Digital Scanning Journal
NPS photo by Amy Bracewell
Day 1: Monday, May 10, 2010
The shipments of laser scanning equipment from Scotland were delayed in customs and finally arrived in the afternoon. Most of the afternoon was spent sorting through the boxes and testing the scanning stations. Since the rain continued to pour, the team began setting up the scanning equipment in the historic Sculptor's Studio to run tests and begin scanning. It was a good day to sort equipment and get the plan squared away as the team waited for the weather.
Day 2: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Once the equipment was on top of the mountain, the scanning team was able to begin preliminary scans of the Halls of Records that is located behind the sculpture. Snowy and cold conditions required them to stop before they completed the entire scan. Weather conditions will dictate when they will be able to go back up to complete the Hall of Records and begin scanning the sculpture.
While the scanning team was up on the mountain, Michael Harvey from Leica Geosystems HDS began scanning the interior of the historic Sculptor's Studio. Leica manufactures the scanning stations that the team is using for the project and Michael is here this week to see how the stations are doing in this type of complex project.
Day 3: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Day 4: Thursday, May 13, 2010
A customized scanning tripod that will be used on the sculpture arrived today as well. Larry Hermanson from Hermanson Engineering in Rapid City constructed the tripod, with input and development from Cyark and Historic Scotland. The team was able to practice with the tripod on the ground before we begin using it on the sculpture. Using the tripod will take all of the expertise from the technical ropes team and the scanning specialists from Historic Scotland.
Ben Kacyra, the founding Director of Kacyra Family Foundation and Cyark, was also onsite to see how the project is going. Through his company, Cyra technologies, Ben brought the first commercial laser scanner to the market. The same technology is what we are using to document cultural heritage today.
Day 5: Friday, May 14, 2010
Other members of the team were spread out throughout the park to begin scanning. A scanning team began scanning Washington and Lincoln's heads from the perspective of the Presidential Trail. The initial data that was coming in was quite impressive and is a good indication as to the quality of details that we will be getting from this data.
Day 6: Saturday, May 15, 2010
The ground scanning team was also able to place more reference targets along the Presidential Trail so that they can begin scanning the talus slope and the sculpture once the weather becomes nice. Initial scans from these areas are revealing positive results from data received from scanning up to the front of the faces.
Day 7: Sunday, May 16, 2010
The ground scanning crew also had a good morning as they finished one scanning perspective off of the Heritage Village and began setting up another scanning perspective when the weather turned. Rain stopped the project shortly before noon. The team was able to place more targets around the park during the rain, including reference targets around the fireplaces of Borglum's first studio.
Day 8: Monday, May 17, 2010
The ground scanning team was able to finish several scans from the Heritage Village area of the park and move on to another scanning location off of the Presidential Trail. They worked until dark to take advantage of the nice weather.
Day 9: Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The mountain scanning team was able to complete scans from the shoulder of George Washington as well as from a ledge beneath the chins of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The scanning team worked closely with the park's technical ropes team to access these very remote and dangerous areas of the sculpture.
The ground scanning team were also able to take advantage of the good weather and complete scans from several locations off of the Presidential Trail. These scans from below the faces will be combined with the mountain data to create the highly accurate data of the sculpture.
Day 10: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Day 11: Thursday, May 20, 2010
The ground team completed their scans all but one more that will be done tomorrow. They have worked their way around the base of the mountain, have moved tree limbs out of the way of targets, carried the heavy scanning equipment across the dangerous talus slope, and have taken scans of each president. They returned to the operations center exhausted but excited about the progress of the project.
The mountain team started up the mountain at 5 am this morning. They began using the custom made tripod today and have had great success with it. They began with Roosevelt and also completed scans on Lincoln and Jefferson. They are filling the data holes of the details of the presidents' eyes since neither mountain top scans nor ground scans were able to get the lasers into the eyes. These are the last few data areas we need to complete the project. They have some more scans to do of Washington to complete tomorrow.
Day 12: Friday, May 21, 2010
The ground team completed all of their scans off of the Presidential Trail early in the day. They were able to finish their work and begin sorting and packing all of the gear needed for the shipment back to Scotland.
Another team composed of members of the Kacyra Family Foundation have been working around the park to capture scans and virtual tour images. They were able to capture data on the Presidential Trail from the Sculptor's Studio up to the Grand View Terrace. They are planning on finishing their work over the weekend.
Because there are just a few scans left to do on the faces, two team members (Doug Pritchard from the Glasgow School of Art and Liz Lee from the Kacyra Family Foundation) have decided to stay on through Monday to complete the scans. As for the mountain scans, the team has decided to take a break over the weekend and finish up on Monday.
Day 15: Monday, May 24, 2010
The scanning of the sculpture was put on hold today because of fog, severe thunderstorms, and hail throughout the day. The team will attempt to finish up three last scans of the sculpture tomorrow before people are scheduled to return home.
Day 16: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Now that the scanning is complete, all data has been compiled and the next phase of the project can begin. Processing the data will take approximately 10-12 months. After the data has been finalized, the memorial will be able to begin using it for interpretive programming and preservation of the mountain. Stay tuned!
Did You Know?
The figure of Thomas Jefferson was originally started on Washington's right side. After 18 months of carving the figure of Jefferson had to be blasted off the mountain and restarted on Washington's left side.