Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3D Oven Site model video

Time has flown since July and Bermuda! When I returned to Rochester, I was asked to become director of the university's recently launched Digital Media Studies program, in addition to my "day job" teaching history and being Director of Undergraduate Studies. One great advantage of my new DMS post has been immersing myself in new digital technologies and 3D modelling. At the end of the season, I did an extensive overlapping photo survey of Oven Site to capture it in high detail for analysis after it was filled in. It turns out that processing 267 x 16 megapixel images and making a 3D point cloud and mesh of the site was beyond the ability of my 20GB desktop. UR, however, has Blue Hive, a clustered supercomputer, which was up to the task - 64 CPU cores and 120GB memory - but it still took a whole weekend!

The video below does not do justice to the fine detail of the model, but gives you an idea of the interactivity that is now possible. We just opened a new visualization lab (VISTA Collaboratory) with an 8 ft. by 20ft. video screen, which allowed me to blow up the model to full life size! The "Virtual Oven Site" will be especially useful in figuring out the original timber post construction sequence and later renovations, as well as perhaps getting other archaeologists to weigh in on the mysterious grotto-like feature on the north wall that we found in 2013.

video

On another note, Smiths Island alum Anima Ghimire and our dig was recently featured on the "college cheat sheet" website My4 - http://www.my4.org/archaeology-bermuda-history-89992/

Finally, applications for the 2015 field school will be accepted on a rolling basis. You can get the old-fashioned file at my department website or we should have a new Study Abroad portal going live soon.

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