USF preserves history in 3D using lasers

USF archaeologists laser map artifacts, sites

TAMPA - We're just going to take one individual scan of out in front of the Marshall Center," explained USF's Dr. Jeff Du Vernay.

You've never experienced USF's campus quite like this.

"It is shooting out a laser," said Du Vernay.          

"It puts you right into your actual environment so you can see what's around you, what's above you, below you, and all around," said Dr. Travis Doering, Director USF's Alliance for Integrated Spacial Technologies.

A team using lasers to create 3D maps is bringing the University of South Florida to the world.

"Our heritage is just extremely imperiled whether it's in our own backyard or whether it's on a global basis," said Dr. Lori Collins, Director USF's Alliance for Integrated Spacial Technologies.

They are also bringing the world to USF.

The mask in a USF lab isn't the real deal but it is a exact copy of a Guatemalan jade artifact. It's one of hundreds USF's AIST has preserved in 3D computer form.

"We've actually been able to 3D print objects for example that a student would never otherwise get to handle or touch or interact with," said Dr. Collins.

Archaeologist Dr. Collins says 3D mapping is a way to keep and share history before history fades away.

"War, conflict, looting, vandalism, these kinds of things, air pollution, climate change," she listed.

"They're disappearing before our eyes so we're using these different techniques to solve some really important problems," said Collins.

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