18 June 2012
The first fly through animations of Mount Rushmore in 3D are now available thanks to a joint venture between Scotland and the United States, which has created a highly accurate three-dimensional model of the Park and its globally recognised sculptures.
Conservation and technology experts from Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art, in collaboration with American partner CyArk and the National Park Service, have unveiled the material (at www.youtube.com/historicscotlandtv).
The animation formed part of the Scottish Ten international programme, which is digitally recording Scotland’s five World Heritage sites and five others of international importance.
At Mount Rushmore, the digital record will help preserve the monument and increase public access to Park resources, by providing virtual access to restricted areas and artefacts.
The material has also been included in a new app released by Apple, available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mount-rushmore-virtual-tour/id534020138?ls=1&mt=8
The animated fly-through produced by Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art allows digital visitors to appreciate the presidents’ heads from a novel perspective, sweeping up the cliff and across the sculpted faces, as well as showing the valley behind the heads, known as The Hall of Records, which is inaccessible to the public.
The Digital Preservation Project also includes a new digital portal, the free mobile app, and a Park exhibition scheduled to open later this year. Sections of the museum collection are also being digitised.
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, welcomed the new digital material saying: “I am delighted to see Scottish expertise helping to interpret, manage and conserve this wonderful site.
“The Scottish Ten has recorded some of the world’s most important and iconic heritage sites, and this new project at Mount Rushmore joins remarkable work already completed at locations including St Kilda, Rani ki Vav Stepwell in India, and Neolithic Orkney.
“Historic Scotland through its partnership with Glasgow School of Art is taking Scottish digital expertise to a global audience, enhancing our country’s reputation for innovation, creativity and scientific progress.”
At CyArk, founder Ben Kacyra said: “It is an honour for our organisation to digitally preserve such an important monument to the American spirit for generations to come. The CyArk website gives free access to users across the globe, allowing them to experience Mount Rushmore alongside other culturally significant world heritage sites.”
The project began in May 2010 when Mount Rushmore National Memorial and CyArk collaborated with Respec Engineering, Wyss Associates and the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation.
Further information, images and videos from the new animation can also be found at the CyArk website www.cyark.org
The Scottish Ten project is continuing with ongoing scanning in Edinburgh, and the team is due to visit the Eastern Qing Tombs in China later this year
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