a total of 150 sites. Eighty have been approved, and 60 have been preserved.
Collaborating with Artec, they will be able to use 3D scanning equipment which is handheld and high powered enough to complete such the massive task of ‘saving’ 500 sites digitally.
With regards to the need for digital preservation, CyArk sees the main hazards to sites of cultural sites being typical urban sprawl, the brutality of nature, acts of terrorism, and climate changes, among others. With the innovative equipment provided by Artec, CyArk can indeed complete the preservation techniques necessary in the field for:
- Cultural resource management
- Condition assessment
- Structural analysis
- Cultural tourism
“We’re delighted to have Artec join us in the 500 Challenge. Artec’s technology enables us to rapidly capture artifacts and important elements at a greater level of detail than traditional scanning, and we are very excited about future applications,” said Elizabeth Lee, Vice President of CyArk.
Founded as a non-profit corporation in 2003, CyArk’s mission is not only to preserve heritage, but to employ new technologies to do so — making them a perfect fit with Artec, as they are doing more than their part to ‘spread the 3D revolution’ around the world. The CyArk 500 challenge is certainly a perfect way to do so.
Can you think of a site in your area that should be nominated for their project? How do you think 3D scanning and 3D printing will continue to play a larger part in digital preservation? Tell us your thoughts in the The CyArk 500 Challenge forum over at 3DPB.com.